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How Do Doctors Treat Toenail Fungus

How Much Does Toenail Laser Fungus Removal Cost

How to Cure Toenail Fungus

At our clinic, we include laser fungal therapy and treatment as a covered benefit.

  • While it is true that laser therapy is needed, it may require an in-person evaluation, as there are other options if it is decided that it is not worth it.
  • In most cases, laser toenail fungus therapy treatments can be in the range of what a standard co-pay would be anyway.
  • Visit us for a no-obligation consultation to see if laser toenail fungus therapy is beneficial for you.

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How Do You Get Toenail Fungus

Up to 25% of people suffer from this potentially unattractive condition. The word fungus doesnt even sound pretty. So you can bet that your toenail is not going to look pretty either when infested with fungus. For those of you with obsessive compulsive disorder , you may want to stop listening/reading at this point. For the rest of you, you should know that fungus is really everywhere. It’s like bacteria in that we all having a certain amount of fungus living on our skin and on household objects, floors, showers, etc. Thats just the way it is.

See also: Virus, Germ, or Bacteria?

There are certain times, however, that fungus can actually take over and set up a bigger shop on your skin and nails. And for those of you who walk barefoot and/or sweat, fungus can certainly wreak havoc on your toenails. Also, toenail fungus is more common in diabetics because fungus thrives on sugar. So if you have diabetes, please tackle your blood sugars and get them under great control so you dont end up feeding the beast.

Other Options For Foot And Nail Fungus

Oral antifungal medications offer a different approach to treating nail fungus. Studies have shown the most effective treatments to beterbinafine and itraconazole. They help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected portion of your nail.

Oral medications are generally prescribed for foot fungus and nail fungus related to

  • Diabetes.
  • A history of cellulitis.
  • Pain or discomfort resulting from the nail infection.

The course of treatment generally lasts from 6 to12 weeks, but full results are not realised until the nail grows back completely, which can take up to four months. Recurrent infections are common, particularly if your feet become warm and moist inside your shoes.

Antifungal drugs for foot fungus may cause side effects from mild to extreme . This course of therapy is not recommended for people suffering from congestive heart failure, who have liver disease or take certain types of medications.

Other treatment options for nail fungus

Your doctor may also suggest these nail fungus treatment options:

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Possible Risks And Complications

A podiatry laser has no effect on healthy tissue. It targets only the infected areas. Happily, patients who undergo laser nail treatment for fungus removal should experience no discomfort during or after the treatment.

In some cases, patients have reported feeling a warming sensation or a slight pinprick.

Can I Wear Nail Polish If I Have Toenail Fungus

How To Treat Toenail Fungus or Discoloration

You may feel tempted to cover up a discolored toenail with nail polish. If you are using a topical antifungal, you probably should not use polish. Some providers may tell you not to wear it in any case. Polish traps in moisture from the nailbed . Because fungi thrive in moist environments, wearing nail polish may make a fungal infection worse. However, the nail continues to grow with or without polish.

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When To See A Doctor About Toenail Fungus

If you are experiencing persistent toenail fungus or pain is present, you may need to see a specialist. A dermatologist or podiatrist may be able to assess your symptoms and send a small sample of the affected toenail or flesh to a laboratory to be analyzed as there are various types of fungi and yeasts that cause onychomycosis. Knowing the specific cause of your foot fungus can help identify what route to take to treat your condition.

Nail changes can also be caused by underlying conditions, like psoriasis and diabetes, so its important to seek professional medical advice if your condition persists or worsens. Bacterial and fungal infection of skin in diabetes patients often result in hospital admissions, and in severe cases, can result in amputations. If you are at a higher risk for infection, you should skip home remedies and seek professional medical treatment.

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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Subungual Melanoma

Diagnosing and treating subungual melanoma is much more involved.

Once your doctor performs the initial assessment and determines you might have subungual melanoma, theyll commonly suggest a nail biopsy.

A nail biopsy is the primary diagnostic tool available for making a definitive diagnosis. A dermatologist or nail specialist will remove some or all of the nail for examination.

If theres a diagnosis of cancer, depending on the severity and how early it was found, treatment can include:

  • surgery to remove the affected nail
  • amputation of the knuckles of the finger or toe
  • amputation of the entire finger or toe

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What Symptoms Do Fungal Toenails Cause

Usually, the first sign of a toenail fungal infection is a small white or yellow spot that forms under the nail. Some discolorations can be caused by melanoma, so having any abnormality professionally evaluated is important to make sure the most appropriate treatment is promptly provided. As the infection spreads, the nail will become brittle and ragged and the discoloration will spread. Eventually, painful symptoms will develop, occurring when the nail area is pressed and when wearing shoes.

