Nail fungus might sound unbearably gross, but the condition is more common than you might think. At Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics in Hoffman Estates, Arlington Heights, and the Norwood Park neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois, podiatrists Khalid Husain, DPM, Gene Choi, DPM, Jennifer Kirchens, DPM, and Christina Sarantopoulos, DPM, use several techniques to treat and cure your fungal nails or foot fungus. To explore fungal nail treatments in-depth, call Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics or book an appointment online today.
Fungal nails are usually toenails, but they can be fingernails, too. The condition is caused by a fungal infection underneath your nails. Fungus can infiltrate your toenails when they become brittle and cracked or if you go to a less-than-sanitary nail salon or communal shower. Despite this, fungal nails aren’t very contagious and it’s unlikely that you’ll develop them after coming into accidental contact with someone else’s fungal nails.
Athlete’s foot is another form of fungal foot infection that’s often the cause of fungal nails. Athlete’s foot is characterized by fungus growing on and around your toes, and it can easily spread to affect your toenails. Despite its name, you can get athlete’s foot even if you’re not active or athletic. However, athletes are more susceptible to athlete’s foot and nail fungus because of their tight shoes, sweating, and trauma to the feet.
Fungal nails are hard to identify at first. The start of a fungal nail usually looks like no more than a small white spot under your toenail. Once the fungus progresses and spreads throughout your toenail, the symptoms include:
Fungal nails are much more common in older patients and patients with conditions like diabetes, psoriasis, or some forms of cancer.
At Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics, the team uses several approaches to treat fungal infections like athlete’s foot and fungal nails. After assessing the extent of your condition, they create your treatment plan. You can alleviate or greatly reduce nail fungus or athlete’s foot with:
Antifungal medications that you take by mouth work faster to alleviate fungal infections than topical products. You must take them for 6-12 weeks, but it can take up to four months for the infection to go away entirely.
Topical antifungal creams infiltrate your nail’s surface and kill the fungus from within. Similarly, there are antifungal nail polishes available.
Manual debridement is simply the physical removal of the fungus. The team removes only the infected part of your toenail and keeps the healthy part of your nail intact. Before the procedure, you must wear a urea ointment on the nail under a wrap to soften it and prepare it for removal.
Fungal nails are unsightly and uncomfortable. To get started on an effective cure for your fungal infection, call Midwest Foot and Ankle Clinics or book a consultation online today.
Notes: New patient-friendly medication options available. we provide good manual debridement. we can cure nail fungus. Athlete’s foot should be discussed as well.