When To See A Doctor
In most cases, toenail fungus is considered a cosmetic problem. Still, it may cause serious complications for some people.
If you have diabetes, toenail fungus may lead to foot ulcers or other foot problems. According to a 2012 study, chronic toenail fungus is a significant risk factor for bacterial cellulitis of the leg.
If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you shouldnt use home remedies for toenail fungus. Contact your doctor for the appropriate course of action.
Should I See A Dermatologist Or Podiatrist For Toenail Fungus
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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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Types Of Common Fungal Nail Infections
In general, there are four types of fungal infections that affect the toes. These include:Distal subungual onychomycosis : This is the most commonly diagnosed and treated fungal infection. Also known as Athletes Foot, this infection spreads across the nail bed, which causes the nail to become discolored and weak.White superficial onychomycosis : Far less common than Athletes Foot, WSO causes white patches to appear across the entire nail.Candida onychomycosis: This chronic fungus is usually caused by trauma, and it causes the toenails to become bulbous or enlarged.Proximal subungual onychomycosis : This fungal infection causes yellow or white spots to appear near the base of the toenail.
Other Options For Foot And Nail Fungus
Oral antifungal medications offer a different approach to treating nail fungus. Studies have shown the most effective treatments to beterbinafine and itraconazole. They help a new nail grow free of infection, slowly replacing the infected portion of your nail.
Oral medications are generally prescribed for foot fungus and nail fungus related to
- A history of cellulitis.
- Pain or discomfort resulting from the nail infection.
The course of treatment generally lasts from 6 to12 weeks, but full results are not realised until the nail grows back completely, which can take up to four months. Recurrent infections are common, particularly if your feet become warm and moist inside your shoes.
Antifungal drugs for foot fungus may cause side effects from mild to extreme . This course of therapy is not recommended for people suffering from congestive heart failure, who have liver disease or take certain types of medications.
Other treatment options for nail fungus
Your doctor may also suggest these nail fungus treatment options:
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Treatment From Your Gp
Your GP can prescribe antifungal tablets. You’ll need to take these every day for up to 6 months.
Tablets can have side effects including:
- loss of taste
You cannot take antifungal tablets if you’re pregnant or have certain conditions. They can damage your liver.
If your nail has a very bad infection, you may need to have it removed. This is a small procedure done under local anaesthetic.
Check Your Nails To Find Early Signs Of Infection
Following these precautions will reduce your risk of getting another infection. Fungal infection, however, are very common. You can get another one. Early treatment delivers the best outcome. You can find signs of an early fungal infection by checking your nails and the skin around them at least once a month. You want to look for:
- Changes in nail color, such as a white spot or brown or yellow streak
- Changes to the texture of your nails
- Soreness or swelling around a nail
- Dry, itchy skin
If you notice any signs of infection, make an appointment to see your dermatologist.
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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.
Why Does It Develop
A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail. Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athletes foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections.
Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. If you have come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may have contracted it as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails, likely because your toes are usually confined to shoes, where theyre in a warm, moist environment.
If you get a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon, be sure to ask how the staff disinfects their tools and how often they do it. Tools, such as emery boards and nail clippers, can spread fungal infections from person to person if theyre not sanitized.
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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.
Preparing For An Appointment
You’re likely to start by seeing your primary care provider. In some cases when you call to set up an appointment, you may be referred immediately to either a doctor who specializes in skin conditions or one who specializes in foot conditions .
Here are some steps you can take to prepare for your appointment:
- List your symptoms, including any that may seem unrelated to nail fungus.
- List key personal information, including any major stresses or recent life changes.
- List all the medications, vitamins and supplements you’re taking.
- List questions to ask your health care provider.
For nail fungus, your questions might include:
- What is likely causing my symptoms or condition?
- What are other possible causes for my symptoms or condition?
- What tests do I need?
- What is the best course of action?
- What are the alternatives to the primary approach you’re suggesting?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Is a generic alternative available for the medicine you’re prescribing?
- Do you have any brochures or other printed material that I can take home? Do you recommend any websites on nail fungus?
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The Initial Causes What Type Of Doctor Do I See For Nail Fungus
If you suspect that your nails are infected with fungus, it is best to consult your doctor and get a diagnosis. Your doctor will ask you about the symptoms and conduct a thorough examination of your nails. A biopsy is required to determine the cause of the infection. Various types of fungus are found in the skin, including the toenails. Among the most common forms of nail fungus are yellow and black, with white patches surrounded by dark brown or white spots.
The infection is caused by fungus. It can spread to the skin and other parts of the body. It is very common to find a nail fungus on the foot in elderly people, and it is often not treated until the condition gets worse. The disease can even be spread to the skin. The afflicted person should see a doctor immediately if they notice any changes in the color of his or her nails.
