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Which Doctor Treats Toenail Fungus

How Is Toenail Fungus Diagnosed

Doctor explains toe nail fungus treatment

Nearly 3 million people in the United States are diagnosed with toenail fungus each year. Men are up to three times more likely to develop toenail fungus than women. You are also at a higher risk for a toenail fungus infection if you smoke or have diabetes. Also, individuals with compromised immune systems may experience toenail fungus that can turn into an infection.

When feet remain moist or damp, the fungus can grow, causing discoloration and thickening of toenails. Infection can cause discomfort and pain. The spread of fungus and infection can go from toe to toe, hand, fingernails, or skin on other parts of the body.

The toenail may become warped, cracked, or loosen itself away from the nail bed. Often the nail appears yellowish and may have white spots. Your doctor will examine your feet and potentially take a small sample of skin or nail to be sent off to a laboratory for testing. Your doctor may refer you to a dermatologist, podiatrist, or other healthcare professional if your condition is unusual or needs special care. Other foot conditions such as psoriasis can look similar to a fungal infection. Lab reports can indicate if the problem is fungal, helping the doctor prescribe the best medication for effective treatment.

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Is It Possible To Prevent The Recurrence Of Nail Fungus

Tinea pedis, also known as athlete’s foot or foot fungus, can cause recurrence of fungal nails. Therefore, it is important to manage this condition. One can apply over-the-counter antifungal medicines such as clotrimazole or terbinafine cream as directed to affected skin. Keeping footwear and socks clean can be helpful. You can also use portable UV light sanitizers to disinfect shoes.

Living With A Nail Fungal Infection

If you have a nail fungal infection, some things can help:

  • Keep your nails cut short and file down any thick areas.
  • Dont use the same nail trimmer and file on healthy nails and infected nails. If you have your nails professionally manicured, bring your own nail file and trimmer from home.
  • Wear waterproof gloves for wet work . Wear 100% cotton gloves for dry work.
  • Wear socks made of wicking material . This pulls moisture away from the skin. Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or if your feet get wet. Put on clean, dry socks every day. Put over-the-counter antifungal foot powder inside your socks to keep your feet dry.
  • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area. Dont wear pointed shoes that press your toes together.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.

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If You Observe Certain Nail Changes

For prompt, effective treatment of your toe nail condition , you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible, especially if you notice certain changes to your nails. These abnormalities may include toenail deformities, discoloration, or thickening. By seeing a podiatrist as soon as possible, you can reduce the risk that youll suffer permanent damage to your toenails.

If you are in need of a foot doctor in Sugar Land, TX , visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists or call 281-242-3338.

Signs And Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus

Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus starts as a white or yellow spot at the tip of the nail, which then spreads backwards into the nail. The more the infection spreads, the more discolored the nail can become.

The nail will get thicker, and begin to flake and crumble at the edges, becoming ragged and distorting in shape. It will also become darker as debris builds up under the nail, and will start emanating a slightly foul smell. The greater these symptoms, the worse your case.

These infections can range from simple discoloration to mild irritation, to severe and painful. They can be contained in a single nail, or they can spread to the surrounding ones as well.

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What Does A Podiatrist Specialize In

A doctor of podiatric medicine is uniquely qualified to treat conditions of the foot and ankle. A podiatrist can further specialize in surgery, pediatrics, geriatrics, sports medicine, and biomechanics. The training to become a podiatrist includes a four-year college degree, four years of podiatry school, and a three-year residency.

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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 Are Treatments For Toenail Fungus

Do you need to treat your nail fungus? Maybe it doesn’t hurt, and the yellow, thick nails don’t bother you.

But nail fungus doesn’t go away by itself. And if you don’t treat it, there’s a chance it could get worse. It could spread to other nails or through your body. It could cause pain when you walk.

There are a number of ways to take care of it, including:

Nonprescription options. You can buy antifungal creams, gels, and nail polish at the store and online without a prescription. You might want to try one of them first if the infection doesn’t look bad. Some people also swear by home remedies like menthol rub, tea tree oil, mouthwash, or snakeroot extract — but studies show mixed results.

Prescription polish and creams. Your foot doctor will likely trim your nail and file away its dead layers. They may also take a piece of your nail and send it to the lab to make sure itâs really a fungus and to find out what type it is.

The doctor might suggest an antifungal drug that you paint on your nails. This may work on its own, or they may suggest you take it with antifungal pills.

Prescription medications. One of several antifungal pills may help. They work, but it may take many months to do the job. They also come with side effects like nausea, vomiting, and headaches. They may cause liver damage too, so your doctor will watch you closely while you take them. Be sure to tell them about any other meds youâre taking — some antifungal pills might not work well with them.

There Is A Wide Range Of Options With Varying Success Rates

Vapor Rub Could Help Treat Your Toe Fungus!

