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What Type Of Doctor For Nail Fungus

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Verywell Health / Peter Ardito

Toenail fungus is a common fungal condition that often starts after a rash on the foot spreads to the nails. When mild, it looks like white and yellow spots growing under the nail beds. If left untreated, the fungus can grow severely by hardening the nails and spreading to other toes.

What Symptoms Develop Due To Toenail Fungus

The first sign of a toenail fungus is a white or yellow spot that appears under the tip of your toenail. This discoloration marks the area where the fungus invaded.

As the infection spreads deeper into the toenail, the nails become thick and take on a yellow, green, or black color. Your toenail may become misshapen. Its also common for the nail to become fragile, making the edges crumble or crack.

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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:

    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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    What Are The Symptoms Of Nail Fungus

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    Fungal infections target the tissues underneath your nail first, so it could take some time for signs and symptoms to fully emerge. Initially, you might notice some white spots on your nails. As the fungal infection worsens, you may experience:

    • Nail thickening
    • Distorted nail shape

    Plus, since debris can easily build up under your fragile nail, you might notice dark spots in your nail where you have weak spots.

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    When To See A Podiatrist About Nail Fungus

    When to See a Podiatrist About Nail Fungus

    Your local podiatrist can accurately diagnose and effectively treat an incredible array of problems that affect your feet, including nail fungus. While many people think of nail fungus as a minor inconvenience or merely a cosmetic issue, it can in fact lead to serious health problems. When left untreated by your Houston podiatrist , nail fungus can lead to permanent nail damage and infections that spread beyond your feet. While its best to visit your foot doctor sooner, rather than later, you should definitely take the time to schedule an appointment if the following factors apply to you.

    Common Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus

    Many cases of toenail fungus are mild and may not bother you, so you may not even realize you have a fungal infection. A toenail fungal infection can begin as a white or yellow spot under the toenail and present no other symptoms. As the condition worsens, it may become painful or uncomfortable when you walk in shoes, and you may notice a change in the appearance of the nail.

    The following symptoms are common if you have a fungal nail infection:

    • Nails that turn white or yellow or have yellow or white stripes
    • Thickened or oddly-shaped toenails
    • Nails that are brittle or crumbling
    • Nails that separate from the nail bed or fall off completely
    • Foul odor from the infected toenail

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    What Are Common Side Effects Of Toenail Fungus Medication

    Topical medications often prescribed to treat toenail fungus can potentially irritate the skin. Itchy, peeling, red flesh and blisters may also occur with many topicals. Consult your doctor if your medication is causing an unwanted skin reaction.

    Liver damage is one of the most concerning side effects of some toenail fungus medications. Due to the nature of onychomycosis, many of the medications need to be taken for long periods of time to completely resolve nail fungus. Gastrointestinal issues, dizziness, and trouble breathing are also listed as potential side effects. In addition, if the individual treating the toenail fungus suffers from heart conditions, the medication could interfere with heart health.

    What Causes Nail Fungus

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    A strain of fungi cause nail fungus infections, and these infections are known for leading to severe nail discoloration and brittleness. Common risk factors and issues that lead to nail fungus include:

    • History of athletes foot
    • Diabetes or poor circulation

    You can become infected with a nail fungus strain by walking barefoot in damp communal areas, like a gym locker room or pool deck.

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    Podiatrist Located In West Covina Ca & Alhambra Ca

    Fungal nail infections can become so severe that your nails gradually chip away and you start feeling pain. If youre noticing yellowing, brittleness, or thickening in your toenails, board-certified podiatrist Henry Tseng, DPM, provides the latest treatments at his private practice, Dr. Henry Tseng. Book your nail fungus evaluation at the West Covina or Alhambra, California, clinic locations by clicking the online booking feature or by calling either clinic.

    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 You Need The Help Of An Experienced And Caring Podiatrist Contact Our El Paso Foot Doctor Today

    If you’re experiencing any type of foot pain you should speak with an experienced podiatrist as soon as possible. Please contact us online to schedule your appoinment or call one of our convenient El Paso offices directly. To reach our Sierra Tower Building podiatrist office please call 915.533.5151. You can find driving directions here. To reach our George Dieter Drive podiatry office please call 915.856.3331. Driving directions are available here.

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    Ask The Doctor: What’s The Best Way To Treat Toenail Fungus

    What is Toenail Fungus?

    Q.My toenails are thick and discolored. They’re so unsightly that I’m too embarrassed to wear sandals when I go on vacation. What can I do about them?

    A. Toenails naturally change in consistency with age. But coupled with discoloration, the thickening, as well as other symptoms like brittleness and white or yellow streaks on the sides, could be a sign of nail fungus. Fungi like to live in the toenails, which provide a dark, moist environment for them to grow. As you get older, reduced blood circulation and the natural thickening of your toenails makes you more likely to develop an infection.

