Toenail fungus can make your toenails thick, discolored, and crumbly. If you’ve noticed these changes happening to your toenails, the team at Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists can help. The practice has three convenient offices in University Park, Ellenton, and Bradenton, Florida, where you can benefit from the team’s expertise in curing troublesome toenail fungus. To find out more, call the Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists office nearest you today or request an appointment online.
The fungus that causes problems with toenails (onychomycosis) is the same one that causes athlete’s foot. The difference is that athlete’s foot affects the skin between your toes, whereas toenail fungus gets under your nails.
Toenail fungus, like other kinds of fungus, prefers to live somewhere dark and damp. Feet are an ideal breeding ground for toenail fungus because it’s dark inside socks and shoes, and your feet sweat a lot, so they’re often damp and warm.
Toenail fungus first appears as a white or yellow mark beneath your nail. You might not see it to begin with, but over time the mark spreads and could cover the whole toenail. Toenail fungus can turn your nails black or green as well as white or yellow.
As the toenail fungus spreads, your nails become increasingly weak and start to crumble. They might change shape or come away from the nailbed. They often get thicker, making them hard to cut.
Toenail fungus isn’t usually painful to begin with. However, if the condition gets bad enough, you might have some discomfort. A severe infection can make walking difficult.
Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists provide several treatments for relieving toenail fungus. You might need to apply a medicated ointment or nail polish to the affected nail to kill the toenail fungus. Or you might have to take oral antifungal medication. Sometimes both are necessary.
Before treatment, your provider might debride the nail (thin the surface) to make sure the active ingredients soak down through the nail. An alternative is laser therapy, a painless, noninvasive choice that uses light energy to kill the fungus.
The most severe cases of toenail fungus can require surgery. Your provider removes the nail affected by fungus and any unhealthy tissue. Where possible, they leave the nail bed, which is where your healthy new toenail grows from.
If you notice signs of toenail fungus, get prompt treatment before the condition gets worse. Call Cortez Foot & Ankle Specialists today or request an appointment online.