Nail fungus can occur in the toenails. The infection occurs due to a variety of factors, including excessive moisture, soaking your hands in water, and a lack of hygiene. If the afflicted person is prone to infection, the fungus will grow in the toenails and may spread to other parts of the body. Consequently, it is essential to prevent the nail fungus from spreading to the skin
Treating Fungal Nail Infection
Treatment may not be necessary in mild cases of fungal nail infection. For more severe or troublesome cases, antifungal medication may be recommended.
A fungal nail infection is unlikely to get better without treatment, but if you’re not bothered by it you might decide it’s not worth treating because treatment can take a long time, may cause side effects, and isn’t always effective.
Whether or not you decide to have treatment, you should still follow the self-help advice below to help stop the condition getting worse or spreading to others.
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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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When Should I Call The Doctor
In rare cases, toenail fungus can cause an infection called cellulitis. Without prompt treatment, cellulitis may pose a serious danger to your health.
You should seek treatment guidance from a trusted healthcare provider if you have:
- Circulation problems.
- Redness, pain or pus near the toenail.
- Weakened immune system.
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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.
Does Tea Tree Oil Work
Results from scientific studies supporting the use of tea tree oil to treat nail fungus are mixed. Some of the research points to tea tree oils potential as an antifungal, but more studies are needed.
According to a 2013 study, tea tree oil was effective in reducing growth of the fungus Trichophyton rubrum in nail infections. T. rubrum is a fungus that can cause infections such as athletes foot and nail fungus. Improvements were seen after 14 days.
This study used an in vitro model, which is sometimes called a test-tube experiment. In in vitro studies, the experiment is done in a test tube instead of on an animal or human. Larger human studies are needed to expand on these findings.
Combining tea tree oil with standard medicated creams is also an option. A small 1999 study found that participants were able to successfully manage toenail fungus by using a cream that contained butenafine hydrochloride and tea tree oil.
After 16 weeks of treatment, 80 percent of participants who used this cream cured their toenail fungus with no relapses. No one in the placebo group cured their nail fungus. Further studies are needed to determine which of these ingredients is most useful in treating nail fungus.
Results of a 1994 study found pure tea tree oil was equally as effective as the antifungal clotrimazole in treating fungal toenail infections. Clotrimazole is available both over the counter and by prescription.
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How Much Is Laser Toenail Fungus Removal
While laser toenail fungus treatment is FDA approved, very effective, and very successful, most insurance companies, unfortunately, do not cover it.
- See us for a no-obligation consultation to see if it is the right choice for you, as there are numerous options for toenail fungus treatment.
- See a toenail specialist like a podiatrist to see if this is the best option for you!
How Many Laser Treatments To Remove Toenail Fungus
- The number of laser sessions depends upon:
- The number of infected nails
- The severity of the fungal nail infection
- General health.
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Is There A Toenail Fungus Doctor
There isnt any one doctor that specializes in foot fungus. There are, however, doctors that specialize in feet! They are called podiatrists, who have trained to specifically deal with any and all issues regarding your feet.
It is also possible to be sent to a dermatologist, who specializes in skin issues.
You can also go to your general practitioner, but there is a possibility theyll refer you to a specialist anyway. Its also possible you may be referred to an internal medicine specialist, as these are doctors who specialize in adult diseases.
Toenail Fungus Or Fungal Nails
Toenail Fungus can be the cause of your funny looking nail. Do you have a discoloured or thickened toenail? Does your nail crumble or appear lifted from the nail bed? Then you may have onychomycosis a fungal nail infection. These infections occur in the nail bed and sometimes the surrounding tissue. This condition commonly presents alongside tinea pedis .
Our podiatrists are experts at the diagnosis and treatment of fungal toenail infections.
- Entry of fungal organisms into the nail bed
- Fungal organisms establish a site of infection here
- Fungal organisms release substances and proteins that break down keratin in the skin and nail
- Over time the infection can then spread through the nail altering the thickness, colour and shape of the nail
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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.
Foot Fungus: Causes And Risk Factors
A foot fungus is a fungal infection of the skin, better known as athletes foot, says Sundling. The fungus enters through cracks in the skin. Its known as athletes foot because athletes or anyone who is more active and sweats a lot is more at risk. Kids are also more at risk, because they dont tend to wear different shoes, and changing your shoes is one way to avoid foot fungus.
Foot fungus is very common. It does not mean that someone is dirty or didnt bathe, and if you have a compromised immune system, you may be more susceptible, says Sundling.
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If You Observe Certain Nail Changes
For prompt, effective treatment of your toe nail condition , you should see a podiatrist as soon as possible, especially if you notice certain changes to your nails. These abnormalities may include toenail deformities, discoloration, or thickening. By seeing a podiatrist as soon as possible, you can reduce the risk that youll suffer permanent damage to your toenails.
If you are in need of a foot doctor in Sugar Land, TX , visit Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists or call 281-242-3338.