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    > > > Best Toe Fungus Treatment Available

    If you suspect your nails are infected with fungus, it is important to see a doctor. You should consult a doctor for treatment. A nail fungus can be treated with home remedies. Baking soda and vinegar can also help to eliminate the fungus. In some cases, you can even apply a diluted solution of one of these solutions. You should avoid touching the affected area as it may cause further complications.

    How Do You Treat Toenail Fungus

    The podiatrists at Foot Healers offer expert treatments to get rid of fungal toenail infections. Depending on your individual needs, they can prescribe anti-fungal medication and trim away the damaged and infected nail.

    They also offer state-of-the-art FDA-approved laser treatments for toenail fungus. Laser treatment is fast it takes only around 20 minutes. The pulses of light energy pass through your toenail and target the fungus beneath.

    The laser kills the fungal infection without damaging your nail or the surrounding skin. It does take several months for your healthy nail to grow out.

    Your foot doctor also talks to you about prevention. Make sure to trim your toenails straight across, and file them to keep the edges smooth. Keep your at-home nail care tools clean and disinfected. It also helps to avoid tight shoes and socks.

    You should always wear shower shoes in shared locker rooms or showers and when you use public pools. Keep your feet clean and dry. If youre an athlete, make sure to change your socks and shoes after training or competing.

    If you notice any signs of toenail fungus, make an appointment right away. The earlier you address the issue, the easier it is to treat.

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    Podiatrists Located In Brentwood Chesterfield Creve Coeur St Peters & Webster Mo

    If your toenails are thick, yellow, and crumbling, dont hide them in shoes. The team of podiatrists at Foot Healers offers effective treatments for toenail fungus that will leave you with healthy toenails. Get treatment for toenail fungus at any of the five Foot Healers offices in Brentwood, Chesterfield, Creve Coeur, St. Peters, and Shrewsbury, Missouri. Call or schedule a consultation online today.

    Know It May Have To Be Permanent

    In Dire Need of a Podiatrist: Trimming Thick Fungal Toenails

    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.

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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 doctors can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.


    • Warped or oddly shaped nails
    • Yellowish nails

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    Fungal Nail Infection Laser Treatment

    If you’ve noticed white or yellow spotting or streaking on your toenail and are worried you’ve picked up a fungal nail infection – you’re not alone!Fungal toenail infections, medically known as onychomycosis, affect approximately 10% of the population in Australia. Unfortunately, this rate only increases as we get older, with up to 50% of people over the age of 60 having one or more nails infected.

    Thankfully, My FootDr has taken advantage of the technological advancements in recent years, meaning that we can treat these fungal nail infections more effectively than ever before using anti-fungal laser treatment. This means no more daily creams, lacquers or tablets.

    When Do I Need To See A Podiatrist For Nail Fungus

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    Because nail fungus can be difficult to treat, its important to have an evaluation at the office of Dr. Henry Tseng as soon as you notice any symptoms. Common warning signs of nail fungus include:

    • Thickening or brittleness

    Fungal nail infections are a particularly serious concern for diabetics since poor circulation can cause the infection to progress rather quickly. In any case, before your nail fungus causes pain or makes you feel self-conscious about your nails, schedule an evaluation at the office of Dr. Henry Tseng.

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    Changes In Nail Structure

    Nail damage may also lead to changes in the nails structure. These changes may occur after an injury from a heavy object, chronic rubbing against the shoe, or in response to irritation from infections.

    Some of the most common changes in nail structure are:

    • Nail thickening: This is caused by damage to the nails growth center. It responds by producing a thicker nail.
    • Nail loosens or falls off: Sometimes the entire nail or a portion of it will loosen or fall off. This is called nail avulsion. Its often a temporary condition, and the nail will regrow over the course of a couple of months.
    • Permanent nail changes: You may see permanent splitting or a decrease in size. If there is severe damage to the area where the nail starts to grow, it may not regrow.

    How To Prevent Future Ingrown Toenails

    Along with this home remedy for ingrown toenails, you also need to prevent future issues. This starts with wearing proper-fitting shoes. To ensure your shoes fit right, the toe of the shoe, referred to as the toe box, should provide enough space so that your toes arent crowded, a frequent cause of ingrown toenails. When you stand up in the shoe, strive for a halfâinch of space between your longest toe and the tip of the shoe.

    We also advise all patients to cut their toenails straight across with clean, disinfected toenail clippers. Keep feet clean and dry, and protect them from injury by wearing shoes when necessary.

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    Are Oral Medications For Nail Fungus Toxic

    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.

    Know It Need Not Be Your Only Option

    Doctor explains toe nail fungus treatment

    As already mentioned, nail removal is usually a last resort, after other methods have failed to be effective. As such, your doctor is not likely to recommend or even mention nail removal before trying oral and topical medications, ointments, and various other treatments.

    Depending on the precise issue, many people have found great success and healing using all kinds of other treatments. Because nail fungus is a very common reason for toenail removal, look at thesedifferentoptions for how to safely and effectively treat toenail fungus.

    However, the more severe the case and the longer it has gone without treatment, the more likely your doctor will insist on nail removal as the only possible option.

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