Toenail Fungus Treatment Options Explained
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection of the nail and nail bed. This should be differentiated from athletes foot in which the fungus infects the skin of the feet. About half of the fungal infections occur as a result of nail disorders. Therefore, the infection is much more common under sick or deformed toenails.
Toenail Fungus infection is usually very persistent and requires complicated treatment to restore the clear nail. In addition, Toenail Fungus Infections may cause embarrassment because of the deformed nails. Toenail Fungus signs include a thickened nail plate or nail bed, yellow discoloration of the nails, foot pain and bad foot odor. The nails often become thick and fragile and can detach from the nail bed.
Nail fungus usually starts at the distal end of the fingernail or toenail. The infection then spreads to the proximal end of the nail towards the nail bed. Finally, the fungal infection spreads to other toenails, but rarely infects all of them. Candida and Dermatophytes are the most common fungi causing nail infections. But mostly, the combination of fungi and a moist environment can speed up the fungus growth. Individuals with a weak immune system, such as diabetic patients and elderly people, are more susceptible to toenail fungus. You can read here about Toenail Fungus Laser Treatment.
What Is A Podiatrist
Podiatrists are the best doctors to diagnose and treat toenail fungus. Toenail fungus is one of the most common foot conditions in adults. They are most knowledgeable about this issue from diagnosis to treatment to prevention. Podiatrists have seen thousands of toenail fungus cases with various levels of severity. They can immediately tell if your toenail has a fungal infection or not.
The best type of treatment for toenail fungus is laser treatment using the PinPointe Laser. It achieves about an 85% success rate which is the highest compared to other options. In our clinics, treatments are done by podiatrists, not nail technicians. So if you are unsure if you have a fungal infection, our doctors can diagnose your case and you can get the treatment done at the same visit. You will be under the best care of our experienced doctors. They can give you the best advice to prevent reinfection and answer all of your questions regarding your condition. They can also help you with your other foot problems.
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.
Don’t Miss: Where To Buy Opi Gel Nail Polish
Preventing Reinfection From Nail Fungus
People who get onychomycosis usually have inherited an immune system that does not fight this fungus very well. Thus, reinfection is not uncommon. You can read more here about preventing reinfection of nail fungus. Many patients return once per year for a preventative laser session. The cost of this session is currently $290 for one treatment session of all 10 toes. This is available only to patients who have undergone a full three treatment session with us in the previous 48 months. If the nails become infected again and a full course of treatment is required, then standard three-session treatment charges apply.
Get Started Now
Contact us today to make an appointment to find out if you are a good candidate for laser treatment for nail fungus.
When To See A Podiatrist
Even with the best efforts at home-based remedies, a time might come when you need to seek professional help. Going to a general practitioner can be helpful, but contacting a podiatrist directly will expedite the treatment and healing process.
You should visit a podiatrist when you notice any of the above-mentioned symptoms of a fungal infection. Again, these include discoloration, thickening, or deformities. The sooner you seek treatment, the easier it will be to clear up the fungal infection, so dont ignore the signs of trouble even if they arent causing you significant distress.
Its especially important to make an appointment with a podiatrist if:
A podiatrist can treat a fungal infection with a few different methods, depending upon the severity of the infection. First, an oral medication might be prescribed. Unfortunately many have side effects, including permanent damage to the liver.
Laser treatment is another option and is sometimes very effective. Before scheduling a laser treatment, ensure it is covered by your insurance, as anything involving lasers can quickly get very expensive.
If the toenail is very infected or the infections are occurring regularly, a podiatrist might opt to remove the toenail. While this is never an ideal option, it will permanently resolve the issue.
Don’t Miss: How Do You Get Your Nail Tech License
Why Is The Foot And Ankle Center The Best Seattle Clinic For Laser Treatment
- We will confirm that you have a fungal infection before treating you. There are many causes of thick nails and the laser only works if a majority of the nail problem is caused by a fungal
LEFT: Before – RIGHT: 3 months post treatment
infection. About 30% of the patients that come in requesting laser treatment of fungal nails would not benefit from the procedure. If we dont think the laser will work for your condition we will let you know so that you dont waste money on ineffective treatment.
