Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a common condition that can cause the nails to thicken, discolor, and become brittle. It is an infection under the surface of the nail caused by fungus, which can lead to a darker color and a foul odor. Debris can accumulate under the nail plate, white marks may appear on the nail plate, and the infection can spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If left untreated, it can spread and affect your ability to work or walk.
The resulting thicker nails are difficult to trim and make walking painful when wearing shoes. Onychomycosis may also be accompanied by a secondary bacterial or fungal infection on or around the nail plate. Toenail fungus occurs when fungus gets between the toenail and the nail bed (the tissue just below the toenail).
The most effective treatment for toenail funguswill largely depend on your symptoms and situation.
Because fungi grow in dark, warm places, toenails are more likely to be affected than fingernails. If you suspect you may have a fungal nail infection, it is important to speak with your healthcare provider about your symptoms and treatment options. Your healthcare provider will direct a high-tech laser beam and special lights toward your toenail to treat the fungus. Toenail fungus is often ignored because the infection can be present for years without causing any pain.
When it comes to treating toenail fungus, there are several options available. Your healthcare provider will be able to recommend the best course of action for you based on your individual situation. Some of the most common treatments include topical antifungal medications, oral antifungal medications, laser therapy, and surgery. Topical antifungal medications are applied directly to the affected area and work by killing the fungus that is causing the infection.
These medications come in creams, ointments, gels, sprays, and lacquers. They are usually applied once or twice daily for several weeks or months until the infection has cleared up. Oral antifungal medications are taken by mouth and work by killing the fungus that is causing the infection. These medications are usually taken for several weeks or months until the infection has cleared up.
Laser therapy is a newer treatment option that uses a high-tech laser beam and special lights to target and kill the fungus that is causing the infection. This treatment is usually done in a doctor's office or clinic and may require multiple sessions over several weeks or months until the infection has cleared up. Surgery is another option for treating toenail fungus but is usually only recommended in severe cases where other treatments have failed. During surgery, a doctor will remove part or all of the affected nail in order to get rid of the infection.
No matter which treatment option you choose, it is important to follow your healthcare provider's instructions carefully in order to ensure that your infection clears up completely. It is also important to practice good foot hygiene in order to prevent future infections from occurring.