Other than keeping your toenails trimmed and perhaps painted, you may not pay much attention to them unless a problem develops. Healthy toenails are pink, shiny and smooth, but a fungal infection can cause them to become discolored, thick, brittle and even painful.

Toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is a common but challenging condition toenail fungus treatments include a wide range of options with varying success rates.

Causes of toenail fungus

Fungal nail infections are usually caused by fungi called dermatophytes that infect the skin beneath the nail yeast is another common culprit. Toenails are especially vulnerable to infection when your bare feet contact damp surfaces such as showers, swimming pools and locker rooms. If you have athletes foot, the infection can spread to the nails.

Wearing closed shoes such as athletic shoes for extended periods also can contribute to infection if your shoes and/or socks are damp from perspiration or heat. Moreover, if your shoes fit snugly enough to put pressure on your toes, they can damage the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infection.

People with chronic diseases, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, also may be more prone to toenail infections.

Symptoms of toenail fungus

Toenail fungus symptoms can develop slowly over time and may go unnoticed at first. Symptoms can include:

Toenail fungus treatments

  • Tolnaftate
  • Terbinafine

When to see a doctor for toenail fungus

Preventing toenail fungus

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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:

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.

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How To Diagnose Toenail Fungus

  • Since fungal toenail infection can mimic other conditions like psoriasis, it must be diagnosed by a podiatrist or a dermatologist before treatment.
  • It may be diagnosed based on nail appearance, or the affected part of the skin is scraped off.
  • This sample is then sent to the pathology lab for microscopy and to identify the causative organism.

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What Happens If I Dont Treat Toenail Fungus

Toe Nail Fungus Doctor Treats Patients Stock Photo (Edit ...

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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Schedule An Appointment For Laser Treatment For Toenail Fungus

If youre looking for the most effective toenail fungus treatment near Scottsdale, Arizona, schedule an appointment with Arizona Foot Doctors. After a careful evaluation of your foot, well suggest the right treatment plan for you. We have over 35 years of experience in podiatry and encourage you to schedule an appointment online.

Podiatrist Located In Denver Co

Are your toenails discolored, cracked, or brittle? Untreated toenail fungus is a common foot problem that can quickly get out of control. At the Center for Foot and Ankle Care in Denver, Eugene Rosenthall, DPM, FACFAS, treats toenail conditions like fungus, hangnails, and ingrown toenails. With proper care and attention, your toes can look and feel so good that youll want to show them off. To see what Dr. Rosenthall can do for your toenail fungus, call the office to schedule your appointment or book it online.

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Pros Of Laser For Toenail Fungus Treatment:

  • Safe, painless treatment, so anesthesia is not required.
  • No recovery time, walk-in, and walkout.
  • The procedure usually requires only 15 minutes on both feet if all 10 nails are to be treated.
  • No side effects of drugs are required.
  • No liver enzyme tests are required.
  • It is 85% 90% effective.
  • One laser treatment session is enough to eliminate the infection in 90% of cases. The remaining 10% may need 2 or 3 more sessions.
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    How Do You Treat Toenail Fungus? Part 2

    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.

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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:

    How To Prepare To See Your Doctor

    • List any symptoms, even ones that you feel are not likely related to your nail condition. This can affect your doctors treatment choices.
    • List any medications that you are currently taking. Some nail fungus treatments may have interactions with other drugs. List any allergies or other personal information that may be relevant.
    • Inform the doctor of any other health problems that you have. Conditions like cancer, diabetes and psoriasis can make you more vulnerable to infection or could make certain treatment options not good for you.

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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?

    A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections

    How Do Doctors Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus

    Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s painful.

    They may suggest:

    • antifungal nail cream it can take up to 12 months to cure the infection and does not always work
    • nail-softening cream it’s used for 2 weeks to soften the nail so the infected part can be scraped off

    The infection is cured when you see healthy nail growing back at the base.

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    What Are The Symptoms Of An Injured Nail

    A fine red to reddish-brown vertical line under your nail may be caused by an injury with bleeding under the nail. This is known as a splinter hemorrhage. Some medicines and medical conditions can also cause reddish lines to appear on the nails, so see a board-certified dermatologist if you notice a new red line.

    Minor nail injuries commonly result in small white spots. They typically disappear on their own as the nail grows out and do not require treatment. You should, however, see your dermatologist if you see many white spots and do not remember injuring your nail, or if the white spots do not grow out. This could mean you have an infection or another medical condition.

    What Is Laser Treatment For Toenail Fungus

    If youre dealing with toenail fungus, you may experience pain and discomfort or feel embarrassed to show your toes. You might even start to feel hopeless if youre unsure how to get rid of the problem. First, know that youre not alone! Anyone can contract a fungal infection. However, those with weakened immune systems are more likely to contract an infection from toenail fungus. The good news is there is a noninvasive way to get rid of the fungus: laser nail therapy. Read on to learn about the causes of toenail fungus and the treatments for it, including laser nail therapy.

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