Toenail fungal infections, medically known as onychomycosis, can lead to brittle, crumbly, or ragged nails, and even separation of the nail from the nail bed. While completely curing toenail fungus can be challenging, there are effective treatments available to manage the condition. Toenail tissue is harder and thicker, which prevents antifungal creams from penetrating effectively. Even antifungal drugs taken in pill form have limited success, because toenails grow slowly and have low metabolic activity. Prescription topical products, in the form of clear lacquers, applied directly to the toenails may take up to a year to produce noticeable results, even if applied daily. For more severe infections, oral medications taken daily in pill form for approximately three months may have a higher rate of success, potentially about 80 percent. However, they can cause side effects such as stomach upset, diarrhea, and, in rare cases, liver damage. Laser treatments, a relatively new approach to combating toenail fungus, penetrate the nail tissue to break down the fungus. Some studies have reported success rates ranging from 60 percent to 75 percent. For advice with toenail fungal infections, it is suggested that you make an appointment with a podiatrist.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Paul Drucker of NYC Foot Care, PC. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Loose/separated nail
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
In order to prevent getting toenail fungus in the future, you should always make sure to wash your feet with soap and water. After washing, it is important to dry your feet thoroughly especially in between the toes. When trimming your toenails, be sure to trim straight across instead of in a rounded shape. It is crucial not to cover up discolored nails with nail polish because that will prevent your nail from being able to “breathe”.
In some cases, surgical procedure may be needed to remove the toenail fungus. Consult with your podiatrist about the best treatment options for your case of toenail fungus.
If you have any questions, please feel free to contact our offices located in 70th Street Manhattan, 60th Street Manhattan, Jamaica, Queens, Plainview, NY and Fair Lawn, NJ . We offer the newest diagnostic and treatment technologies for all your foot care needs.