See A Podiatrist For Toenail Fungus Treatment
If youre uncomfortable with the appearance of your toes, make an appointment with a podiatrist. Professional, modern treatment methods are more effective at clearing up fungal infections than over the counter and home remedies.
Tackling a fungal infection on your own could be difficult and frustrating. Over-the-counter creams are often not strong enough to treat infections appropriately, and more complex treatments arent available for consumer use. The toenail fungus doctors, or podiatrists, at Arizona Foot Doctors are qualified to deal with many foot and ankle issues, including toenail fungus, and are dedicated to making you feel confident and comfortable throughout the treatment process.
After a gentle evaluation, our podiatrists will prescribe the most appropriate treatment for your situation, identify any underlying causes, and help you avoid future infections.
Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms
Because the toes and feet are often exposed to damp, warm areas, where the infection is spread, fungal nail infections affect the toes more than the fingers. Your feet are also more likely to be exposed to fungal infections if you:
- Spend time at swimming pools
- Walk around a lot in locker rooms
- Wear the same pair of damp, sweaty sneakers all the time
- Injure your toenail
At first, you may have no outward symptoms. But over time, your nails may:
- Have white spots appear on the surface
- Turn white, yellow, green or brown
- Grow thicker than normal or, in some cases, thinner than normal
- Become brittle, with broken or jagged edges
- Change shape, curling up or down
- Lift off of the nail bed
- Smell bad
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Here Is How A Podiatrist Will Cut And Trim Your Nails:
- Soak feet in a foot bath to make skin and nails soften. Dry feet thoroughly.
- Using sterile toenail clippers, clip the toenails. Each nail will be cut straight across. Then the sharp edges will be filed gently.
- Toenails cut properly must stay above the skin.
- Emery board or nail file will be used to smooth out the uneven edges.
- The podiatrist will make sure that you will feel no pain during the process of trimming.
There can be reasons that you cannot reach your feet to give them the proper care they need. If you are obese, pregnant, or develop pain or dizziness when bending down, you may find it difficult to trim your nails properly. The elderly may find it challenging because of poor eyesight or unsteady fingers. You may not be able to find a friend or a family member to help you with caring for your feet when necessary.
For diabetic patients, because of poor blood circulation, the nails must be trimmed with care because even a minor injury or ingrown toenails can lead to chronic non-healing ulcers and cellulitis. This may, unfortunately, lead to gangrene and end up in toe amputations. Therefore patients with diabetes are strongly advised not to trim their toenails on their own unless very competent. People with diabetes must get their routine nail care performed by a podiatrist every few weeks. If not, they can end up with life-threatening complications.
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Signs You Need To See A Podiatrist
Now that the warmer weather is officially coming to an end, were putting our sandals and flip flops away and putting on thick socks and boots. With that, patients tend to start neglecting certain symptoms or signs that something is wrong with their feet.
The truth is many people do this because they either dont understand what the symptoms mean, or theyre afraid of finding out whats really wrong. But, there is nothing to be afraid of when seeing a Podiatrist. Our job is to help you and your feet.
Here are 10 signs that its time you come in and see a Podiatrist. And keep in mind that each of these signs will range in their severity.
The Podiatrists Take On Home Remedies
While home remedies are unlikely to cause any harm in themselves, Dr. Hinkes urges caution when relying on them when looking for how to get rid of toenail fungus. âResorting to folk remedies can be dangerous because it could keep the patient from getting a legitimate diagnosis and treatment,â he says. âNow in some people, this could be a critical thing, because it can be contagiousyou can pass it to other people and you can pass it to other parts of your body. So itâs really not something you want to fool with.â Dr. Hinkesâ advice is clear: Visit a foot care specialist. This could be a podiatrist, but foot care nurses also offer an excellent and affordable service as an alternative. And if neither of those is available, try a dermatologist. Left untreated, this condition wonât go away on its own and can cause serious pain, deformity, and even lead to further complications. Podiatrists recommend seeking expert helpyouâre better safe than sorry. If youâre desperate, though, try these DIY foot and toenail fungus treatments.
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Accurate Diagnosis Should Be First Step In Treating Nail Fungus
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.
What Tests Might I Have For Toenail Fungus
Your provider will probably take a small sample from underneath your nail to further analyze it. Viewing the cells under a microscope can confirm a toenail fungus diagnosis. If the initial test is negative, a scraping can be sent to see if the fungus grows out in a culture. It also helps your provider identify the type of fungus.
How Will Your Podiatrist Use Laser Therapy For Toenail Fungus
We do provide on-site laser therapy for toenail fungus.
- LASER toenail fungus treatment will use 1064nm wavelength LASER.
- According to the type of LASER used, whether light or carbon dioxide heats your nail bed while killing the fungi and any present spores.
- Research has shown good and safe success rates with little treatment risk with laser therapy.
So What Exactly Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is an infection of the toenails, also called onychomycosis . In reality, it can affect both your fingernails and your toenails, though is much more common in toenails.
The fungus can also spread from your nails and nail beds to the skin between your toes. This is called athletes foot, and similarly, toenail fungus can be caused by athletes foot.
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When To See A Doctor For Athletes Foot
You can expect to see some improvement after one week of treatment with an antifungal cream or other medication, and the infection should be nearly gone after two weeks of treatment at home, although sometimes it may take longer. If you havent seen any improvement or the infection appears to be getting worse, call your doctor. Its important to seek treatment before the infection spreads to the rest of your foot or other parts of your body, such as your groin or toenails.
