What Does Toenail Fungus Look And Feel Like
Most often, you will see a change in your toenail’s appearance. It will start to change color to a yellow, white, or even brown color. Sometimes it will change shape, lifting and breaking easily. You may also notice that your toenail grows much thicker. It is not typical to feel any pain associated with toenail fungus.
Do Oral Medications Help
Taking a course of oral antifungal medication is likely your best treatment option. Like topical treatments, oral medication can require the patient to commit to a lengthy treatment time. Dr. Wagenseller explained, Oral medication is most effective, but it requires at least three months of treatment. Unfortunately, the most effective pill has possible systemic side effects. Its important for patients to work closely with the dermatologist and/or a general physician throughout the treatment process to ensure safety and avoid long-term damage from the potential side effects of antifungal medications.
Am I At Risk For Developing Toenail Fungus
The organisms that cause a toenail infection thrive in dark, moist places, including inside your shoes. While anyone can develop the problem, these factors increase your risk:
- Excessively sweaty feet
- Shoes that arent ventilated
- Not wearing socks
- History of athletes foot
- Skin or toenail injury
- Diabetes or peripheral artery disease
- A weakened immune system
Youre also more likely to develop a fungal infection if you go barefoot in damp, public places like gyms and swimming pools.
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Stop Toenail Fungus In Its Tracks
Toenail fungus happens when tiny organisms called fungi begin to grow under your toenail. A fungal infection may require medicines or other medical treatment.
Toenails are especially susceptible to fungal infections because your toes are often in shoes, the perfect environment for fungal growth. Fungi like to grow in places that are dark, warm and moist.
You may be at a higher risk of toenail fungus if you are older, wear socks or shoes that dont allow air to get in and out well, walk barefoot in damp places like around pools, or have other foot conditions like athletes foot. Health conditions that affect your circulation or your immune system also make you more likely to get toenail fungus.
Podiatrists & Podiatric Surgeons Located In Somerset Nj
While toenail fungus is not generally a major medical concern, if its left untreated, it can certainly become so severe that your toenails eventually pull away and fall off. Before your fungal nails worsen, get started on treatment with board-certified podiatrist Jade Gittens, DPM, of Premier Foot & Ankle Center. Dr. Gittens offers the latest fungal nail treatments right in her Somerset, New Jersey, clinic.
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Will A Podiatrist Treat Toenail Fungus
Fungal infections in the toenail are relatively common, causing foul smells and unsightly appearances around the nail plate. If you recognize the symptoms of toenail fungus, you must meet with the right doctor, a podiatrist, for proper treatment.
Podiatrists will treat toenail fungus by using topical creams, removing part of the nail, and or using more modern methods like laser therapy to eliminate the infection. At Arizona Foot Doctors, our podiatrists conduct a thorough evaluation of your nail before starting treatment to better understand the infections origin, possible underlying conditions, and to create a treatment approach that best fits your needs and lifestyle.
The Best Toenail Fungus Treatments & Remedies
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- Yellow & fungal toenails can be improved with a few simple treatment changes.
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Toenail Fungus Treatment Done By Doctors
Getting rid of toenail fungus will give you the confidence to expose your feet again. Our foot doctors offer unmatched expertise curing toenail fungus, since our foot doctors focus exclusively on toenail fungus removal. Our podiatrists serve Los Angeles, New York City, Dallas, Boston, and over 60 other major cities. The foot doctors of Laser Nail Therapy offer state-of-the-art toenail fungus laser treatment, combined with first rate patient care. Most of our locations are open 7 days a week from 9am to 9pm.
Chemical Cauterization For Permanent Nail Removal
The procedure involves the permanent removal of one or both sides of a toenail and the removal of fungus tissue if it is present. The root of the toenail is then treated with a chemical agent that destroys it. If the entire toenail needs removed, the same procedure is employed for the entire tissue under the nail and the complete root.
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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.
Toenail Fungus Treatment: 3 Steps To Get Rid Of Toenail Fungus Fast
Fungal infections that appear on the skin are one of the most common infections in humans. Many people are curious about natural toenail fungus treatment, as this is an issue that many folks struggle with. Few are aware that toenail fungus symptoms can actually be a sign of candida virus or yeast within your system.
Onychomycosis or tinea unguium is the name for the type of infection that causes the fungi to appear on the nails. This is caused by underlying fungal growth from dermatophytes, non-dermatophyte molds and yeasts .
With dietary changes, supplements and certain essential oils, you can treat and eliminate the root cause of the toenail fungus, even when youve been struggling with it for years. I will take you through the exact steps of how to get rid of toenail fungus fast and for good.
I can tell you my own mother struggled with toenail fungus on her big toe for over 10 years, and the reason why she originally got it and then continued to struggle with this fungus was the chemotherapy she went through when diagnosed with breast cancer years ago. After going through chemo, she had systemic yeast and candida issues and then developed the toenail fungus. The exact treatment I detail below is what we used with her to successfully erase her fungus.
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Adult And Pediatric Podiatrists/foot And Ankle Surgery Located In Wayne Nj
Toenail fungus affects 20% of all Americans, and by age 60, 75% of adults experience this frustrating problem. If your nail looks white, yellow, ragged, or thicker than usual, its time to see skilled podiatrists Heidi Godoy, DPM, and Johanna Godoy, DPM, at Alps Road Family Foot & Ankle. The experienced doctors can administer fungal nail care right away to help you clear your infected nail quickly. Call the Wayne, New Jersey, office or book your visit online today.
Do I Need To See A Toenail Fungus Doctor
However, if youve tried these home remedies and youre noticing a marked increase or a lack of improvement in your symptoms, it is recommended you visit a doctor. Especially if the nail becomes painful.