How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Nail Fungus

The Best Treatment for Toenail Fungus, According to a Podiatrist

To find out if a patient has nail fungus, a dermatologist examines your nails and nearby skin. Its important to check the skin because the fungus can spread. You may already have a skin infection caused by fungus like athletes foot.

To get rid of the infection, you will need to treat all infected areas.

Before giving you the diagnosis, your dermatologist may also take some samples. Collecting a bit of debris from beneath a nail, trimming off part your nail, or scraping off a bit of skin can be very helpful. In a lab, these samples can be examined under a microscope to find out whats causing the problem.

Are you hiding an infected nail with nail polish?

Be sure to ask your dermatologist if you can wear nail polish while treating nail fungus.

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What Symptoms Develop Due To Toenail Fungus

The first sign of a toenail fungus is a white or yellow spot that appears under the tip of your toenail. This discoloration marks the area where the fungus invaded.

As the infection spreads deeper into the toenail, the nails become thick and take on a yellow, green, or black color. Your toenail may become misshapen. Its also common for the nail to become fragile, making the edges crumble or crack.

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Tips For Preventing Toenail Fungus

The easiest way to treat toenail fungus is to know the steps to toenail fungus prevention. Fungus thrives on moist, dark environments, so it is vital to wash and try feet thoroughly before putting on socks and shoes. Additionally, shoes that fit properly are essential for allowing air to circulate to your feet. If you shower or swim in public locker rooms, pools, or beaches, be sure to wear shower shoes when walking around, and always change into dry socks if your feet become damp because of rain or snow.

Other methods for preventing toenail fungus include clipping your toenails regularly and straight across, spraying your shoes with anti-fungal protection products, and cleaning your nail clippers between each use.

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How Long Does It Take For Vinegar To Kill Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a fungal infection of your toenail or fingernail. Though it is rarely seen in fingers, it is quite commonly seen in toes. It is also known as onychomycosis. It makes your toenail discoloured, distorted, thickened and brittle. If left untreated, it may lead to pain upon pressure. Toenail fungus is difficult to cure. Repeat episodes are quite common.

Treatments Your Physician May Prescribe

What Kind Of Doctors Treat Toenail Fungus
  • Topical therapy with ciclopirox nail lacquer, which requires daily application for 912 months.
  • Oral antifungal treatments offer the best chance for curing fungal nail infection. The most commonly used agents are terbinafine, itraconazole, and fluconazole. The medications may cause liver problems or may affect blood cell counts. Blood tests are usually performed before starting therapy and during therapy to look for possible side effects.
  • In stubborn fungal nail infection, surgical removal of part of the nail or the entire nail, removing the nail by applying a chemical, or thinning the nail by applying 40% urea ointment may be used, in addition topical or oral antifungal agents.

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Can Severe Toenail Fungus Be Cured

Yes but not by just topical medication!

  • Many people with toenail fungus are never able to successful treat their toenail fungus.
  • It is unfortunate because they desperately try every home remedy and buy expensive topical creams that state they are a miracle cure. But nothing ever works out.
  • This is because they are treating the symptoms of the disease and not the cause.
  • The toenail must become weak and the nail bed must be damaged before the fungus ever enters into the picture.
  • According to current scientific literature, less than 30% of all deformed and thick nails were initially caused by toenail fungus.

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How Does Acv Work Against Fungal Infections

Apple cider vinegar works great as a topical treatment because it has strong antibacterial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties. These features make it very efficient at killing bacteria and fungi in your body.

When you apply ACV directly onto your affected area, it enters your bloodstream through your pores and travels throughout your entire body. Therefore, any infection that you may be suffering from should start to disappear within 24 hours if applied correctly.

The reason why ACV is so effective is that it doesnt just contain lots of antioxidants but also contains various types of minerals such as iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, zinc, selenium, manganese, and copper. These nutrients strengthen your immune system. They also help to increase collagen production which makes your skin look healthier.

Another important feature of ACV is that it helps to prevent the growth of fungus on your nails and toes. Although fungus thrives on dead skin cells, ACV keeps them healthy by removing dead skin cells from your nails. As a result, the fungus cannot form underneath your nails where it begins to infect the tissue.

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When To See Your Doctor

Anytime you think you have a fungal nail infection, or any nail problem, and treating it at home doesnât help, see your doctor or podiatrist . The sooner you go, the sooner your doctor can help.

Fungal nail infections can get worse over time. See your doctor if you notice your nail has turned brown or black, if it suddenly hurts, or if it pulls away from the nail bed.

