How Is Toenail Fungus Removed
Do you keep your feet hidden from view because you feel embarrassed by your yellow toenails? Treating toenail fungus can be challenging. Even if you faithfully apply over-the-counter products, you may see no change in your nails despite months of treatment. Our Wesley Chapel, FL, podiatrists, Dr. George Tjamaloukas and Dr. Kathy Tjamaloukas, discuss toenail fungus and explain what can be done to treat it.
What caused my toenails to turn yellow?
Your toenail turns an unsightly shade of yellow when it’s infected by dermatophytes, fungi that consume keratin, a protein found in nails. It’s very easy to catch the fungus. In fact, you can pick it up if you walk barefoot in public locker rooms or pool areas or share socks, shoes, towels or sheets with someone has toenail fungus.
Several factors may increase your risk of developing an infection, including:
How can my foot doctor help?
Podiatrists offer effective treatments that can finally clear your nails. When you visit our Wesley Chapel office, we may recommend one or more of these options:
Improve the condition of your nails with toenail fungus treatment. Call our Wesley Chapel, FL, podiatrists, Drs. George and Kathy Tjamaloukas, at 909-0865 to schedule your appointment.
Is This Toenail Fungus Treatment Right For You And Is It Safe
You will want to have Dr. Sweeney assess the full extent of your toenail fungus condition, but it is reasonable to assume that this procedure will be perfect for you if . . .
- You want to simply get rid of the problem and be done with it. Right away. Right now.
- You want to avoid the hassle of an ongoing regimen of ointments and creams with limited effectiveness.
- You want to avoid the prescription medications usually associated with the treatment of onychomycosis, and avoid the possibility of enduring the surgical alternative of removing the nails.
- You don’t want to throw away money on other treatments involving inferior or substandard lasers.
The toenail fungus treatment offered at Sweeney Foot & Ankle Specialists, in The Woodlands, TX, is not only vastly more effective than competing approaches, it is also safer and faster. You have no risk of side effects, and we can take care of your problem in only one or two short visits. Once the fungus has been eradicated, your healthy nails will grow in over the course of six to twelve months, depending on how quickly your nails grow.
Clean Socks And Shoes
Regularly changing your socks and shoes can also cut down on the growth of unwanted foot fungus. Both socks and athletic shoes can also be washed in hot water to rid the growth of yeasts and fungi that may be growing on the fabric. Some shoes can be machine dried. Drying shoes in the sun is another option when cleaning footwear.
Adding a half-cup of baking soda or one cup of vinegar to the washing machine can help eliminate bacteria or fungus on socks or shoes.
Boots and other footwear that are not machine washable could be wiped out with a vinegar and water solution or sprayed with an over-the-counter antifungal spray. Medicated powders are also helpful in treating shoes for foot fungus.
Allowing the feet to breathe by taking off shoes and socks when possible can prevent fungal growth. Protect your feet by wearing breathable footwear and clean socks. Antimicrobial socks and shoes made from bamboo, copper, or specialty fabrics are also available. They can help reduce unwanted bacteria and yeast from growing in your footwear.
A proactive approach to keeping your feet clean and dry can prevent the spread of toenail fungus. You can wash or soak feet with warm soapy water or a foot bath using everyday household items. Soaking your feet in an all-natural, homeopathic concoction can be beneficial in reducing or eliminating toenail fungus.
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What If I Need Surgery
If your condition is severe or doesnt respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. Surgical treatment for nail fungus involves the partial or complete removal of the affected nail. Your doctor also applies antifungal medication directly to the infected area.
Complete removal of the affected nail is typically reserved for conditions that dont respond to antifungal medication. Nail removal is a simple, in-office procedure that effectively addresses severe or recurrent toenail fungus. To find out which treatment is right for your toenail fungus, book an appointment at Wake Forest Foot and Ankle by phone or online today.
Know It May Have To Be Permanent
At this point, if he or she has not discussed this with you earlier, the doctor may recommend that you have the nail permanently prevented from growing back. This is only done in severe cases of fungus or other disorders where the problem would simply keep occurring if the nail grew back.
To do this, the doctor must destroy the nail matrix, which is the part of the toe that produces keratin, the element that toenails are made of.
The matrix can be dissolved chemically, which is the most common. This is called chemical cauterization, and involves the application of a chemical called phenol. Occasionally, some patients report their nails growing back, but generally this method is effective.
