Did you know that approximately 10% of American adults have a fungal toenail infection? Not only is this problem unsightly, it can also increase your risk of more serious complications. Expert podiatrist, William Hansen, DPM, located in the Queens, New York, neighborhood of Flushing, offers safe and effective treatments to stop toenail fungus in its tracks. To learn more, make an appointment by calling the office or clicking the scheduling tool today.
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is a common foot-related problem that causes your toenails to turn white or yellow in color. As the fungal infection spreads deeper into your nails, your toenails might also start to crumble, crack, and thicken.
Mild cases of toenail fungus don’t always require intervention. Many over-the-counter products can provide significant relief. However, if your nails continue to thicken or become painful, it’s important to seek professional medical help.
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
The symptoms of toenail fungus vary depending on the severity of your infection. However, telltale signs include:
- Thickened nails
- Yellow nails
- Brown nails
- Distorted nails
- Cracking or chipping
You might also notice debris building up under your toenails or a slightly foul odor when you remove your socks or shoes.
Who is at risk of developing toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus affects people of all ages, from children to senior citizens, but there are certain factors that can increase your risk. For example, toenail fungus is more common in older adults. As you age your nails become brittle and dry, which makes them more susceptible to infection.
Your health history also plays a role. If you have a condition that affects your immune system or blood flow to your feet, it’s easier for fungi to take hold.
How is toenail fungus diagnosed?
Dr. Hansen diagnoses toenail fungus by physically examining your feet and toenails, reviewing your medical history, and asking about your symptoms. He might also take a sample of toenail clippings and send them to a laboratory to identify the type of fungus causing your infection.
Other dermatological issues, such as psoriasis, can present symptoms similar to toenail fungus. In addition, yeast and bacteria can infect your nails. The more Dr. Hansen knows about the source of your symptoms, the easier it is to effectively treat.
How is toenail fungus treated?
The treatment for toenail fungus depends on the severity of your symptoms and the type of fungus causing them. However, toenail fungus won’t heal overnight, it may take weeks or even months to see a noticeable improvement.
For mild fungal infections, Dr. Hansen typically prescribes a combination of oral and topical antifungal drugs. If medicated nail creams and polishes don’t ease your symptoms, surgical intervention might be necessary.
For moderate infections, Dr. Hansen may perform a temporary nail removal. During this type of surgery, he administers a local anesthetic, surgically removes your affected toenail, and applies an antifungal drug directly to your nail bed.
If you suffer from repeat infections or your nails are painful, you may benefit from a permanent nail removal.
Treatment for toenail fungus starts with Dr. Hansen. Call the office or click the online scheduling tool to make your appointment today.