What Kind Of Doctor To See For Toenail Fungus
If you notice unusual changes in your nails you need to see a foot nail doctor, who is a podiatrist. A podiatrist deals with all your foot, ankle, heels, and nail issues. They effectively offer toenail fungus treatment Houston and recommend surgical treatment where necessary. Some people prefer visiting a dermatologist, but then the specialist must be able to diagnose and treat skin, hair, and nail conditions.
Toenail fungus is caused by dermophytes fungithat thrive on the keratin andthe skin keratin is a component of the nails and the hair. The fungus gets under the nail bed in addition to causing discoloration, which is one of the visible symptoms, it grows and it destroys the nail growth. The nail may fall off, become brittle, thicken, and harden. The condition can be very challenging to get rid ofsometimes.
Home remedies do not cause any harm, however, relying on them when looking to get rid of the fungus can be risky. This is because most of the time you do not have the correct diagnosis and it could be dangerous for your health. If left untreated toenail fungus causes deformity and severe pain.
If home remedies are not improving your fungal toenail, you may want to consult a nail fungus doctor at DeNiel Foot and Ankle Center. Dr. Ejodamen Shobowale, a foot and ankle specialist will provide you with the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet. She has many options for toenail fungus treatment in her Houston office
Wash Your Feet Every Day
When you shower or bathe, be sure to use mild soap and warm water to wash away potential contaminants. After you are done washing, make sure you dry your feet thoroughly before putting on socks and shoes. Pay special attention to the areas between your toes, since fungus and other microorganisms find these places to be particularly appealing.
What Is The Outlook For Someone With Toenail Fungus
While toenail fungus is common, its usually not harmful. Symptoms mostly affect the look of your toenail.
Toenail fungus may spread to the skin between your toes or other areas of your body. When getting dressed, put your socks on first to reduce the chance of spread.
Treating toenail fungus takes a long time, and it doesnt always work. Even then, toenail fungus often returns. Discuss the pros and cons of treating toenail fungus with your provider to determine whats best for you.
Practicing good hygiene and foot care reduces the chance toenail fungus will come back. If you have diabetes, getting regular foot exams may help you address foot problems before they get serious.
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Podiatrist Toenail Fungus Specialist
Toenail fungus 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, debris may collect beneath the nail plate, and white marks may appear on the nail plate. The infection is capable of spreading to other toenails, the skin, or even the fingernails. The resulting fungal nails are thicker and difficult to trim making walking painful when wearing shoes. Toe fungus removal can be performed by a podiatrist.
If your condition is mild and not disturbing you, you may not require treatment. If your nail fungus is painful and has caused thickened nails, self-care steps and meds may help. Yet, regardless of whether treatment is effective, nail fungus regularly returns.
Nail fungus is called onychomycosis .
When fungus infects the zones of the skin of your feet, its called athletes foot .
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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.
Causes Of Toenail Fungus
Our feet come into contact with so many microorganisms, including fungi. Your toenails are especially susceptible around damp areas where youre likely to be barefoot, including pools, showers, lakes, rivers, and locker rooms. Fungus working its way under the nailbed in these conditions is a common cause of toenail fungus issues.
Injured toenails are another cause of toenail fungus. If your nail bed is injured, whether you stub your toe or have too much pressure against the nails from shoes, it can lead to an infection.
Finally, those who suffer from chronic diseases are more susceptible to toenail fungus. This includes diabetics, immunocompromised individuals, and those with poor circulation. All of these illnesses make the feet more prone to fungal infections.
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Should I See A Doctor For Toenail Fungus
A fungal infection of the toenails can be unpleasant, unsightly, and sometimes even painful. It can also lead to more severe complications in people who have diabetes or poor circulation. If you have toenail fungus, you may find that you have thickened, discolored, brittle, or crumbly toenails. Additionally, the shape of your nail bed may change, and the feet may have an odor, ranging from mild to foul. These symptoms could worsen over time if left untreated. Treatments for toenail fungus can include oral medications, medicated nail polishes or creams, and in more severe cases, nail removal. If you notice that the condition of your nails is worsening, or if you have diabetes or poor circulation, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.
Toenail Fungus Treatment
Toenail fungus is a condition that affects many people and can be especially hard to get rid of. Fortunately, there are several methods to go about treating and avoiding it.
Antifungals & Deterrence
Oral antifungal medicine has been shown to be effective in many cases. It is important to consult with a podiatrist to determine the proper regiment for you, or potentially explore other options.
Applying foot powder on the feet and shoes helps keep the feet free of moisture and sweat.
Causes Of Fungal Nails:
Toenails are especially vulnerable to come in contact with fungi around damp areas where you are likely to be walking barefoot, such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers. Injury to the nail bed may also make it more susceptible to all types of infection, including fungal infection. Those who suffer from chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions, are especially prone to fungal nails.
Fungal nail infections are brought about by different fungi. The most well-known reason is a growth called a dermatophyte. Yeast can additionally can cause nail infections as well.