If you are a person suffering from low circulation, a weakened immune system, and/or diabetes, it is also highly recommended that you skip the at-home treatments and go straight to seeing a foot fungus doctor, as you are at a higher risk of severe complications.
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Do Over The Counter Topical Ointments Work
While a search for toenail fungus treatment is likely to recommend the use of topical ointments you can buy from any pharmacy, according to Dr. Wagenseller, Toenail fungus rarely responds to treatment with these topical creams. In order to experience any improvement at all, patients may need to use the over the counter topical creams for years, and once they discontinue use, patients will likely develop toenail fungus again.
Prescription Medication For Toenail Fungal Infections
Medications used to treat toenail fungal infections are classified as an anti-fungal. These drugs are often taken by mouth, and have frequently been associated with a long list of risky side effects, as well as being rather pricey. While the majority of prescribed anti-fungal agents are oral medication, there are also a few topical fungicides that doctors use to treat an infection in the early stages. Oral or topical the normal length of treatment is 12 weeks for toenail fungus and 6 week for fingernail.
Toenail fungal infections are very difficult to cure, and the process is usually long and pain staking. Before you can begin treatment, your doctor must figure out which type of fungus is causing the problem, from there your doctor will prescribe a medication to treat the fungus. This is where you need to be very careful these drugs are very hard on the body and have a long list of side effects, as well as the potential for some very serious drug-drug interactions. You must be sure you tell your doctor about any and all medications you are on, over the counter and prescribed.
There are a handful of other medications used to treat toenail fungal infections such as:
ciclopirox – a topical nail polish
itraconazole is a fairly new drug, this drug works along the same lines as Lamasil
griseofulvin is a very old drug and is rarely used anymore due to its lack of efficiency.
ketoconazole is very effective however is not as widely used due to the high risks of hepatotoxicity.
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What If I Need Surgery
If your condition is severe or doesnt respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. Surgical treatment for nail fungus involves the partial or complete removal of the affected nail. Your doctor also applies antifungal medication directly to the infected area.
Complete removal of the affected nail is typically reserved for conditions that dont respond to antifungal medication. Nail removal is a simple, in-office procedure that effectively addresses severe or recurrent toenail fungus. To find out which treatment is right for your toenail fungus, book an appointment at Wake Forest Foot and Ankle by phone or online today.
Causes Of Nail Fungus
With fungal nail infections, the main cause is typically
Certain behaviors and preexisting conditions that can affect your risk of nail fungus include:
- old age
There are many overlaps between nail fungus and nail cancer. Since its easy to mistake cancer of the nail for a fungal infection, you should see a doctor immediately to get a definitive diagnosis.
See a doctor immediately if you suspect you have toenail fungus or subungual melanoma.
Since the prognosis of subungual melanoma gets worse the longer it takes to diagnose, its better to be safe and get any possible symptoms checked out and cleared as soon as they appear.
Fungal infections are not considered life-threatening, but the 5-year survival rate for subungual melanoma can vary dramatically depending on how early the cancer is identified. According to the Canada Dermatology Association, chances of recovery can range anywhere from 16 to 80 percent .
If you wait too long for diagnosis and treatment, theres a risk of the cancer spreading throughout the bodys organs and lymph nodes.
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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
What Happens If You Dont See A Doctor For Toenail Fungus
Severe toenail fungus can lead to some serious issues, especially if you already have the pre-existing conditions listed above.
Toenail fungus, if left untreated, can lead to permanent disfiguration of the nail and infections that spread to other areas of the body, such as foot ulcers or even bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
Bacterial cellulitis is a skin infection, characterized by a red, swollen area that is hot to the touch. This can quickly spread to other tissues below the affected area and into the bloodstream. If left untreated, it can become life-threatening.
Your feet carry you throughout your life. Why not take good care of them?
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What Causes Toenail Fungus
It can happen to anyone at any age but is much more common in older adults. As a person ages, their nails become ever more brittle and dry, which leads to cracks in the nails that bacteria and detritus can enter through.
Toenail fungus is also caused by warm, wet environments. If you walk around with wet shoes or go without footwear when navigating public bathrooms or showers, this can lead to foot fungus issues.
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.
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What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
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Podiatrist Located In Tomball Tx
When microscopic fungi enter your nails through the smallest of cracks or breaks, you can develop a fungal nail infection. If your nails are brittle, discolored, and breaking easily, schedule a toenail fungus evaluation at ToeOp in Tomball, Texas. You can book an appointment right through the website or you can call the office directly to schedule a visit.
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Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus
Some people will struggle with toenail fungus for their entire lives. While you may not be able to completely avoid fungal infections, there are some steps you can take to limit your risk for toenail fungus, including:
- Use antifungal sprays or powders regularly, especially after engaging in exercise, swimming, or otherwise exposing feet to moisture.
- Make sure to wash feet thoroughly with warm soapy water at least once each day and always wash your hands after handling infected toenails to avoid spreading the fungal infection.
- Completely dry feet after showering and take special care to remove water between toes.
- Consider getting manicures from professionals who can help you to keep your toenails and cuticle beds clean and free from fungus.
- Wear moisture wicking socks and shoes.
- Always wear shoes or socks in public areas.
- Avoid painting toenails or using artificial nails when you have a fungal infection.
Know Not To Be Afraid
Surgery can be nerve-wracking and scary. Nobody likes pain, hospitals, scalpels, cuts, and anesthesia. The whole idea can be very unpleasanteven reading about it can turn the stomach!
But, it is very important to remember that thousands of people have experienced nail removal and have lived to tell about it! While there may be some discomfort and pain following the procedure, if a qualified doctor or other medical professional has concluded this is the best treatment for your specific problem, let that give all the comfort it should. We are very blessed to live in a world where so many health problems can be easily corrected!
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