How Does A Foot Doctor Treat Toenail Fungus?

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How Does A Foot Doctor Treat Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is caused by tiny fungal organisms that get under your nail, feed on skin and keratin, and begin to grow. These fungi can damage your toenail making it white, brown, or yellow, cause your nail to thicken or become brittle, create an unpleasant odor, and might even cause part of your nail or your whole toenail to fall off. Treating a fungal nail infection can be difficult, and ineffective treatment can lead to chronic or recurring infections. If you suspect you have a fungal toenail infection, contact your foot doctor for an accurate diagnosis and a customized treatment strategy.

Athlete’s Foot is another common fungal infection. 
For information on how a foot doctor treats it read What Is Athlete’s Foot And How Is It Treated?

Ask Your Foot Doctor: What Causes Toenail Fungus?

The three main fungal organisms responsible for toenail fungus (dermatophytes, yeasts, and non-dermatophyte molds) thrive in humid, warm conditions. People with underlying conditions like circulatory impairments, immune deficiencies, and diabetes are more susceptible to toenail fungus. People with Athlete’s Foot, people who smoke, and those with a family history of fungal infections are also more vulnerable. An injury to your nail and friction on your nail from ill-fitting footwear can increase your risk for toenail fungus. Symptoms of toenail fungus include:

  • Thickened and misshapen toenails
  • Brittle, crumbling nails
  • Toenails that appear yellow, white, or brown
  • A toenail that is pulling away from the toe
  • A foul odor
  • Dark debris under the toenails

Ask Your Foot Doctor: Is Toenail Fungus Contagious?

Fungal toenail infections can be highly contagious and spread easily in public and at home. Toenail fungus is easily contracted in public places like pools, gym showers and locker rooms, and saunas. At home, it can be spread through sharing towels, foot care tools like nail clippers, and socks, and in the shower. You can even spread a toenail fungus to the skin on your foot causing Athlete’s Foot. For these reasons, wear rubber sandals in public pools and gyms, disinfect your shower at home after use, and do not share personal items like socks and shoes. Most importantly, see your foot doctor for diagnosis and treatment of toenail fungus.

Ask Your Foot Doctor: What Are My Treatment Options?

There are several treatment options your foot doctor may recommend to address your toenail fungus including:

  • Oral antifungal medication: A treatment course of oral medications typically takes three months. Some oral medications have unpleasant side effects. Your foot doctor will complete a medical history to determine if oral treatment is right for you.
  • Topical antifungal medication: Topical treatments can include prescription creams or ointments, antifungal foot soaks, and brush-on antifungal nail lacquers.
  • Microwave immunotherapy: Small bursts of microwave energy boost immune response and stimulate the body’s natural ability to fight infection.
  • Laser therapy: Laser light energy is focused on the treatment area to target the nail fungus, destroying the fungal organisms while leaving healthy skin and nail tissue undamaged.
  • Partial or complete surgical removal of the toenail: If the fungal infection is severe and/or the toenail has become very deformed, your foot doctor may recommend surgical removal of part or the whole toenail to allow a new and healthy toenail to regrow.
  • Proper foot hygiene: This is not a treatment strategy itself, but rather a complementary practice to help boost the efficacy of other treatments and help treatment results last. Keep your feet dry and clean, practice good nail care, wear proper fitting shoes, and protect your feet in public areas. Good foot health will also prevent future fungal infections.



Effective Treatments For Toenail Fungus In NYC

If you suspect a fungal foot infection including toenail fungus or Athlete’s Foot, fast and effective treatment is necessary to control the spread and regain proper foot health. A knowledgeable and experienced foot doctor will be able to diagnose your infection and determine which treatment or combination of treatments can stop your fungal infection in its tracks.

The team of foot doctors at To Healthy Feet in Manhattan can expertly assess foot infections, your lifestyle, and your goals for treatment, and recommend the most effective treatment strategy for you. We provide accurate diagnosis and comprehensive foot and ankle care and have the tools and technologies necessary to provide a variety of tailored treatment approaches including laser therapy, prescription medications, and even minimally invasive surgery (when needed) at each of our Manhattan Podiatry Clinics. If you have toenail fungus or any other foot or ankle condition pain, call To Healthy Feet Podiatry at 1-917-398-3668 or fill out the contact form to book your appointment at our Upper East Side, Times Square, Midtown Grand Central, or Downtown Wall Street locations today.



Q: Can toenail fungus spread to my fingernails?
A: Although it is more common for fungal nail infections to affect your toenails, nail fungus can spread to your fingernails as well. Avoid touching and picking at toes and feet and ensure you complete the whole course of toenail fungus treatment recommended by your foot doctor.

Q: How can I prevent toenail fungus?
A: Proper hygiene is key! Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, wash your feet with soap and water daily, wear a clean pair of socks each time you wash your feet, and disinfect home pedicure tools.

Q: Can toenail fungus spread?
A: Yes, this is possible. Toenail fungus can spread from one toenail to the next. The fungus can also infect the skin, causing an Athlete's Foot. So if you have suspicious-looking nails, stop by our offices at our Upper East Side, Times Square, Midtown Grand Central, or Downtown Wall Street today for a checkup!

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