Patients with toe nail fungus can receive the most advanced forms of toenail fungus treatments to relieve symptoms and eradicate the fungus that causes infections. Dr. Hoffman is skilled in traditional techniques using oral and topical medications as well as modern approaches that use lasers to kill the fungus beneath the skin’s surface.
What symptoms does toenail fungus cause?
Toenail fungus usually starts as a small white or yellowish spot under the nail. As the fungal infection spreads, the entire nail may become thick, yellowish, brittle and ragged. Eventually, the fungus will spread to deeper layers of tissue, resulting in pain when the nail is compressed or when shoes are worn.
How do toenail fungal infections occur?
Fungal infections of the toenails occur when a kind of fungus called dermatophytes enter the skin around the toenails, often through a tiny cut or scrape, ingrown toenail, or other openings. The fungus is also able to enter skin that has become pliable after soaking in water, like swimming pools, hot tubs, and public showers. Walking barefoot in locker rooms or on damp pool decks is a good way to pick up the fungus and to become infected. Once under the nail, the fungus is protected by the hard nail layer, which helps form the warm and enclosed environment that is ideal for fungal growth. The nail also makes it more difficult for medicines to penetrate. Toenail fungus can affect anyone, but it is more common among people with a history of nail infections, and those with compromised immune or circulatory systems.
How are fungal toenails treated?
While many people are tempted by over-the-counter products that claim to cure nail fungus, these products are not designed to penetrate to the deep layers where fungus tends to hide and multiply. Depending on the extent of the infection, oral medications and some types of prescription strength topical medicines may help. At Katonah Podiatry, Dr. Hoffman and her associates use these approaches as well as a laser system designed to destroy the nail fungus in the deeper layers beneath the nail where the fungal bodies are rooted. The patient’s treatment will be based on careful evaluation of his or her nail infection, y medical history, and other factors to ensure the most effective and most appropriate care is delivered.