Understanding the Different Treatments for Toenail Fungus

Understanding the Different Treatments for Toenail Fungus

Take a look at your toenails. Are they smooth and evenly colored? Or are they discolored, thick, and fragile-looking?

If your nails look irregular and unsightly, you could have a toenail fungus. Toenail funguses are a type of infection that enters your body through small cracks or breaks in your nail. The fungus damages your nail — and though it isn’t painful, it isn’t something that should be ignored.

Up to 12% of Americans have nail fungus. Getting rid of toenail fungus and growing healthier nails can be difficult, but Lisa Burson, DPM, Joe Aoun, DPM, and our team at The Foot & Ankle Specialists can help.

The signs and symptoms of toenail fungus

Fungal nail infections are common. They can affect your fingernails, but they’re most common on toenails. If you have toenail fungus, your nails may appear:

Your nails may be fragile and unsightly

Anyone can get toenail fungus, but some people are more likely to get it than others. Factors that may increase your risk of toenail fungus include:

Certain conditions may also encourage fungal growth on your nails. Warm, moist environments like tight shoes and socks, may increase your risk of nail fungus. Being barefoot in public areas such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and nail salons can also spread fungal infections.

Your toenail fungus treatment options

If you think you might have a fungal infection, make a podiatrist appointment. Symptoms of toenail fungus can be mistaken for other conditions, and a proper diagnosis is essential for your treatment to be effective.

Dr. Burson and Dr. Aoun specialize in identifying toenail fungus. We examine your feet, review your symptoms, and take a sample of your nail for testing. Once we diagnose your toenail fungus, we can recommend a range of treatment options.

Topical antifungal medication

Topical antifungal medications are liquids or gels applied to the surface of your nail. You may need to apply the medication several times a day, for a specified period of time, until the nail has grown out and the infection is remedied.

Many different topical antifungals are available, and our team helps you select the best option for your condition. Bako Kera Nail Gel™ is one of our preferred over the counter options, or we can prescribe Formula-3® antifungal nail gel.

Oral antifungal medication

Another effective treatment for toenail fungus is oral antifungal medication. Oral pills are available by prescription only, and they can clear infections faster than topical medication in some cases.

You may take the medication for 6-12 weeks. Because the fungal infection grows out with your nails, it typically takes four months or longer to completely eliminate the infection.

If your toenails are discolored, fragile, or unsightly, schedule a consultation at The Foot & Ankle Specialists to find out if it could be a nail fungus. Call the office nearest you, or request an appointment online today.

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