Toenail fungus (onychomycosis) is an infection that lives underneath the nail, in the skin of the nail bed. It is an infection of the nail caused by fungi such as dermatophytes, non-dermatophyte molds and yeasts.
Some contributing factors that can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus include: Wearing closed-toe shoes. Getting pedicures with improperly sanitized tool. Having a chronic illness, such as diabetes or HIV.
It is important to be evaluated by a podiatrist to appropriately diagnose nail changes. A piece of the nail is usually sent to a lab for evaluation of organisms for proper treatment. If the nail comes back fungal, the following options are available:
- Topical preparations in the form of a lacquer or solution applied to the nail plate. However, success is limited with this option. This option is best for a nail that is not completely affected by a fungus.
- Oral Lamisil. This is the most effective systemic therapy. This treatment is reserved for certain patients, which can be determined by your podiatrist if you are a candidate.
- Laser therapy. This usually improves effectiveness of topical preparations and can have a similar outcome to oral medication. Talk to your podiatrist for your options
Treatments will help your nail grow in healthy. Toenails, on average, require about 9-12 months for full re-growth. If you think you have a fungal infection in your nails, come get them evaluated at Gentle Touch Foot Care! Call today to make your appointment at 973-673-3668. Get your nails looking healthy again!