Nail Fungus Treatment in Watauga - Fort Worth, TX
What is Nail Fungus?
Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is an infection under the surface of the toenail caused by an organism that thrives in warm, moist areas. Nail fungus typically appears under the nail fold at the end of the nail. As the fungus grows over time, it causes changes to the nail's appearance and consistency. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other toenails, the skin around the toe or even the fingernails. In extreme cases, this condition can impair your ability to walk or to work.
Causes and Symptoms
Gym locker rooms, swimming pools and public showers are all hotbeds for different types of fungi. Fungal infections occur when a fungus attacks the toenail or the skin under the nail, also called the nail bed. Fungi can attack nails through small cuts in the skin around the nail or through the opening between your nail and the nail bed.
Fungal infections in the nail are most commonly caused by a group of fungi called dermatophytes, although some yeasts and molds cause these infections, too. Symptoms of a fungal nail infection include:
- A brittle, broken or thickened nail
- Yellow streaks in the nail bed and on the underside of the nail
- Buildup of pieces of skin and nail fragments under the nail
- A discolored and/or thickened nail that may separate from the skin
When nail fungus goes untreated, patients may experience a condition called onycholysis, where an infected nail separates from the nail bed altogether. When this happens, patients often report a slight foul odor and pain in the toes.
Diagnosis and Treatment
When a podiatrist detects a fungal infection early enough, he or she is able to culture the nail, determine the cause of the fungus, and create a suitable treatment plan. To diagnose nail fungus, your podiatrist will gather information about your symptoms and past health, and then complete a thorough physical examination . During this exam, further testing such as a potassium hydroxide (KOH) smear or a fungal culture may be ordered to determine whether a fungal infection is present on the skin.
To treat fungal infections, patients often try over-the-counter, nonprescription antifungal medicines that come in a cream, lotion or nail polish. When these remedies fail and the condition advances, patients often turn to podiatry for professional treatment. Treatment methods vary depending on the severity of the infection, but nail fungus is typically treated with topical or oral medications. The sooner you seek treatment the better; when nail fungus is diagnosed in its earliest stages, it can be treated in a noninvasive way.
When nail fungus advances to the point where the nail falls off, surgical intervention may be required. Temporary removal of the infected nail is performed to permit direct application of the topical medication. Permanent removal of a chronically painful nail may occur to prevent the return of a deformed nail.
Request more information about nail fungus treatment today. Call (817) 203-2760 or contact Ms. Jessica Stangenwald online.
The New You Medical & Infusion Clinic
Address100 Grapevine Hwy
Hurst, TX 76054
10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Tue: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Wed: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm
Thu: 10:00 am - 6:00 pm