This very common condition can affect people of all ages and ethnic backgrounds. Usually, fungus toenails is more of a cosmetic concern. If the case is severe it can lead to pain and infection. In these cases seeking treatment is imperative. At East Ocean Podiatry, we offer a wide variety of treatment options consisting of topical and oral medications.
Yellowed, thick, and/or deformed toenails have a common cause: a fungal infection of the toenail. The fungus that infects the toenail is normally the identical fungus that causes athlete’s foot. The condition tends to be slowly progressive, causing damage to the nail that accelerates over time. The infection typically begins at the apex of the nail and works its way down the surface of the nail. Since the condition is not usually painful, it is rarely noticed until it has progressed to a highly visible degree. Also, a single toenail or any number of nails can be affected. Left untreated the nail becomes thicker, distorted and can begin to crumble. Moist and sweaty feet can contribute to the initial infection and contribute to it spreading. The fungus thrives in an environment that is moist, dark, and warm. This is why the condition affects the toenails and not usually the fingernails. When not taken care of, the foot can be a perfect breeding ground for fungal infections. Fortunately, the infection only affects the nails and skin. Oftentimes dry scaly skin is found on the bottom of the foot or between the toes. The dry scaling skin is frequently diagnosed as chronic athlete’s foot. Fungus toenails are not highly contagious and family members are just as likely to contract it from some other source as they are from infected family members. Sharing shoes should be avoided and keeping common showering areas clean is strongly recommended.
If you are experiencing fungal infection or other type of foot malady, please do not hesitate to call and make an appointment. Not all thickened or yellowed toenails are caused by a fungal infection. Injury to a toenail can cause the toenail to grow in a thickened or malformed fashion. It is important to find out the "what" and the "why" before a treatment strategy can be implemented.
It is best to treat fungus toenails as soon as they are noticed. In early cases, over-the-counter medications may be effective. It is also important to treat any comorbid athletes foot that may be indicated. In advanced cases prescription medications may be required. There are topical and oral medications available that are highly effective.
At East Ocean Podiatry, we offer a revolutionary laser treatment which can treat the condition painlessly and get you back on your feet as soon as possible.