- Lowest cost per session in the Seattle area. Most patients have the best chance at clearing of nails with three laser sessions, each separated by three months. Our price of $590 includes all three sessions.
- There is also a charge for an evaluation office visit for the first visit only. This visit is usually billed to your insurance. If you dont have insurance or we are not contracted with your insurance you can find prices for office visits here.
- We are often able to do the first laser session on this first visit, but that depends on time. The first visit is 30 minutes long. If we spend more than 15 minutes discussing discussing treatment options or other foot problems we probably will not have time to do the first laser on that visit.
- Better outcomes and better looking toenails. There is evidence that patients see better results when they have three treatments rather than one. We include the all three laser sessions in our treatment protocol.
What Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi. When the tiny organisms take hold, the nail often becomes darker in color and smells foul. Debris may collect beneath the nail plate, white marks frequently appear on the nail plate, and the infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails. If ignored, the infection can spread and possibly impair your ability to work or even walk. The resulting thicker nails are difficult to trim and make walking painful when wearing shoes. Onychomycosis can also be accompanied by a secondary bacterial or yeast infection in or about the nail plate.
Don’t Miss: How To Stop Biting Your Nails
How Much Does Laser Treatment Cost
Our philosophy is to keep the cost as low as possible and include all treatment in your initial fees so there are no surprises. The most effective outcomes are achieved with a total of three treatments and all three treatments are included in the total cost of $590. You may see treatment advertised for less, but these prices are for only one treatment, which has not been shown be to as effective as the three treatment protocol. If you do not have insurance coverage the evaluation visit cost is $109.
Key Takeaways About A Toenail Fungus
Your toenails can become infected by multiple types of fungus, the most common being dermatophytes. While toenail fungus can affect people of any age, older people and people with poor circulation to the lower extremities are more prone to infections. Proper foot hygiene is crucial to preventing toenail fungus, as is being aware of which public spaces are most likely to breed fungus and bacteria. Toenail fungus is not usually dangerous but can be difficult to treat.
The expert podiatrists at Weil Foot & Ankle Institute can help treat this issue using acombination of oral medication, medicated topical solutions, and Lunula Laser treatments.
if you have toenail fungus which has not responded to over the counter treatment, Weil Foot & Ankle Institute is here to help. Contact our office to schedule your next appointment today. We look forward to working with you to get you back to feeling your best.
Read Also: How Many Hours Is Nail Tech School
What Is The Outcome For Someone Who Has Nail Fungus
With treatment, many people can get rid of nail fungus. Even when the fungus clears, your nail may look unhealthy until the infected nail grows out. A fingernail grows out in 4 to 6 months and a toenail in 12 to 18 months.
To clear the fungus, its important to:
Use the treatment exactly as prescribed
Apply the medicine for as long as prescribed
Keep all follow-up appointments with your dermatologist
Nail fungus can be stubborn. If you had a severe infection, its possible to clear the infection. A healthy looking nail, however, may be unrealistic, but you can expect the nail to look better and feel more comfortable.
Even with clearing, nail fungus can return. Youll find steps to reduce your risk in Tips: 12 ways to prevent another nail infection.
Read Also: How To Make Nails Harder
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.
Also Check: How To Do Your Own Gel Nails
Laser Treatment Compared To Other Options
Laser treatments are typically more effective than other ways of treating onychomycosis. This infection can be treated with topical antifungal medications or oral antifungals, and there are over-the-counter, as well as prescription options. Oral antifungals cause systemic side effects and are not totally effective for curing onychomycosis. Topical treatments tend to be safe, but are not very effective.
Research shows there’s an approximately 45% improvement of onychomycosis with topical medicine and approximately 40% to 66% improvement with oral medication.
However, there does seem to be a range in the efficacy with all of these treatments. Using them consistently while avoiding side effects can be tedious. And combining treatments may be more effective than using a single treatment approach.
Podiatrist Located In West Islip Ny & Hicksville Ny
A toenail fungus infection can become so severe that your toenails start crumbling away, which can be incredibly painful. If you have toenail fungus, the doctors at the offices of Robert J. Landy, D.P.M. in West Islip and Hicksville, New York, can get your toes healthy again. Book an appointment online or over the phone today.
