Toenail Fungus Treatment In New York
The technical term for toenail fungus is onychomycosis, which is also the same fungus that causes athlete’s foot. When this fungal bacteria gets under a toe’s nail bed, it can infect the toenail, causing the toenail to gain an unsightly, distorted, and embarrassing appearance.
Causes of Fungal Toenails
Fungal bacterial infections in the toenail are caused when the toes are unprotected and exposed to bacteria. Onychomycosis typically thrives in damp areas, including locker rooms, swimming pools, beaches, and public showers.
Other risk factors include suffering from diabetes, immune deficiency, or having circulatory problems. Those who experience chronic athlete’s foot are also more susceptible to fungal toenails. Having excessively sweaty feet can also boost the chances of contracting fungal bacteria to your toenails.
The symptoms of fungal toenails develop over time. Slowly, the toenails begin to change in appearance, with the nails turning yellow and crumbly. Debris collects under the nail plate and white marks dot the surface of the nail. As the issue remains untreated, pain can develop, making it uncomfortable to walk. The toenails also thicken, which makes them harder to trim.
If left untreated, the fungal infection can spread from one toenail to every toenail. It can even spread to the fingernails, or cause a secondary bacterial infection in the nail plate.
A daily cleansing routine may relieve symptoms of the fungal toenails as well as eradicate them over time. There is a risk that they can become infected again, however.
Oral antifungals are widely considered effective in treating onychomycosis. The drawback is that they take up to three weeks to have an effect. They also can cause side effects like skin rash or liver damage.
The most effective treatment for fungal toenails is the PinPointe Laser. Introduced in July of 2008, the PinPointe Laser has demonstrated a success rate of 88% in removing fungal infections from a nail. The laser kills the bacteria by passing through the nail without harming the surrounding skin. Although it may appear infected until the new nail grows in, the fungal infection is no longer present.
The PinPointe Laser procedure has other benefits such as only needing to be done once rather than having to be applied over a series of months, like with oral antifungals or antifungal nail polish. There is also no downtime for this procedure and little to no pain during or after it.
If none of these treatments work, the nail may have to be removed entirely.
Dr. Loninger and the staff at Downtown NYC Foot Care are available 24 hours a day to help you with your foot problems. Request an appointment online today.