Podiatrist Located In Greater Los Angeles Arcadia Ca
Nail fungus is unsightly and painful, and it can be very difficult to treat, especially without a doctors intervention. As a leading podiatrist in Arcadia, CA, Dr. Wenjay Sung, DPM, offers state-of-the-art solutions for the treatment of nail fungus, helping patients eliminate the fungus and restore the healthy nail
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If You See A Doctor What Will Your Treatment Be
When you see your toenail fungus doctor, there may be a few treatments they recommend or prescribe some of which are more pleasant than others. It all depends on the kind of fungus you have, as well as how severe your case is.
The doctor may have to take samples, which would be sent off to a lab to determine exactly what kind of fungus you have. So, be prepared for multiple doctor visits.
Your doctor may prescribe oral antifungal drugs or topical antifungal therapies. Sometimes, combining the two types of treatment has more success than one alone.
Oral antifungal drugs are generally taken for six to twelve weeks, but most of the time, you wont see any positive results until the nail has completely grown out.
There are also medicated nail polishes and medicated nail creams that can be prescribed, but the nail polish can take up to a year to deliver results.
In the most severe of cases, surgery to temporarily remove the nail might be recommended. This is so the doctor can treat the fungal infection under the nail directly.
If the infection is severe enough, the doctor might recommend the permanent removal of the nail.
Can A Nail Fungal Infection Be Prevented Or Avoided
Avoid situations that expose you to a fungus. This includes walking barefoot in locker rooms and having wet hands and feet often. This might be a problem for people who work in restaurants or house cleaning. People in a family can get nail fungal infections at the same time. This happens when their immune systems arent able to fight off the infection. Or it could be the infection is spread when using the same towels. It is important to routinely clean your shower, tub, and bathroom to lower risk of fungal infection.
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Should I See A Dermatologist Or Podiatrist For Toenail Fungus
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Who Gets Toenail Fungus
Men are more likely to get it than women. The older you are, the better your chances are, too. People who have diabetes, athletes foot, or a weak immune system, who smoke, or whose family members have it are also at a higher risk. If you spend a lot of time in the water or youve injured your toenail, your odds for getting toenail fungus go up.
How Do You Treat Nail Fungus
Often, treatment begins with testing. Your podiatrist scrapes a small amount of the fungus for lab analysis. Then they recommend treatment based on the exact kind of nail fungus and its severity.
Common treatment approaches for fungal nails include:
- Debridement removal of the infected portion of your nail
- Oral anti-fungal medication
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Are There Home Remedies For Toenail Fungus
The Internet is filled with anecdotal information on how to cure toenail fungus using home remedies. Vinegar is a commonly recommended home remedy. Some people apply various oils such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, essential oils, and oil of cedar leaf to their nails as well. The effectiveness of these home remedies is highly doubtful. Application of household bleach and hydrogen peroxide is also not recommended due to lack of evidence that these treatments work. These agents can also cause unwanted skin irritation. Thickened nails that have been affected by fungus can be difficult to trim. Using topical urea cream will soften the nail and make it easier to trim. These creams do not require a prescription.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Bacterial Nail Infection
A bacterial nail infection most commonly forms after the nail or surrounding skin is injured. This type of infection can cause redness, swelling or pain. Pus also can accumulate in the skin around the nail, and the nail can develop a greenish color.
If you have a bacterial nail infection, treatment is important. A dermatologist often will drain the pus and prescribe
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When Should I See A Podiatrist For Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is difficult to get rid of on your own. You should schedule an appointment at AllCare Foot & Ankle Center if you have nail fungus thats bothersome, painful, or resistant to over-the-counter treatments.
If you have diabetes or another condition that causes circulation problems, you should call AllCare Foot & Ankle Center at the first sign of nail fungus. Diabetes increases your risk of complications from any type of foot wound, including nail fungus.
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Nail Changes A Dermatologist Should Examine
Have you noticed a change to any of your nails lately? A change in color, texture, or shape can be harmless, but it can also be a sign of disease. If you notice any of the following changes to a fingernail or toenail, its time to see a board-certified dermatologist.
Not every dark streak is a melanoma, but its always good to have a dermatologist examine one. Caught early and treated, that may be the only treatment you need.Allowed to grow, treatment becomes more difficult.
How Do Dermatologists Diagnose Nail Fungus
To find out if a patient has nail fungus, a dermatologist examines your nails and nearby skin. Its important to check the skin because the fungus can spread. You may already have a skin infection caused by fungus like athletes foot.
To get rid of the infection, you will need to treat all infected areas.
Before giving you the diagnosis, your dermatologist may also take some samples. Collecting a bit of debris from beneath a nail, trimming off part your nail, or scraping off a bit of skin can be very helpful. In a lab, these samples can be examined under a microscope to find out whats causing the problem.
Are you hiding an infected nail with nail polish?
