Toenail fungus causes unsightly discoloration and pain, and without professional care from an experienced podiatrist, it’s virtually impossible to treat. David Biss, DPM, is skilled in treating fungal nails, offering safe, effective care for patients of all ages at Concord Podiatry in Concord and Plymouth, New Hampshire. If you think you have toenail fungus, call the nearest office, or book an appointment online today.
Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, develops when tiny fungi called dermatophytes enter the nail bed, typically through a tiny cut or another tiny opening in the skin. The warm and often damp environment beneath the nail is ideal for fungal growth.
Toenail beds have a limited blood supply, which makes it difficult for the immune system to fight off these infections.
Toenail fungus is more likely to occur in men and women who have a family history of the infections, as well as those with compromised immune systems and circulatory systems, including people with diabetes.
Other factors that can make you more susceptible to toenail fungus include injuring the toenail, habitually wearing shoes that don’t allow for adequate airflow, and using communal showers, like those at fitness clubs.
Outside the body, the fungus grows best in warm, damp environments like pools, locker rooms, and showers. Walking barefoot, especially in these environments, can increase the risk of infection.
Toenail fungus typically begins as a small white or yellow spot beneath the nail, and it eventually spreads to include the entire nail and causes nail thickening as well as discoloration.
The texture of the nail can also change, resulting in brittleness and a ragged surface and edges. Over time and without proper treatment, the infection can become painful, causing discomfort, especially when wearing shoes or applying pressure to the nail bed.
Fungal infections can be stubborn, and treatment can take several months. Dr. Biss orders laboratory tests to establish a definitive diagnosis before creating an onychomycosis treatment plan.
Oral and topical medications are both available to help fight off toenail fungal infections. In some cases, Dr. Biss may remove a portion of the nail or the entire nail to enable the medication to be more effective.
You may decrease your risks of contracting a toenail fungal infection by using antifungal powder and trimming your nails straight across instead of in a curved shape.
For timely treatment of toenail fungus, call Concord Podiatry, or request an appointment online today.