Toenail Fungus Treatment, Symptoms, & Causes

If you are experiencing discoloration of toenails due to a fungus infection, schedule an appointment with Preferred Foot & Ankle and one of our licensed podiatrists will outline the most effective toe nail treatment that will work best for you.

Preferred Foot & Ankle Specialists

Toenail fungus is a common nail disorder that is marked by deformed and yellowed nails. Medically this is called onychomycosis. This is a slowly growing infection that is caused by dermatophytes, a fungus that can infect the skin, hair, and nails. Toenail fungus can also be caused by yeast and molds. Many people just like you may suffer from nail fungus, which makes them much too embarrassed to wear sandals or open-toed shoes. Unfortunately, millions of people don’t bother to treat their fungus toenails problem, as they mistakenly believe it will cure itself. Reading this should educate you about the causes and symptoms of fungus toenails plus what cures and treatments are available.

Toenail Fungus Treatment - Podiatrist Phoenix - Gilbert AZ

Common Causes

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Book an Appointment

Contact us for an appointment for treatment of toenail fungus. Contact Dr. Mikkel Jarman, Phoenix Podiatrist in Gilbert AZ. Call our office (480) 497-3946 if you have questions or want to schedule an appointment today.

Fungus and Fungi thrive in the damp and dark environments which exist inside your shoes and these fungi feed themselves on the keratin that is present in the nails. Fungus toenails (fungal toenails) infection is the same strain of infection associated with athlete’s foot. This is mostly found on the big and little toes but the entire foot may be infected. Those most highly at risk are people who wear their shoes for long periods of the day. It is also contagious and is easily transmitted from one person to another through the sharing of locker rooms, nail clippers, swimming pools, and even towels. It can also be caused if you damage your toenail, it lifts from the nail bed, and a bacterium gets under the nail. To decrease the chance of infection, it’s wise not to share personal items, keep your feet clean and to always wear sandals in locker rooms and common areas where people walk barefoot.

Fungus Toenails Symptoms

While toenail fungus can affect just about anyone it becomes more common as we age. Conditions such as diabetes, immune disorders, and poor circulation are more prone to having nail fungus infections.

The fungus is usually most visible underneath the nail or near the nail (where it is commonly trimmed). Less common is an affection that appears as a powdery white film on top of the nail. Some of the most common changes you may notice due to a fungal infection are:

  • A brown, white, or yellow discoloration just beneath the nail.
  • The nail may become unusually thicker.
  • An increase of powdery debris beneath your nails which is where the protein keratin is produced.
  • Infected nails may become loose or begin to separate from the toe’s surface.
  • The surface of the nail starts to breakdown or crumble.

Fungus Toenails Treatment - Podiatrist Phoenix AZ

Toenail Fungus Treatment | Fungus Toenails Cures

Conservative Treatment Options

Dr. Jarman may perform or recommend any or all of the following treatments:

  • The treatment will probably start with trimming down and removing any debris or even the dying nail itself. This relieves discomfort while wearing shoes and decreases the overall thickness of the nail. This procedure will also make topical treatments more effective.
  • Oral anti-fungal medication may be prescribed and are very effective in the treatment of nail fungus; however, they may not be an option due to potential side effects plus expense.
  • Prescription Oral anti-fungal medicines must always be prescribed by a licensed medical professional. New FDA approved nail fungus treatments emerge regularly, which also include laser therapy.
  • Even after successful treatment, toenail fungus problems can still reoccur.

Preventative measures may need to be taken, this can include using anti-fungal sprays and foot powders to help keep your feet dry, which decreases the chances of nail and skin fungi developing. Using nail products like polishes and anti-fungal lacquers are also a good way to help lower the chance of a recurring infection.

Toenail fungus is treated by slowing the fungus’s growth which in turn minimizes the damage to the toenail. Nail fungus will most likely be diagnosed by the appearance the nails surface. It’s important to understand that your nails may become thick or discolored for reasons besides a fungal infection. Your foot doctor may order lab tests by taking a sample of the nail to certain of the right diagnosis has been reached. Toenail fungus often penetrates into the nails and skin, which can make it resistant to treatment.

Be Aware! Toenail fungus removal – There are number of over-the-counter medications that can be purchased for relief. However, these medications have only limited success in treating the problem, as the fungus has a tendency to live deep beneath the nail.

For this reason, it’s wise to contact Dr. Jarman your local Podiatrist in Gilbert AZ (Phoenix area) to treat the issue as soon as you notice nail changes, discoloration, or thickening.

Surgical Treatments – Last resort if problem persists

  • Nail fungus infections may also be treated by chemically or surgically removing the nail.
  • A urea compound is commonly used to treat overly thick nails. This type of treatment should only be performed by a licensed and trained foot doctor.
  • The surgical removal of the nail is only effective with additional therapy. This type of procedure is usually in addition to the use of oral anti-fungal medications.
  • Your foot specialist may opt to provide a combination of topical, oral, and surgical therapies to effectively treat the fungal infection.

DIY Toenail Fungus Removal

Home Remedies for Toenail Fungus – Generally Do Not Work!

You may have read some claims about home remedies that can be used to cure nail infections. This may include the use and application of Tea Tree Oil, VaporRub, or soaking your toe(s) in Listerine, Peroxide, Vinegar, even Beer makes the list, and other products rumored to provide relief. However, there is little to no evidence that these products are an effective anti-fungal treatment. In addition, these products do not claim to be useful for nail infections even though some individuals may use them for that purpose. If you engage in using a home remedy, the problem could become worse and it is suggested you seek professional treatment to avoid a more serious problem.

Fungus Toenails Treatment, Removal, and Fungus Toenails Remedies

If you are experiencing an issue with fungus infection, it’s best to consult with a podiatrist. Dr. Jarman who can guide you towards the most effective treatments for the fungal nail condition.