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What Kind Of Doctor For Toe Fungus

Are Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Toxic

Doctor explains toe nail fungus treatment

The newer drugs are unlikely to cause any liver problems in patients without known liver disease. Blood tests are not needed for once-weekly treatment with fluconazole however, people taking longer courses often have their liver function tested before starting the medicine and then retested during the course of treatment. It is important to notify the doctor of all side effects while on the medication. You should tell your doctor of all current medications to prevent potential serious drug interactions.

How Is Toenail Fungus Diagnosed

The doctor will examine your toenails. The doctor will also likely send a sample off to the lab to identify the nature of the infection. This can be done by clipping the nails or by scraping under the nail. Prescription medications may be recommended immediately, but knowing exactly whats causing the infection can determine the best course of treatment. Other types of infection can cause similar symptoms, including yeast and bacterial infections. Though not an infection at all, psoriasis can also sometimes mimic toenail fungus.

What Happens If I Dont Treat Toenail Fungus

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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How Can You Recognize Toenail Fungus

Essentially, the main symptom of toenail fungus is the discolored appearance. Affected nails are dull, darkened, and distorted. In addition to visual cues, your toenails will also be thickened, yet brittle and crumbly. When the infection has been present for an extended period of time and become more severe in nature, you may even detect a slightly foul odor.

Some patients experience pain with this condition, particularly when the fungal infection causes toenails to separate from their respective nailbeds.

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What Doctor To See For Toenail Fungus

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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.

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.
  • Surgery:

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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.

The Dangers Of Ignoring Toenail Fungal Infections

Get Rid of Toenail Fungus: **Doctor Recommended Home Guide!**

Even a minor discoloration can be a sign of toenail fungus and worthy of a doctor visit. Find out why and how to get help for symptoms of toenail fungus.

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With all the serious health dangers out there, like cancer and diabetes, having a yellowed nail from toenail fungus can seem pretty insignificant. Since toenail fungus usually isnt painful, many people put off seeking treatment, says Peter Joseph, DPM, a podiatrist with Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh. While many people are otherwise healthy and may just think of it as a cosmetic problem, ignoring a toenail infected with fungus could have health consequences beyond appearances. Potential complications of a toenail fungal infection:

Foot pain. Over time, a nail infected with fungus can become thick and misshapen, causing pain, Dr. Joseph says. It can even make it difficult to walk when wearing shoes, according to the American Podiatric Medical Association.

Treating Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

If you suspect you have a toenail fungal infection, see a doctor, Joseph says. Your doctor may take a small sample from your toenail and have it analyzed to confirm the presence of a fungus. If the test comes back positive, an oral or topical antifungal medication may be prescribed to help treat the fungus. Most medications are well tolerated with few side effects, Joseph says.

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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.

What Is The Treatment For Toenail Fungus

If home remedies dont do the trick, if the infection spreads, or if the nail becomes painful, brittle, or misshapen, you need to see the doctor. There are several treatment options available. More than likely, you will be prescribed an oral medication. Terbinafine and itraconazole are two of the more popular and evidence-based treatments. Terbinafine is especially common for dermatophyte-based toenail fungus. Serious but rare side effects include liver damage and allergic reactions. Your doctor may prescribe an alternative to terbinafine if liver damage is a concern. However, nearly all anti-fungal medications have some level of hepatotoxicity.

A podiatrist will be also able to trim and file the nail more completely than the average person. More serious cases of toenail fungus may involve temporary or permanent toenail removal. A podiatrist can cut out the hardened nail while leaving the cuticle and underlying nail matrix. This directly removes the infection in the nail itself, while also allowing for direct access to treat the underlying skin with anti-fungal treatments while the nail grows back. In rare cases, laser treatment may be an option, but this isnt covered by most insurance policies.

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How Are Fungal Nails Diagnosed

Fungal nails are diagnosed by your doctor through examination of your toenails for signs and symptoms of a fungal infection. Your doctor may also take clippings or scrapings of your affected toenails to send to a lab for testing. Additional testing may be used to help determine the type of fungus that has caused the infection. If you believe you have toenail fungus, you may set up an appointment with your doctor or a foot specialist who can confirm a diagnosis and determine an appropriate treatment regimen for you.