Toenail Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection in the toenail. It happens when a fungus anything from mold to yeast to other types of fungus gets in the nail bed from a cut or break in the nail or repetitive trauma to the nail, and penetrates the nail itself, says Dr. Sundling. The nail then continues to grow with the fungus. Once a nail plate is infected with fungus, it will never not be infected, and you must wait to see how it grows out and whether the new nail growing behind it is healthy. The new nail rarely grows in healthy without treatment, says Sundling.
Toenail fungus is very common 14 percent of people have it in North America, according to an article published in the journal PLoS Pathogens and its more common the older you get, adds Sundling. Wearing shoes that are too small can damage the nail and make it more vulnerable to fungus, as can having a fungal infection on the skin of the foot and not treating it, which could expose the nail to fungus. You may be more at risk to toenail fungus if you have diabetes, or a weaker immune system.
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Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus
There are various symptoms to watch out for when you are trying to self-diagnose toenail fungus. These symptoms can include:
- The toenail becoming brittle and ragged with edges that seem to be crumbling.
- A thickening of the toenail that is more than normal.
- The toenail growing into a distorted shape and thickening as it grows.
- When the nail turns a darker shade because of trapped dirt.
- There is a foul smell coming from the nail itself.
- The toenail is turning a different colorlike a yellow-brown or a white-yellow.
If you are experiencing any or more of these symptoms, it might be time to try some home remedies or treatments. You can either deal with them at home, by using over-the-counter medications like nail creams or ointments. Or you can alter the nail yourself and then add the medication. Altering the nail may include thinning it down with a file or trimming it down with a clipper or nail scissors. Being able to get to the infected parts of the nail is important when applying medicine.
Dont get to this point if you can. There are a few preventative care measures you can take right now of your nail:
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Verywell Health / Sabrina Jiang
Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. But if left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.
The fungus often begins in the form of athlete’s foot between the toes or on the soles of the feet. At this stage, the fungal infection is easier to treat with over-the-counter medication. But Shari Lipner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medicine, told Verywell Health toenail fungus can be difficult to treat because of how slow the nails grow. The more severe the toenail fungus, the thicker the nail, and the more nails involved makes it that much harder to treat the nails even with effective therapies, she says.
Diagnosing the fungal infection early is key to make treatments effective. Dr. Lipner recommends visiting a board-certified dermatologist to properly treat the infection if it grows to be too severe.
Here are a few of the best over-the-counter toenail fungus treatments on the market.
How To Get Rid Of Nail Fungus
Toenail fungus is notoriously difficult to treat.
In order to be rid of the fungus, youâll need the nail to fully grow out while treating it. And, nails grow slowly, so change can take time.
A fungus is not like a bacteria that can be washed away with some soap and water, or treated with antibiotics. A fungus infection will require an antifungal treatment and the growth of new healthy toenails.
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When To See A Podiatrist About Nail Fungus
When to See a Podiatrist About Nail Fungus
Your local podiatrist can accurately diagnose and effectively treat an incredible array of problems that affect your feet, including nail fungus. While many people think of nail fungus as a minor inconvenience or merely a cosmetic issue, it can in fact lead to serious health problems. When left untreated by your Houston podiatrist , nail fungus can lead to permanent nail damage and infections that spread beyond your feet. While its best to visit your foot doctor sooner, rather than later, you should definitely take the time to schedule an appointment if the following factors apply to you.
Can I Treat My Toenail Fungus At Home
If your toenail fungus isnt severe and you dont have a serious condition such as diabetes, HIV/AIDS, or other immune deficiency, then you can attempt several home treatment options before choosing to call a podiatrist in Bethesda, MD or podiatrist in Springfield, VA if it doesnt clear up. If your problem persists, however, or even gets worse, its time to consult a podiatrist.
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Foot Infection After Surgery
A foot infection is a rare but possible complication of surgery, such as the fix of a fractured foot or ankle. The risk for developing a foot infection after surgery is less than 1 percent in healthy people, according to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
Antibiotics are routinely given before surgery to reduce the risk for infection. Having diabetes or other condition causing a weakened immune system increases your risk for postsurgical infection. Smoking also significantly increases your risk.
Who To See For Athletes Foot
A primary care physician or can diagnose athletes foot and recommend the best treatment. To rule out other medical conditions, such as , your doctor might want to scrape your foot to confirm you have fungus spores on your skin. After confirming you have athletes foot, your doctor may prescribe a stronger medication, usually a cream or, in severe cases, a pill.
Dont dismiss athletes foot symptoms. Because the condition spreads easily, its important to catch it early and start treatment right away. If you notice the symptoms and home treatment isnt working, consult with your doctor.
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How Much Is Laser Toenail Fungus Removal
While laser toenail fungus treatment is FDA approved, very effective, and very successful, most insurance companies, unfortunately, do not cover it.
- See us for a no-obligation consultation to see if it is the right choice for you, as there are numerous options for toenail fungus treatment.
- See a toenail specialist like a podiatrist to see if this is the best option for you!
How Can I Treat Athlete’s Foot In Pregnancy
Treatment options during pregnancy may include dilute vinegar soaks or sprays and Lotrimin cream twice a day for two to three weeks to the soles. Antifungal pills are generally not recommended during pregnancy because of the potential side effects and possible fetal harm. Always check with your OB/GYN before using any medication or treatment during pregnancy.
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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.