About 20% of the general population has toenail fungus at any given time. Though common, without prompt treatment, toenail fungus can cause you pain or result in an infection. At Colorado Foot + Ankle Sports Medicine in Parker, Colorado, podiatrists Kevin Blue, DPM, FACFAS, Derek Ley, DPM, AACFAS, and the team provide safe, effective treatment for toenail fungus. To schedule an appointment, call the office or book a consultation online today.
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a fungal infection of your toenails and surrounding tissues. The condition affects people of all ages, but it’s especially common in adults over the age of 60.
For most people, toenail fungus is only a cosmetic concern. However, if you have diabetes or another chronic condition that affects your circulation, you’re more likely to experience serious complications.
The symptoms of toenail fungus vary from person to person. Telltale signs include:
As the condition progresses, you might also notice a foul odor coming from your toenails.
There’s no way to prevent toenail fungus entirely, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk significantly. Dr. Blue recommends:
You should also take the time to dry your feet and the areas between your toes thoroughly after taking a shower or going swimming.
To diagnose toenail fungus, Dr. Blue carefully examines your nails. Afterward, he takes clippings of your nails and scrapes debris from underneath them. He sends these samples to a laboratory that determines the type of fungus causing your infection.
Other conditions like psoriasis can mimic the symptoms of toenail fungus. Bacteria and yeast can also infect your nails. Pinpointing the source of your symptoms plays an important role in developing a custom treatment plan.
Treatment of toenail fungus depends on the severity of your symptoms and the type of fungus causing it. Usually, Dr. Blue recommends conservative, noninvasive treatments like taking prescription medications. There are several types of medication used to treat toenail fungus, including oral antifungals, medicated nail polish, and prescription nail creams.
If your nails don’t respond to these types of treatment, surgical intervention may be necessary. Dr. Blue might recommend removing the affected nail or nails and applying an antifungal drug directly to your skin beneath the nail. He might also recommend the permanent removal of the nail.
Don’t let toenail fungus negatively affect your quality of life. Schedule an appointment at Colorado Foot and Ankle Sports Medicine today. Call the office to speak with a friendly team member or book a consultation online.