If this does not work, your doctor will perform a surgical matrixectomy. A flap of skin is surgically created at the base of the nail, where the matrix is located. After retracting the flap, the matrix is surgically removed.
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How Do You Know When To See A Toenail Fungus Doctor
For the reasons listed above, it is highly recommended to visit a doctor as soon as you start to feel any discomfort.
Dont try to stick it out! Its always better to be safe than sorry. Staying healthy is very important, especially for the body parts that carry you around!
Do you have any tips on seeing your doctor for toenail fungus?
Podiatrists Clear Strategy To Treat Toenail Fungus
The podiatrist will be interested to know how long you have suffered from the problem and what treatments you have pursued so far. This helps her to understand the magnitude of the problem and treatment factors you have considered. A full medical history is important to rule out underlying health issues that could interfere with the oral medication given.
The doctor will physically examine the nails to determine the extent of damage and the color.
Just by conducting a physical exam, the doctor cannot conclude that you have a fungal nail infection. They need to eliminate the possibility of it being yeast or mold. The doctor scrapes under the nail to harvest samples and send them to the lab. This will help the doctor prescribe the best course of treatment once the problem is identified.
The doctor can recommend oral treatments aseffective and they may take up to three months to work such as Sporanox, Diflucan, and Lamisil. The treatment could have unpleasant side effects such as skin problems, stomach upset,and liver damage. If you have an existing liver problem you cannot tolerate oral medications.
This non-invasive treatment is offered by podiatrists and it works quickly. The laser kills the fungus attacking underneath the nail without damaging the nail itself. This is considered as an effective treatment.
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Ask The Doctors What Can I Do About Toenail Fungus
Dear Doctor: I had toenail fungus two years ago, and my doctor prescribed Lamisil. It took a long time, but it worked. Now the fungus, which is so ugly, is back again. Why is it so hard to get rid of, and are there any new treatments available?
Dear Reader: Toenail fungus is fairly common, but that’s not much consolation to the 6 million or so people in the United States who have to put up with it. It’s an often-unsightly infection caused by a microscopic organism called a dermatophyte that lives beneath the toenail. More precisely, it colonizes the portion of the nail known as the matrix, which is underneath the cuticle.
Initial symptoms are a yellowish or brownish discoloration of the toenail. As the infection progresses, nails will often become thickened, crumbly and malformed. Although the fungus affects the appearance of the nails, it actually lives on the layer directly beneath the toenail. That’s why it’s so difficult to treat.
Your nails are made up of keratin, a tough, fibrous protein. The same hard shell that protects your toes is giving shelter to the fungus. For topical medications to be successful in killing the fungus, they have to be able to reach it.
Anti-fungal creams and liquids are available, both in over-the-counter preparations and by prescription. But because nails are not porous, it’s difficult for the medication to reach the infection in concentrations great enough to kill the fungus. As a result, success rates for topical treatments are low.
What About Bleach Baths
Bleach baths are an approach dermatologists may recommend for treating skin conditions such as atopic dermatitis and recurrent Staphylococcus infections on the skin. These involve mixing a very small amount of bleach in bath water typically a half cup of bleach to a full-sized bathtub of water.
While its true that bleach baths may temporarily kill bacteria, fungi, and viruses, the effects arent long-lasting and arent likely to treat an existing toenail fungal infection.
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Possible Causes Of Toenail Fungus
First off, how did we get to this point? What might have started with a little yellowing has turned into a full-on fungus. And you really just dont know what to do because youre not certain what caused it in the first place.
The truth of the matter here isit could have been caused by a whole number of thingspoor circulation, diabetes, psoriasis, environmental factors like keeping your feet in water too long or being in a locker room that is hot and humid most of the time, etc. The reason behind your toenail fungus could also be a combination of all these things. A fungal infection can spread and get much worse than it already is. If youre starting to see or feel these symptomsyou might want to consider going to a doctor:
What Types Of Treatment Options Are Available
As mentioned previously, several options are out there, for sure. Most are entirely ineffective. While some may provide temporary relief of certain symptoms, they do not actually get rid of the fungus itself.The more common treatment options include:
- Oral Antifungal medications
- Ointments and Creams
- Surgical Removal of the Nail
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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.
