Don’t live with the unsightly, sometimes painful, condition of toenail fungus. At Complete Foot and Ankle, Dr. Jacob Reinkraut, Dr. Michelle Suh; and Danny Gomez, DPM, FACFAS, diagnose and treat this infection that can spread and, over time, impair the health of your entire foot. If you live in Ridgewood or Newark, New Jersey, or the surrounding areas, contact the office by phone or use the online booking agent to make an appointment to treat your nail fungus.
Toenail Fungus Q & A
Is toenail fungus a severe condition?
A majority of people with toenail fungus don’t seek treatment. They may not recognize the problem or feel that it’s merely a matter of aesthetics.
Infections can even be present for years without ever causing pain. However, the changes in color and texture of the nail associated with toenail fungus are just the first signs of an aggravating disease that can take months to get under control.
Toenail fungus is an infection underneath the surface of the nail that can penetrate the nail. If left untreated, the infection could spread, thickening the nails and causing pain that impairs your ability to work or even walk. A secondary bacterial or yeast infection in or around the nail plate often accompanies the disease.
What causes toenail fungus?
Various types of fungi commonly found throughout the environment cause toenail fungus. The infection penetrates the bed, plate, and underlying surface of the nail. A group of fungi, called dermatophytes, attack the nail and thrive off of keratin, the main structural protein in your toenails.
Your feet often come into contact with microscopic organisms, especially in damp areas like public showers and pools. People with specific chronic diseases like diabetes or immunodeficiency conditions are prone to contracting toenail fungus.
If you’ve suffered an injury to the nail bed, you’re also more susceptible.
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
Changes in the appearance of the nail are a clue you have a fungus. Look out for:
- Thickening of the nail
- Yellow-brownish or darker discoloration
- Foul-smelling odor
- Debris collected under the nail
- White marks on the nail plate
The infection can spread to other toenails, the skin, or even your fingernails.
What is the treatment for toenail fungus?
Treatment for your toenail fungus depends on the nature of the infection and the severity of your case. Practicing zealous cleansing may suppress mild infections, as can over-the-counter liquid antifungals. In many cases, though, you need the care of a professional podiatrist, like the doctors at Complete Foot and Ankle.
They can identify infections early, culture the nail, determine the cause, and form a suitable treatment plan. They might prescribe oral or topical medication and recommend debridement, involving the removal of diseased nail matter.
If you see the early signs of toenail fungus, seek treatment before the condition becomes severe: Call Complete Foot and Ankle today or book an appointment online.