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Should I See A Podiatrist Or Dermatologist For Toenail Fungus

Accurate Diagnosis Should Be First Step In Treating Nail Fungus

Toenail Fungus Treatment with Lamisil | Dr. Moore – Houston Podiatrist

NEW YORK Board-certified dermatologist can evaluate condition, recommend treatment

  • If you get a manicure or pedicure at a salon, make sure the staff sterilizes its equipment. Dont shave your legs for at least 24 hours before a pedicure, as this may cause nicks and breaks in the skin that could lead to infection.
  • Because fungus can thrive in warm, moist environments, wear breathable socks, and use flip-flops at public pools, gyms, locker rooms and showers.
  • If you notice symptoms of a fungal infection in any of your nails or your feet , see a board-certified dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment to prevent the disease from spreading onto other nails or to other members of your household.

Nail fungus can be an embarrassing problem, but you shouldnt be embarrassed to discuss it with a board-certified dermatologist, who can help you manage this condition, Dr. Lipner says. Dermatologists have the expertise to determine whats causing your nail problem and recommend an appropriate treatment, so see a dermatologist if you have any concerns about your nails.

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Yellow Or Brown Discoloration

You generally want the toes to be clear and pink. When they present with other colors such as black or purple brown, yellow or white, they should look into it, Dr. Miguel Cunha, founder of Gotham Footcare and a practicing podiatrist based in Manhattan, told TODAY.

The most typical discoloration is yellow brown and thats most often an indication of fungal nails.

Fungal nails are basically when fungus, which is an organism similar to a mold or a yeast, feeds on dead skin or dead nails, he said. It grows in dark, moist environments.

Toenail discoloration due to fungus can often be treated with over-the-counter medicine. However, it could also spread to other toes and may need require prescription ointment or medication.

Toenail discoloration could also be due to diabetes, poor circulation or heart or lung disease, according to the University Pittsburgh Medical Center.

Yellow, brittle nails could also be a sign of nail psoriasis, which causes changes in the nails like discoloration. One study found that about 80 to 90 percent of people with plaque psoriasis also have nail psoriasis. Aging is also a cause of nail discoloration, typically with nails turning a grey or light yellow color.

Due to the potentially different causes of discolored nails, youre better off seeing a podiatrist to get it checked out. If it is in fact toe fungus, it can easily spread to other toes if left untreated. And if its a sign of something more serious, its better to know, Cunha said.

Fungal Nail Infection Causes

A fungal nail infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungi. These fungi fall into three categories:

  • Dermatophytes

    These cause most cases of toenail fungus infections and also cause athletes foot, which can spread from person to person.

  • Moulds

    Moulds are usually found in soil and these typically do not spread from one person to another. It is uncommon for you to catch a nail infection this way.

  • Yeasts

    Yeasts are normally found on the body and can cause a nail infection if they grow out of control.

Fungal nail infections are usually triggered when the conditions are right for the fungi to grow. This includes when:

  • Your feet or hands are warm, moist and in dark conditions for a period of time, for example if you wear socks, shoes or gloves
  • Your feet and hands arent kept clean and dry
  • Nails are broken or damaged
  • You have a weakened immune system or are suffering from certain other illnesses, like diabetes

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Q: How Can You Tell If You Have An Infected Ingrown Toenail

Battling a toenail fungus

A: You may have an infected ingrown toenail if there are any signs of redness, swelling, pain, and drainage, such as puss coming from the area.

  • If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your podiatric physician immediately.
  • If you have toenail pain, then this may be a sign as well. It is never normal to have toenail pain.
  • If you have toenail redness or toenail swelling, then this is never normal.

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Take A Full Medical History

“The first step is to take a history of the problem,” says podiatrist , DPM, CEO of HappyFeet LLC. “In other words, I want to know how long have you had this and what previous treatment you’ve had.” A podiatrist needs to understand the extent of the problem and any other medical factors which may influence their choice of toenail fungus treatment. A full medical history is also important because the first line of defense is usually oral medication, but this treatment can have side effects for people with underlying health issues. Make sure you reveal everythinghere are 14 things to never lie to your doctor about.

Do You Need To Take Medication For Nail Fungus

It can affect several nails. If your condition is mild and not bothering you, you may not need treatment. If your nail fungus is painful and has caused thickened nails, self-care steps and medications may help. But even if treatment is successful, nail fungus often comes back. Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis .

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When To Call A Doctor For Severe Nail Fungal Infection

Nail fungal infections can be treated without going to the doctor. They can be successfully and easily cured with over-the-counter medications. Many topical ointments, though, get a bad rap because they are thought to be ineffective in treating nail fungus. However, newer topical solutions that have 10% undecylenic acid and nail-penetrating essential oils are proven to provide effective, safe, and fast cure.

For severe cases of nail fungal infections, its best to see a doctor for best possible treatments. These include worst case scenarios of onychomycosis, in which patients deal with discomfort or increased pain and swelling, other infections, red streaks extending from the area, discharge of pus, and fever with no other cause.

Its also best to go to a doctor if the fungal infection appears to be spreading to the surrounding skin. Other people also seek a doctors advice even if their nail condition is a moderate case because the appearance of the infected nail bothers them.

A general practitioner may be able to handle nail fungal infection cases. However, it is recommended to seek a dermatologist to pinpoint the problem. A dermatologist can give proper diagnosis on skin and nail conditions, and therefore will be able to identify the fungal infection and what type it is.

Podiatrist Treatment For Toenail Fungus


Treatment depends on the severity of the toenail fungus. After examining your toenails, some clippings and scrape debris will be taken and sent to the lab to identify the causative fungus.

  • Podiatrists can expertly diagnose and treat toenail fungus.
  • They are experts in treating and trimming your toenails.
  • Along with anti-fungal medications, manual removing the fungus from your nail is the easiest way to treat fungal nails.
  • If you have toenail fungus, a podiatrist must give foot care rather than a salon or spa because the tools that a podiatrist uses are thoroughly sterilized.
  • Most podiatrists use single-use disposable instruments as patients safety needs are considered the priority. Therefore, infection from cross-contamination is minimized.

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Do Podiatrists Trim Toenails

Proper toenail care is important for healthy feet. You may or may not be able to care for your toenails at home. If you are unable to do so, a podiatrist will be able to trim your toenails properly.

  • Although trimming toenails seem simple, you have no idea of how many do this the wrong way and end up damaging their toes.
  • There are so many mistakes that people make while trimming their toenails. Some may cut and pick too much towards sides.
  • Some might cut them too short, which will make your toenail grow into the skin.
  • Too much cutting and rounding toenails can lead to ingrowing toenails, which can be excruciatingly painful. Kin.
  • Some may use scissors instead of using a nail clipper. If the tools you use to cut toenails are not clean and sterile, they can introduce germs to your skin.

What Is The Outlook For Someone With Toenail Fungus

While toenail fungus is common, its usually not harmful. Symptoms mostly affect the look of your toenail.

Toenail fungus may spread to the skin between your toes or other areas of your body. When getting dressed, put your socks on first to reduce the chance of spread.

Treating toenail fungus takes a long time, and it doesnt always work. Even then, toenail fungus often returns. Discuss the pros and cons of treating toenail fungus with your provider to determine whats best for you.

Practicing good hygiene and foot care reduces the chance toenail fungus will come back. If you have diabetes, getting regular foot exams may help you address foot problems before they get serious.

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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.

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Surgical Toe Fungus Removal Treatment

How To Treat Toenail Fungus or Discoloration

This is the last resort to treat the toenail fungus condition. The whole nail can be removed or part of it can be removed to allow a healthy growth of the nail. Sometimes the nail might be removed with some skin underneathit depends on the level of infection. This will ensure that the nail that grows back will not be susceptible to infections.

Over the counter remedies bought from your local drug store are not expensive. However, they are not as strong and might not completely clear the fungal infection. If they clear the infection for some time and it comes back, seek an alternative cureby visiting a podiatrist for further treatment.

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Know Not To Be Afraid

Surgery can be nerve-wracking and scary. Nobody likes pain, hospitals, scalpels, cuts, and anesthesia. The whole idea can be very unpleasanteven reading about it can turn the stomach!

But, it is very important to remember that thousands of people have experienced nail removal and have lived to tell about it! While there may be some discomfort and pain following the procedure, if a qualified doctor or other medical professional has concluded this is the best treatment for your specific problem, let that give all the comfort it should. We are very blessed to live in a world where so many health problems can be easily corrected!

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Types Of Toenail Fungus With Pictures

There are four different types of toenail fungus, each with its own symptoms and treatment options. Deciding which type of toenail fungus you have is easier if you know what to look for. These pictures act as a visual guide.