You May Like: How To Take Out Contact Lenses With Long Nails
If You Arent Sure Of The Diagnosis
If a podiatrist has never diagnosed you with nail fungus before, you may be incorrectly self-diagnosing your condition. There are many foot and nail conditions that can mimic the abnormalities associated with nail fungus, such as onycholysis, a hematoma under the nail, psoriasis, and paronychia. By scheduling an appointment with a foot and ankle specialist, you can be sure that youre getting the right treatment for your specific condition.
What Is Nail Fungus
Also called onychomycosis, nail fungus is a common condition that causes your nails to become discolored, thickened, and crumble at the edge. Fungal infections can affect your fingernails, but this condition is more common in toenails.
Signs and symptoms of nail fungus include:
- White to yellowish-brown nails
- Debris buildup beneath the nail
- A foul smell
- Toe pain
Toenail fungus can spread from one toe to others and affect many toes at the same time. When a fungal infection affects the skin between your toes, its called athletes foot.
Read Also: How Much Are Dip Nails
Toenail Fungus Treatment Faqs
What is Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus, formally known as onychomycosis, isnt pretty. Its an infection of the toenail, fingernail or skin under the nail. Yeasts, molds or fungi can cause a fungal infection. In most cases, fungi comes in direct contact with the toenail through nail clippers, public showers or pools or nail injury, and fungi thrives in warm, moist places.
If a patient leaves toenail fungus untreated, it can spread, causing more noticeable symptoms: darkened, yellow or white toenail, thicker or brittle nail. In severe cases, the nail may split from the nail bed. Toenail fungus is hard to get rid ofit can reoccur over time. Before an infection gets worse, a patient should seek professional care.
What are Common Toenail Fungus Treatments?
To combat toenail fungus, there are common at-home and prescribed treatments. Depending on the severity of the toenail fungus, treatment options will vary. For mild to moderate toenail fungus, topical and oral antifungal treatments can suppress the fungus infection and symptoms. Unfortunately, these treatments cant always promise long-lasting results. In recent years, podiatrists have been looking at laser technology as the next best thing for pesky toenail fungus.
What happens with Laser Treatments and Toenail Fungus?
For patients, laser treatment produces little or no discomfort, which means the procedure doesnt call for a local anesthetic.
The main reason for laser treatment is to stimulate healthy nail growth.
The Podiatrist’s Take On Home Remedies
While home remedies are unlikely to cause any harm in themselves, Dr. Hinkes urges caution when relying on them when looking for how to get rid of toenail fungus. “Resorting to folk remedies can be dangerous because it could keep the patient from getting a legitimate diagnosis and treatment,” he says. “Now in some people, this could be a critical thing, because it can be contagiousyou can pass it to other people and you can pass it to other parts of your body. So it’s really not something you want to fool with.” Dr. Hinkes’ advice is clear: Visit a foot care specialist. This could be a podiatrist, but foot care nurses also offer an excellent and affordable service as an alternative. And if neither of those is available, try a dermatologist. Left untreated, this condition won’t go away on its own and can cause serious pain, deformity, and even lead to further complications. Podiatrists recommend seeking expert helpyou’re better safe than sorry. If you’re desperate, though, try these DIY foot and toenail fungus treatments.
Recommended Reading: How To Strengthen Nails Naturally
How To Treat Severe Nail Fungal Infection
Some people opt not to do anything about their nail fungal infection because they are not bothered by it at all, or at least they have adapted to live with the condition. However, it is recommended that the infection is treated immediately because it might get worse.
For severe nail fungal infection cases, treatment is necessary. In such cases, the infection may even spread to other parts of the body and will compromise the overall health of the patient.
Doctors are likely to prescribe oral fungicidal medicines to treat severe nail fungal infections depending on the patients condition, medical history, other ailments, and restrictions. While oral treatments are generally considered effective, but they are slow in delivering results and they come with side effects. Therefore, doctors take into consideration their patients individual health records in prescribing oral fungicidal medications.
Its not the most common solution, but surgery is also sometimes recommended for extreme cases of onychomycosis. A part of the nail or the entire nail can be removed in the surgery, which can be done in a clinic or in the doctors office. By removing the nail, the fungi infection is also removed, allowing a new and healthy nail to grow back. It takes time for the new one to grow fully, though, and the fungi may even return during the recuperation period.