Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is an infection underneath the nail caused by fungi. The nail may become brittle and appear gray, yellow, brown or black. Typically, there are no painful symptoms, however, the toenail might change in appearance or shape. If someone ignores toenail fungus, the infection can spread and possibly impair your ability to work and walk. The infection can spread to the skin of your feet.
Fungi live in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools, locker rooms and showers. When a person has a cut or separated areas of the toenail, fungi can enter the skin and cause toenail infections.
It is important to call Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists if you notice any discoloration, thickening, deformity or pain of the toenails. Various treatment options are available but first, it must be determined that you have a fungal infection. This is simply done by looking at a small piece of nail under a microscope. Not all nails that are thick or deformed are infected with fungus.
Our practice offers several treatment options:
1. Topical medication
2. Oral antifungal medication
At Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists we use an FDA approved laser that is applied to the infected nail and surrounding nails. The treatment lasts about 10 minutes and there is no recovery time. For more information on Laser Toenail Fungus Treatment please click here.
The podiatrists at Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists will provide an after treatment plan, as well as prescribing different products to in order to reduce the likelihood of reinfection.
Sole Foot and Ankle Specialists also recommend the purchase of SteriShoe, an ultraviolet shoe sanitizer that sanitizes the inside of shoes by using germicidal ultraviolet (UVC) light. For more information on SteriShoe, please click here. We also recommend the use periodic use of Fungi Foam and Fungi Nail post treatment with either the laser or oral medication
Some helpful tips in order to prevent reinfection:
- Practice good foot hygiene – keep your nails short and keep your feet dry. Wear synthetic socks – synthetic socks wick away moisture and keep feet dryer than cotton or wool socks. Consider changing your socks more than once daily and also wear breathable shoes as much as possible.
- Avoid going barefoot in public. Wear shoes around public pools and lock rooms.