Wake Foot and Ankle Center
Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Wake Forest, NC
If you notice nail discoloration, you may be suffering from toenail fungus, a common condition that can cause permanent nail damage. Leading podiatrists James Judge, DPM, and Michael Hodos, DPM, at Wake Foot and Ankle Center in Wake Forest, North Carolina, offer a number of safe and effective treatments for nail fungus. The practice specializes in comprehensive, individualized foot and ankle care for individuals of all ages. To speak with a doctor about your toenail fungus, call the office or book an appointment online today.
Toenail Fungus Q & A
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection that affects the health and appearance of your toenails. Toenail fungus can be caused by several different types of fungi that enter through cracks in your nail. Toenail fungus is often caused by athlete’s foot. It’s easily spread through contact with contaminated areas like public swimming pools, gyms, and locker rooms. Although most cases of toenail fungus aren’t serious, severe cases can cause pain and permanent damage to your nails.
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
If you suffer from toenail fungus, you may notice a number of common symptoms, including:
- Thickening of your nails
- Brittle or crumbly nails
- Foul odor
- Abnormally shaped nails
Yellowing or discoloration to your toenail is another telltale sign of toenail fungus. Although fungus typically affects your toenails, it can also spread to your hands.
What treatments are available for toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is often difficult to treat and frequently results in repeat infections. If your condition is mild, your podiatrist may recommend an over-the-counter antifungal nail product like a cream, spray, or powder. During your appointment, your doctor takes a sample of your toenail to determine the type of fungus causing your infection. Knowing the exact type of fungus helps your doctor determine the most effective treatment for your condition.
If your condition doesn’t improve with at-home care, your podiatrist may recommend a prescription-strength antifungal medication. It’s not uncommon for it to take four or more months to effectively eliminate toenail fungus.
What if I need surgery?
If your condition is severe or doesn’t respond to conservative care, your podiatrist may recommend surgery. Surgical treatment for nail fungus involves the partial or complete removal of the affected nail. Your doctor also applies antifungal medication directly to the infected area.
Complete removal of the affected nail is typically reserved for conditions that don’t respond to antifungal medication. Nail removal is a simple, in-office procedure that effectively addresses severe or recurrent toenail fungus. To find out which treatment is right for your toenail fungus, book an appointment at Wake Forest Foot and Ankle by phone or online today.
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