Posts for tag: Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a common problem that can be rather challenging to get rid of. While toenail fungus can happen to anyone it most often occurs in older adults. If you are noticing that one of your toenails has thickened, become brittle and turned yellow then chances are good that you are dealing with a toenail fungus.
What causes a fungal infection in the toenail?
A toenail fungal infection, known as onychomycosis, is the result of a fungal known as a dermatophyte. While less common, molds and yeasts can also infect the toenails. The reason older adults are more prone to fungal nail infections is because nails dry out as we age, which leads to cracks within the nail. These cracks make it easier for a fungal infection to get inside the nail.
Fungal is all around us. They are more often found in warm, dark, and damp places such as communal locker rooms and showers, gyms, and local swimming pools. It’s also possible to get a toenail fungus from a nail salon so it’s important to know the hygiene and sterilization practices of your local nail salon to make sure that you aren’t at risk for developing a fungal infection.
Treating Toenail Fungus
The good news it that healthy individuals may be able to tackle their toenail fungus on their own with over-the-counter medication. If you don’t have a weak immune system, diabetes or circulation problems then you may choose to try at-home treatments first before turning to a doctor. Those with circulation disorders or diabetes should see their podiatrist right away for treatment if they notice symptoms of a fungal infection. Not seeking treatment could greatly increase a person’s risk for bacterial infections and other potentially serious complications.
There are many over-the-counter products available to treat fungal infections. You will want to find a treatment that is geared specifically to treating fungal infections of the nail. Talk with your local pharmacist to find out the best treatment option. Over-the-counter antifungal medications often come in the form of a cream, ointment or nail polish that you will need to apply regularly for several weeks. If these medications don’t work then it’s time to talk with your foot doctor.
A foot doctor offers a variety of effective strategies for getting rid of toenail fungal infections. The most common treatment option is an oral antifungal medication that works systemically to kill the fungus. This medication is taken for several weeks but you won’t actually see results until the nail grows out clear, which can take up to four months or longer.
Other treatment options include:
- Medicated nail polish
- Laser fungal treatment
- Nail removal surgery (in rare cases)
If you are dealing with a pesky nail fungus then turn to your podiatrist to discover the best strategies for getting rid of this infection as quickly as possible.
Treating toenail fungus
Toenail fungus--it's one of the most common podiatric problems children, teens, and adults have. Causing thickened, yellow, brittle nails, onychomycosis (the medical name for toenail fungus) spreads easily and can be stubborn to treat. If you see one or more of your toenails changing shape, color, and texture, see your foot doctor right away. They have the expertise and treatments to give you ten clear toenails once again.
How toenail fungus starts
The micro-organism thrives in dark, moist environments--sweaty socks and sneakers being prime candidates. Additionally, shared towels, nail clippers, shower room floors, and pool decks breed toenail and Athlete's Foot fungus. In fact, if you suffer periodic outbreaks of itchy, uncomfortable Athlete's Foot, you're more prone to onychomycosis, says the American Academy of Dermatology.
Conquering toenail fungus
Your foot doctor sees scores of patients with toenail fungus. Visual inspection is the main diagnostic tool, and for mild cases of onychomycosis, the podiatrist may recommend creams or ointments applied topically. Oral medications are an option as well.
Additionally, modern podiatry offers innovative laser treatments which kill the micro-organism right where it lives. Painless and very effective, laser treatments are applied to all ten toenails to prevent re-infection.
Unfortunately, toenail fungal infections can become quite severe and spread to the nail bed. When infection is severe, the podiatrist may advise complete removal of the toenail to prevent further problems.
Prevention is best
Of course, if you can avoid toenail fungus, your feet and nails will look and feel their best, and you won't be embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or sandals in the warm weather. However, some people are more prone to this common infection--diabetics, those with poor peripheral circulation and individuals who are immunosuppressed.
Regardless, your podiatrist recommends these preventive measures for healthy, fungus-free nails:
- Wash your feet with soap and water daily, and dry them with a clean towel.
- Clip your toenails straight across with a clean clippers.
- Wear clean socks daily.
- Change your gym shoes after a workout. In fact, alternate pairs if possible, letting your footwear dry out between wearings.
- Wear flip-flops or shower sandals in the locker room and poolside, too.
Fighting a fungal infection that is embedded in the toenail can be very hard. Not only does over-the-counter anti-fungal cream rarely work, it can sometimes make the infection worse. Even a podiatrist who prescribes medicine to treat toenail fungus knows that it may not always work. Conveniently, due to medical advancement, there are other options out there that can help you get rid of your toenail fungus. One such option is laser fungal treatment.
Before you get your fungus removed with a laser, you should know the basics of toenail fungus. Onychomycosis is a fungal infection that tends to affect the toenail and the toenail plate. It is more commonly found in older men, but it can infect any person of any age. It is hard to treat this type of fungus because it lives in dead tissue. This makes it hard for anti-fungal medicines to do their job and remove the fungus.
Lasers are a newer type of technology that helps doctors treat an array of different problems. One such problem that can be treated by lasers is toenail fungus, specifically onychomycosis. These lasers produce a strong light energy that is capable of being projected into the tissue. The laser heats up and allows for the dead tissue to be destroyed, which kills the fungus.
Are lasers the best method for treatment of toenail fungus and onychomycosis?
Lasers are a relatively new technology, but there have been ample studies that have proven the positive effect of the treatment. Patients all over the United States have been able to cure their toenail fungus and onychomycosis because of the development of laser treatment. The best way to decide whether or not laser treatment is right for you can only be determined by your podiatrist. If you have a fungus growing on your toenail, make an appointment with your podiatrist right away. Your podiatrist may decide that a course of antibiotics might be the best way to start treatment, or they may recommend laser treatment right away.
We are happy to help! Dr. Alan J. Discont and Dr. Krahn of Family Foot & Ankle Care, PC, located in Chandler, Arizona, can accurately diagnose your problem and begin effective and long-lasting treatments. Call 480-732-0033 or make an appointment online today. Fungus doesn’t have to take over your life.
It is possible for fungi to appear under your toenail and cause an infection. There are some symptoms that you should look out for if you suspect that you have toenail fungus. If your toes are a darker white, or more yellow than usual, there is a chance that you may have toenail fungus. Another symptom of toenail fungus is toenails that have a strong unpleasant odor. Lastly, you should beware of toenails that are painful and disrupt your walking. This is another sign that you may have a toenail fungus.
While toenail fungus is troublesome to eradicate, it is not impossible. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Alan Discont, D.P.M. of Family Foot and Ankle Care. Dr. Discont can provide the care you need to keep your pain free and on your feet.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
Toenail fungus is a problem which affects many people and is hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating toenail fungus.
Antibiotics & Treatments
Lamisil – is the most commonly effective treatment for toenail fungus. It is available as an antibiotic Terbinafine tablet and cream. Terbinafine is a chemical component which kills fungal growth on the body. Applying regular doses will gradually kill the fungal growth. It is important to keep the area clean and air free.
Talcum powder – applying powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.
Sandals or open toed shoes – wearing these will allow air movement and help keep feet dry. They also expose your feet to light, which fungus cannot tolerate. Socks with moisture wicking material also help as well
There are always surgical procedures that are available for toenail fungus. Some people would like immediate quick removal of toenail fungus. Surgeons will be able to cut through and remove the growth using laser surgery. It is important not to try and remove it yourself. Once removed, your old shoes will need to be replaced to avoid reinfection.
If you have any questions please feel free to contact one of our offices located in Chandler, AZ. We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot and ankle needs.