Be sure to ask your dermatologist if you can wear nail polish while treating nail fungus.
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Causes Of Toenail Fungus
- Onychomycosis stems from a number of fungal pathogens, primarily a certain group of fungi known as dermatophytes. Other relatively less common carriers of this infection are yeast and mold.
- Your susceptibility to this type of infection increases with age as older people tend to have increasingly brittle and dry nails that may allow the fungus to slip in through the cracks.
- Direct skin-to-skin contact with people grappling with fungal infections like athletes foot or ringworm on their hands can transmit the fungus onto you, paving the way for a toenail infection.
- A warm, moist environment such as a pool deck or a locker room provide the ideal breeding grounds for these infection-causing fungi. Therefore, people who walk barefoot in such areas tend to pick up this infection quite easily.
- Another common way of catching a fungal nail infection is by sharing an infected nail clipper or towel.
- Moreover, people who are prone to having moisture-ridden nails or often wear sweaty socks and shoes are increasingly predisposed to getting a fungal nail infection all by themselves.
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What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors
In normal, healthy people, fungal infections of the nails are most commonly caused by fungus that is caught from moist, wet areas. Communal showers, such as those at a gym or swimming pools, are common sources. Going to nail salons that use inadequate sanitization of instruments in addition to living with family members who have fungal nails are also risk factors. Athletes have been proven to be more susceptible to nail fungus. This is presumed to be due to the wearing of tight-fitting, sweaty shoes associated with repetitive trauma to the toenails. Having athlete’s foot makes it more likely that the fungus will infect your toenails. Repetitive trauma also weakens the nail, which makes the nail more susceptible to fungal infection.
Elderly people and people with certain underlying disease states are also at higher risk. Anything that impairs your immune system can make you prone to getting infected with the fungus. These include conditions such as AIDS, diabetes, cancer, psoriasis, or taking any immunosuppressive medications like steroids.
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Treating Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.
A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if youre not bothered by it you might decide its not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isnt always effective.
Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.
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Q: What Parts Of The Body Do Podiatrists Treat
A: Podiatrists in Michigan are licensed to treat the foot, ankle, and lower leg below the knee.
At Prime Foot & Ankle Specialists, we specialize in toenail problems, toe problems, foot problems, heel problems, ankle problems, minimally invasive surgery, advanced diagnostic techniques, and advanced treatment options. We pride ourselves on being your choice for all foot and ankle problems!
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Signs And Symptoms Of 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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How To Help Toenail Fungus
Once you have been diagnosed with toenail fungus under your nails, there are several strategies that can help. They can be used independently or together, depending on your circumstances.
One treatment is with anti-fungal medications. These are pills taken by mouth, sometimes for weeks or months. Some people have medical conditions or are taking other medications that make these antifungal pills risky. Others who take them sometimes experience unwanted side effects. In these cases, I recommend other strategies.
Another common treatment for toenail fungus is medicated nail polish. These arent always very effective and must be used for many months. This is because nails are naturally a tough protective barrier. Because the infection is located underneath the nail, this makes it hard for the medication to penetrate through the nail to reach the underlying infection. This is especially true in cases where at least half of the nail is infected.
Both medications and medicated polish are long-term strategies that may be risky for many people, and may not work at all. Plus, treatment with these often takes several months.
This is why I prefer using laser technology. Its safe, quick, and pain-free.
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Fungal Nails Laser Treatment
Laser treatment for fungal nails uses energized light to destroy the fungus without affecting nearby healthy tissues. Furthermore, the heat emitted by the laser will decompose the affected skin and nails while also sterilizing the surrounding areas to prevent another fungal growth.
Laser therapy may be a relatively new treatment option against nail infections. However, studies proved that patients with fungal toenail infection showed 91% clinical improvement after their laser treatment.
Besides its effectiveness, this treatment is also painless, fast , and requires no anesthesia.
How Is Toenail Fungus Treated
Toenail fungus is notoriously tricky to treat. You may need to treat the condition for several months to get rid of the fungus. Still, toenail fungus often comes back.
A dermatologist or podiatrist can explain your treatment options. If you have a mild case that doesnt bother you, your provider may recommend no treatment.
Toenail fungus treatment options include:
- Oral antifungal medication: You take prescribed medication, such terbinafine , itraconazole and fluconazole , to treat the fungi. You will need to take this medication every day for several months . Your provider may use blood tests to check for potential medication side effects. These medications can affect the liver and interact with other medications, so oral antifungals are not for everyone.
- Topical medication: You regularly apply a medication right on the nail. The medication treats the fungi over time. Topical medications are most effective when paired with oral medications.
- Laser treatments: Your provider directs a high-tech laser beam and special lights at the toenail to treat the fungus. Lasers are FDA approved for temporary increase of clear nail in nail fungus but is not a cure. Cure rates for laser treatment are lower than oral and topical mediations so they are not typically used as first line treatments for nail fungus.
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