Fungal nail infection can develop in individuals at any age, yet its more common in adults. As the nail ages, it can get fragile and dry. The subsequent breaks in the nails allows fungus to enter. Different variables, for example, decreased blood supply to the feet and a weakened immune system, may make the nail more susceptible to being infected.
Toenail fungal infection can begin from athletes , and it can spread starting with one nail then onto the next.
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Possible Risks And Complications
A podiatry laser has no effect on healthy tissue. It targets only the infected areas. Happily, patients who undergo laser nail treatment for fungus removal should experience no discomfort during or after the treatment.
In some cases, patients have reported feeling a warming sensation or a slight pinprick.
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What You Need To Know About Onychomycosis
Onychomycosis is the scientific name for nail fungus. The condition can be caused by a number of things, such as an injury to the nail. A weakened immune system makes it difficult to fight off the fungi. Diabetes also increases the risk of fungal nail infections. These treatments are often painful and require several months of treatment. Usually, the best option for treating nail fungus is to consult a doctor and seek treatment.
One of the first things to do is visit your primary care physician, who can prescribe a prescription for an anti-fungal medication. The medication can be applied to the affected area and is designed to work on the infected area. However, it is recommended that people with a serious infection consult a medical practitioner before starting the treatment. Topical medications require daily application and can affect other medical conditions. The best treatment is a combination of oral and topical medications.
If you have a fungal infection, you must avoid wearing shoes or socks. While you should not walk while wearing shoes, you should avoid using artificial nails. If your toe is impacted, it is important to have your nail trimmed straight across. If possible, wear comfortable socks and change your shoes in public places. A doctor will often send the clippings to a lab for identification. Changing your socks and wearing sneakers is also recommended.
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Best Ways To Treat A Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can cause thick, discolored nails, and, for some patients, it can even be painful. An Internet search will bring up plenty of ways to treat the condition, but which ones are best? Dermatologist Dr. Christopher Hull discusses what nail fungus actually is, why its so hard to get rid of, and which treatments work best.
How Long Does It Take For Vinegar To Kill Toenail Fungus
The antifungal properties also make vinegar soaks a good idea for people who have toenail fungus. Soak your feet for 10 to 15 minutes daily in a vinegar bath until the infection subsides. You can increase the length of time in the soak gradually. It may take two to three weeks or longer to see improvement in symptoms.
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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.
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.
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Know It May Have To Be Permanent
At this point, if he or she has not discussed this with you earlier, the doctor may recommend that you have the nail permanently prevented from growing back. This is only done in severe cases of fungus or other disorders where the problem would simply keep occurring if the nail grew back.
To do this, the doctor must destroy the nail matrix, which is the part of the toe that produces keratin, the element that toenails are made of.
The matrix can be dissolved chemically, which is the most common. This is called chemical cauterization, and involves the application of a chemical called phenol. Occasionally, some patients report their nails growing back, but generally this method is effective.
If this does not work, your doctor will perform a surgical matrixectomy. A flap of skin is surgically created at the base of the nail, where the matrix is located. After retracting the flap, the matrix is surgically removed.
Fungal Nail Infection Symptoms
Because the toes and feet are often exposed to damp, warm areas, where the infection is spread, fungal nail infections affect the toes more than the fingers. Your feet are also more likely to be exposed to fungal infections if you:
- Spend time at swimming pools
- Walk around a lot in locker rooms
- Wear the same pair of damp, sweaty sneakers all the time
- Injure your toenail
At first, you may have no outward symptoms. But over time, your nails may:
- Have white spots appear on the surface
- Turn white, yellow, green or brown
- Grow thicker than normal or, in some cases, thinner than normal
- Become brittle, with broken or jagged edges
- Change shape, curling up or down
- Lift off of the nail bed
- Smell bad
- Cause you pain
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Who Should I See To Treat Toenail Fungus
Your podiatrist can help you take care of not only your feet and ankles, but also your toenails. One very common condition that podiatrists treat are fungal toenail infections. These infections often start as athletes foot, a skin infection, before spreading to the toenails, although they can also occur on just the nails. Symptoms of toenail fungus include changes in the texture, color, and shape of the nail. The nail may become crumbly, brittle, or thickened and develop yellow, white, or brown spots. In more severe cases, the nail can change shape, separate from the nail bed, emit a foul odor, and make wearing shoes uncomfortable. If you have toenail fungus, and particularly if you have toenail fungus and diabetes, it is suggested that you see a podiatrist for treatment.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact the foot specialists of Certified Foot Care. Our doctorscan provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
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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Can A Doctor Fix Toenail Fungus
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.
What kind of doctor takes off toenails?
Although many types of doctors, including family physicians, pediatricians, urgent-care walk-in physicians, and dermatologists, can treat ingrown toenails, podiatrists are uniquely qualified among the medical professionals to treat this condition.
What doctor treats white superficial onychomycosis?
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.