What About The Cost Of Oral Medications For Fungal Nails

Foot Fungus Types

A further consideration is cost. Because newer oral antifungal agents are very expensive, some insurance companies balk at paying for what they consider a “cosmetic issue,” unless nail fungus causes pain or other functional symptoms. Terbinafine and fluconazole are now available as generic drugs and are quite inexpensive.

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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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Fungal Nail Infection Causes

A fungal nail infection is caused by an overgrowth of fungi. These fungi fall into three categories:

  • Dermatophytes

    These cause most cases of toenail fungus infections and also cause athletes foot, which can spread from person to person.

  • Moulds

    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

    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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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.

What Causes Fungal Nails And What Are Some Of The Risk Factors

How Did I Get Toenail Fungus? -Indianapolis Podiatrist Discusses Fungus Infection of Toenails

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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Facts You Should Know About Fungal Nails

Many changes in fingernails or toenails may cause people to think they have a fungal infection of the nails, medically known as onychomycosis or tinea unguium.

Fungal infection of the nails sometimes makes the condition sound contagious or related to poor hygiene. In fact, up to 10% of all adults in Western countries have fungal infection of the nails. This percentage increases to 20% of adults who are age 60 or older. Toenail fungus is much more common than fingernail fungus.

In reality, abnormal-looking nails may be caused by a number of conditions including, but not limited to, fungal infection. There are many other reasons why your nails may look different.

How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus

Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:

  • Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
  • If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
  • Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
  • Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
  • Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
  • If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
  • Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
  • Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
  • Trim toenails straight across .
  • Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.

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What About Prescription Topical Solutions

Compared with over the counter topical creams, Dr. Wagenseller said, Prescription topical solutions have shown some benefit, but they may require up to a year of daily treatment to be effective. Unlike over the counter topical creams, prescription strength solutions may show long-term improvement even after patients have completed their course of treatment and ceased daily applications.

What Is Toenail Fungus

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Toenail fungus is a widespread fungal infection that affects the toenails. Less commonly, nail fungus infects the fingernails. Nail fungus is also called onychomycosis.

Toenail fungus happens when fungi get between the toenail and the toenail bed . This usually happens through a crack or cut in your toe.

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What Else Causes Toenail Discoloration

Other microorganisms including bacteria can infect the nails. Chloronychia, or green-nail syndrome, is one notable example with these bacteria thriving in damp or wet conditions. Knowing the cause of your infection helps determine the best course of treatment. Again, its common for doctors to order lab testing. The dark discoloration can also be a secondary effect of fungal infection in which a misshapen toenail creates a space to harbor dirt and debris and spread the fungal infection to the entire toe.

Dark discoloration can also be a sign of physical trauma to the toe, either as a bruise or as dried blood thats trapped under the nail. Physical trauma that doesnt cause the blood vessels to break may result in white lines or streaks. Keep in mind, too, that the toes are an extremity that may not be as sensitive to pain as other parts of the body. Its possible, especially if you dont look at your toes on a regular basis, that toe discoloration is caused by physical trauma that the person has forgotten about or was unaware of.

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What Is A Fungal Infection

There are two broad categories of fungal infections:

  • Relatively innocuous fungal infections that live on the skin, hair, and nails
  • Potentially more dangerous fungal infections that invade deeper structures of the skin or organs in the body called deep fungal infections.
  • Dermatologists treat fungal infections of the skin, as well as fungal infections in hair and nails. Often, these infections appear as itchy, scaley, rashes on the skin.

    Superficial infections are known by common names such as athletes foot and ringworm, or by medical names that indicate the fungus and location. These infections include:

    • Tinea unguum
    • tinea cruris
    • Tinea capitis

    Nail fungus, knowns as onychomycosis or tinea unguum, is the most common fungal infection with over three million cases a year.

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