If you have diabetes and you notice that the look of your toenails has changed even a little, see your doctor right away to prevent the problem from getting worse.

Nail Fungus: Polish Cream Or Tablets

How to Cure Nail Fungus

Nail fungus can be very persistent. Topical treatment with nail polish may take up to one year. Tablets for treating fungal nail infections usually have to be taken for several weeks or months. They are much more effective than topical treatments, but they have more side effects.

Brittle nails and a whitish-yellowish or brownish discoloration are typical signs of nail fungus. The nails may also become thicker and change shape. The affected part of the nail sometimes detaches from the nail bed. The treatment options for nail fungus include nail polishes and creams as well as tablets. Nail polishes and creams are available in pharmacies without a prescription.

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Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus

Fortunately for patients with toenail fungus, it’s not something that makes them lose sleep. Its typically considered a cosmetic condition, one that’s not going to kill you. It’s certainly not too pretty to look at, but not fatal.

Toenail fungus most commonly affects the big toe, but it can also spread its territory to nearby toenails in some. The nail often becomes yellow, thickened, brittle, deformed, and even appear as though its lifting off of the flesh of the toe. Some patients with toenail fungus also suffer from athletes foot, a topic I have covered in the past these two are often siblings and go hand-in-hand.

Rarely, when the toenail is super deformed, it can become ingrown and painful.

So what can you do to treat toenail fungus?

What Happens If I Dont Treat Toenail Fungus

According to Dr. Wagenseller, In many cases, it is not necessary to treat toenail fungus, and the condition is more often a cosmetic concern. If the appearance of your toenails is your biggest concern, you may want to forego medications that can have serious side effects. If the fungal infection is more serious and you notice a foul-smelling discharge or other signs of infection, treatment is necessary to ensure your whole body health and safety. Otherwise, determining whether or not to treat toenail fungus is really a matter of personal preference.

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How Are Fungal Toenails Treated

As a starting point, we have to mention that you can find over-the-counter products that advertise as being able to help with this condition. The fact of the matter, though, is that they are not effective.

Many of those OTC use natural ingredients that arent proven to work. When you want the fungus to be eradicated, you need the right kind of medication, which is where our office can help.

Dr. Scudday can prescribe oral and topical medications to target the fungus and restore your nails back to a healthy, clear state.

The oral medications target the infection from the inside-out. They travel through the bloodstream and can reach dermatophytes residing underneath nail tissue. Conversely, topical medication is applied to affected toenails and works to eradicate fungus residing on the surface.

If you have a case of fungal toenails, come in and see Dr. Scudday for treatment at the earliest opportunity. The infection will only continue to worsen the longer it is left untreated.

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How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus

Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus

Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:

  • Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
  • If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
  • Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
  • Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
  • Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
  • If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
  • Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
  • Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
  • Trim toenails straight across .
  • Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.

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Why Trust Verywell Health

As a seasoned health writer, Danielle Zoellner knows the importance of finding just the right product to fit your medical needs. Throughout her career, Danielle has interviewed a variety of experts in the medical and health fields while reviewing dozens of products. Her experience and knowledge in the field work together to help readers like yourself find the best products for your daily life.

Additional reporting for this story by Jennifer Nied

For over 10 years, Jennifer Nied has reviewed products, interviewed experts, scrutinized ingredients, and pored over research studies and claims, to help readers like you understand what works for your specific conditions. Every product in this piece was selected taking into account recommendations from doctors, published research, and real customer reviews.

Laser Treatment For Toenail Fungus

At Weil Foot & Ankle Institute, we understand that many of our patients come through our doors experiencing discomfort due to toenail fungus. We are dedicated to providing our patients with the industrys leading and highest quality treatment options. We offer two patented, state-of-the-art laser treatments for toenail fungus removal.

Lunula Laser

The Erchonia Lunula Laser device is a Low-Level Laser Light that is specifically designed for treating toenail fungus. This laser uses a unique dual-diode approach to target the root causes of fungal infection and improve the bodys natural defense mechanisms. A so-called cold laser, this treatment does not cause any sensation of heat, is FDA approved, and has a proven track record of successful fungus treatment.

PinPointe FootLaser®

The PinPointe FootLaser® is a carefully designed device that uses a laser beam to go through the nail plate to eliminate the infection that causes nail deformity at its source. The laser heats and kills the germs causing the fungus without harming healthy tissue. The treatment is virtually painless, can be done in the office without anesthesia, and is extremely effective for stubborn nail fungus cases. Over 80% of patients treated with PinPointe have shown substantial improvement and most fungal nails are completely cured!

Toenail fungus is of greater concern if you have diabetes, poor circulation, or another condition which inhibits your bodys ability to fight infection.

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