The most common type is distal subungual Onychomycosis, which accounts for as many as 85% of cases. The fungus is easy to distinguish because it causes thick, discolored nails, scaling underneath of it, and nails that easily crumble.

Onychomycosis, better known as toenail fungus, is a common ailment that affects millions of people every year. Characterized by changes in the color of the toenail, such as looking white, black, or yellow, the fungus is an infection underneath the nail that is caused by yeast or other bacteria. They attack the keratin found in your nail to survive, and if left untreated, toenail fungus can cause an embarrassing, foul-smelling odor that prevents you from wearing sandals or otherwise feeling comfortable being barefoot.

Some people suffer from white superficial Onychomycosis, which occurs when the nail turns white and begins to crumble.

People who have ailments that suppress their immune systems may suffer from proximal subungual Onychomycosis, which turns the nail white near the cuticle.

Finally, candidal Onychomycosis is a type of fungus that causes the nail to separate completely from the bed.

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What Do Podiatrists Prescribe For Toenail Fungus

Oral antifungal drugs can be the first choice which includes Itraconazole or Terbinafine .

  • They will kill the fungus and help a new nail grow while slowly replacing the infected part.
  • Oral antifungal treatment may be continued for 6 -12 weeks.
  • Anti-fungal cream or lotion will be applied to the nails, especially the edges, to reach the nail bed.

What Does Fungus Look Like Under The Toenail


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Do You Have A Foot Dermatology Specialist In Walnut Creek Ca

Yes, we do! Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates has two specialists in Dr. John W. Scivally DPM FACFAS and Dr. Robin K. Lie DPM. Either doctor would be happy to become your foot dermatology specialist, and either is fully capable of treating you. We have two locations in the Walnut Creek area, so we ask that you see our Locations page for the one nearest you. From that page, youll be able to find the clinics contact information and address.

Contact us today for your initial consultation with us here at Bay Area Foot and Ankle Associates. Well fix your issue as quickly as possible and well be here for you whenever you need our services again! Patients of any age are welcome to see us, including children. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Foot Ankle Or Back Pain

People just shove their feet inside shoes, Cunha said. They often neglect foot or toe problems.

You shouldnt have to live with pain, I think a lot of people just assume that Oh I can live through this, or Its not an issue, Cunha said. But it becomes more difficult when it goes from an acute issue to a chronic issue.

Cunha said a common issue he sees is people who sprain their ankles and dont properly treat it with orthotics or physical therapy. Untreated ankle sprains can lead to the ligaments surrounding your ankle becoming loose, or the development of scar tissue, which can lead to recurring ankle sprains or lasting pain.

To avoid this, see a doctor if you sprain your ankle, and see a podiatrist if you have lasting or recurring pain.

Back pain could also be related to problems with your feet.

Your posture, your gait, your locomotion, these can be related to your feet, he said. If the base of your feet is off, thats going to throw off your feet, your ankles, your back.

I think its important to pay attention to your feet, he said.

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Is Toenail Fungus Really Such A Problem

If youre thinking you can just live with it, we dont advise letting toenail fungus go untreated. Its an insidious problem, and without treatment, you have to deal with the discomfort of the nail as well as feeling self-conscious about its unsightliness.

If you let a nail fungus infection go for too long, several problems emerge. The infected nail can become misshapen and increasingly separated from your nail bed. Itching and pain are unpleasant side effects if theyre too severe, you can have trouble wearing shoes or walking.

You need to be especially attentive to treating toenail fungus if your immune system is compromised. If youre living with diabetes, its critical not to ignore the fungus. Even a mild infection like this can snowball into something more serious, like cellulitis, a severe bacterial skin infection.

Another problem is that untreated fungus eventually can spread to either neighboring toenails or to the skin of your foot, causing athletes foot. Possibly the worst outcome of untreated nail fungus is needing to have your nail surgically removed.

Q: What Causes Heel Pain

What Doctor Do You See For Ingrown Toenail ...

A: Typically, heel pain is not caused by one single incident or injury, and the most common cause is plantar fasciitis, which can lead to long-term pain that may one day require surgical treatment if not corrected.

Repetitive stress/pounding of the heel can cause heel pain.

Other common causes can include inflammation of the plantar fascia, inflammation of the back of the heel, inflammation of the heel pad, progressive degeneration of the Achilles tendon, or a stress fracture caused by repetitive stress to the heel.

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