What To Do If Your Toenail Is Falling Off
Firstly, stay calm! This happens to the best of us.
If your nail is falling off but is still attached — donât rip it off. This can invite a pretty nasty infection. Just let the nail naturally detach itself or see a doctor for the removal.
If itâs bleeding, apply pressure and cold water until the bleeding stops.
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Fungal Nail Infection Causes
A fungal nail infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungi. These fungi fall into three categories:
These cause most cases of toenail fungus infections and also cause athletes foot, which can spread from person to person.
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 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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Stop Toenail Fungus In Its Tracks
Toenail fungus happens when tiny organisms called fungi begin to grow under your toenail. A fungal infection may require medicines or other medical treatment.
Toenails are especially susceptible to fungal infections because your toes are often in shoes, the perfect environment for fungal growth. Fungi like to grow in places that are dark, warm and moist.
You may be at a higher risk of toenail fungus if you are older, wear socks or shoes that dont allow air to get in and out well, walk barefoot in damp places like around pools, or have other foot conditions like athletes foot. Health conditions that affect your circulation or your immune system also make you more likely to get toenail fungus.
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How Can I Find A Top
You can use Zocdoc to find Toenail Fungus doctors who are highly rated by other patients. These ratings are based on verified reviews submitted by real patients. Every time a patient completes an appointment booked on Zocdoc, theyre invited to review their experience. Each review must comply with Zocdocs guidelines.
Best Ointment: Fungi Nail Anti
Infused with five oils for skin healing
Easy-to-use brush applicator
Only for mild infections
Doesn’t heal the nail plate
Fungi Nail Antifungal Ointment uses an innovative design to address multiple forms of fungal infections one can find on their feet. Its wide-tip applicator applies the appointment on larger areas of the feet, such as the soles and in-between toes. Then the smaller applicator works to get around the nail cuticles and underneath the nail.
Once applied, the maximum-strength ointment kills the fungus with the active ingredients of zinc undecylenate and undecylenic acid to help treat toenail fungus. The ointment also soothes itching and burning that can come with an infection, all while healing the skin. For best results, apply twice a day to clean, dry feet.
The ointment also soothes itching and burning that can come with an infection, all while healing the skin. For best results, apply twice a day to clean, dry feet.
Active Ingredients: Zinc undecylenate 20% and Undecylenic acid 5% | Dose: Tube and brush applicator delivers the appropriate amount. Apply thin layer on affected area twice daily or as directed by a doctor. | Uses: Treats and prevents fungal infections fights athletes foot and ringworm
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Q: Does Medicare Pay For Diabetic Shoes And Custom Orthotics
A: Medicare will cover diabetic shoes and inserts with some patients.
- Patients must meet and have specific qualifying conditions that must be verified by the Physician managing their diabetes.
- If you have diabetes, you should have an annual foot evaluation performed by a foot doctor or podiatrist to determine if you are eligible for this benefit through Medicare and other insurance carriers.
When To See A Doctor
In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people.
If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems. According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you shouldnt use home remedies for toenail fungus. Contact your doctor for the appropriate course of action.
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How Long Does Toenail Fungus Treatment Take
This process may take up to a year for your nail to fully grow out the infected nail.
The American Academy of Dermatology Association says fingernails typically grow out in 4 – 6 months while toenails take can take 12 to 18 months.
However, the physical appearance might noticeably improve within a few months. Even if the physical appearance is better, donât stop treating the nail as reinfection is very possible.
Why Call Right Now
You’ve probably heard our radio advertisements, which have our schedules filling fast. Give us a call and get in before word of this extraordinary procedure spreads even more than it has.Call us today and find out how our laser treatment can completely wipe out your embarrassing, unsightly fungal toenail problem.Stop finding innovative ways to bury your feet in the sand, hide your feet under tables, or convince yourself that wearing socks with sandals is all the rage.Call us today at or fill out our shortcontact formand we can set you up with a consultation right away.We look forward to meeting you soon, and look forward to helping you get your toenails healthy again!
Dr. Richard Wittock is one of the most experienced, innovative, and successful podiatrists in the St. Louis area, and his extraordinary results in treating toenail fungus are rapidly earning him the much-deserved, highly acclaimed position as St Louis’s leading provider of the most effective Onychomycosis procedures available.
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