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Say Goodbye to Fungal Nails for good

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Expert podiatrist treating toenail fungus, a common condition causing discomfort and thickened nails, at Modern Foot & Ankle clinic.

Updated:

March 31, 2024

Modern Foot & Ankle offers comprehensive care for patients suffering from toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis. This common condition is caused by fungi infecting the nail and can lead to discomfort, thickened nails, and foul odor. Early diagnosis and proper medical care can significantly improve the appearance and health of your toenails.

What is a Fungal Toenail?

Fungal Toenail Treatment

A fungal toenail occurs when the nail is lifted from the underlying skin, allowing the fungus to get under the nail and grow, creating white, yellow, green, or even brown coloring.

A toenail fungal infection can arise from cutting the edges improperly, tight fitting shoes, trauma, or ingrown toenails. Fungal infections in toenail areas are often associated with other foot conditions such as:

  • Thick discolored toenails
  • Hammertoe
  • Corns
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Understanding Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is an infection that occurs under the surface of the nail, causing discoloration, thickening, and pain. If left untreated, the infection can spread and lead to further complications, including secondary bacterial or yeast infections.

Causes of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus can develop from various factors, including:

  • Walking barefoot in public areas, such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers
  • Injury to the nail bed, making it more susceptible to infections
  • Chronic diseases, such as diabetes, circulatory problems, or immune-deficiency conditions
  • A history of athlete's foot and excessive perspiration

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus may be present for years without causing pain. However, common symptoms include:

  • Change in nail color and quality, often appearing dull and dark
  • Thickened, painful nails
  • Separation of the nail from the nail bed due to fungal debris

When to Seek Care with Us

Visit our office when you notice any discoloration, thickening, or deformity of your toenails. Seeking professional treatment early increases your chances of successfully clearing the infection.

How We Treat Fungal Toenails

infected nail treatment

Toenail fungal infection treatment includes the use of topical medication or oral anti-fungal medications or both. The oral medication is not dangerous but is eliminated by the body through the liver.

Checks on other medications that can interact and history to rule out pre-existing liver problems are required. Liver testing is performed 1 to 2 weeks after taking the medication.

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Conservative Fungal Toenail Treatment Options

Shoes

A larger, softer shoe can relieve the direct or indirect pressure on fungal toenails. Ensure that the shoe has enough room at the end about the width of your thumb and that the toe box (front of the shoe) is high enough to allow your toes to move freely.

Trimming

Cutting the nail edges straight across without cutting the corners will prevent the skin at the edges from growing over the nail injury (becoming an ingrown toenail).

Once the nail is ingrown, the painful edge(s) can be angled at the end by a professional to temporarily relieve the pressure and/or fungal infection under toenail.

Padding

There is an array of over-the-counter pads that can be placed between the toes or behind the painful nail edge to relieve the pain associated with fungal nail infection occurs.

Medication

Anti-fungal medication can be applied directly to the nail (topical creams, gels, solutions). Oral anti-fungal medication will kill the fungus at the nail root, but laboratory tests are needed to assess liver function after administration to check for adverse reactions.

The anti-fungal medication will usually take 6 to 9 months to push out the entire infected toenail and grow a clean, new toenail in its place.

Surgical Treatment for Fungal Toenails

In certain instances, the infected nails can be surgically removed to relieve the pressure and infected tissue. It is rare, but the new toenail can grow back normal or look better than before removal. Topical medication is then applied until the nail completely returns.

If the nail thickness and pain persist, a chemical can be applied to the nail root and prevent fungal nail infections the nail from returning. The skin under the fungal toenail removal appears as a very thin nail clippers when healed. It can be painted or have accessory nails adhered to it.

The procedure is performed in the office with local anesthetic or occasionally at an out-patient facility under sedation (e.g., young children, anxiety, bone infection). Full weight bearing is allowed immediately without restrictions.

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Insurance Coverage for Fungal Toenail Treatment

Navigating insurance coverage for medical treatments can be complex, particularly for specialized treatments like fungal toenail treatment. It's essential to understand the types of treatments covered under different insurance plans to manage expectations and plan finances accordingly.

At Modern Foot & Ankle, we accept a wide range of insurance providers, ensuring that your treatment for fungal toenail, nail fungus, and other related conditions is accessible. For detailed information on accepted insurance providers, please visit our insurance page.

Coverage can vary significantly by provider and plan, including distinctions between topical and oral antifungal treatments, surgical interventions, and innovative therapies like laser treatment.

Patients are encouraged to consult with their insurance provider for detailed coverage information specific to most fungal nail infections and associated treatments.

Why Choose Us

Selecting the right healthcare provider is paramount for effective management and treatment of fungal nail infections. Modern Foot & Ankle distinguishes itself with expert care, innovative treatments, and a commitment to patient-focused services. Here's why we are your best choice:

Experienced Specialists

Our team consists of foot and ankle specialists seasoned in diagnosing and treating fungal nail infections. We guarantee top-tier care and a deep understanding of your condition.

State-of-the-Art Treatments

We provide a broad spectrum of treatment options, from proven oral antifungal medications to the latest in laser therapy, ensuring effective resolution of nail fungus.

Personalized Care Plans

Recognizing the uniqueness of each fungal infection, we craft care plans that are as individual as our patients, aimed at achieving specific treatment goals.

Advanced Diagnostic Tools

Accurate diagnosis is key to effective treatment. Our clinic is equipped with advanced diagnostic tools to accurately assess your condition, from nail bed evaluations to identifying skin infections.

Insurance Guidance

Insurance navigation can be daunting. We offer expert guidance on insurance coverage for fungal toenail treatments, helping patients understand their benefits.

Patient Education

Educating our patients is a top priority. We provide valuable resources on toenail fungal infections prevention and maintaining nail health.

Follow-Up Care

Comprehensive post-treatment care is vital for recovery and preventing recurrence. We offer consistent follow-up care to monitor recovery and address any concerns.

For an in-depth look at how Modern Foot & Ankle stands out in treating fungal nail infections and other foot conditions, please visit our website.

In Summary

  1. Toenail fungus is a common condition caused by fungi infecting the nail, leading to discoloration, thickening, and pain.
  2. Early diagnosis and proper treatment are crucial for successfully clearing the infection and restoring the health of your toenails.
  3. Modern Foot & Ankle is at the forefront of treating fungal nail infections, providing comprehensive care that combines expertise, innovative treatments, and a patient-centric approach. Our specialized team, personalized care plans, and advanced diagnostic tools ensure effective management and resolution of fungal infections.
  4. We support patients through their entire treatment journey, from initial consultation to recovery and beyond, highlighting our commitment to achieving the best possible outcomes.

The information on our website is intended for general informational and educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. For any health-related concerns, we strongly recommend consulting with a healthcare professional. Please note that any reliance on the information found on our site is solely at your own risk. For more details, please see our Medical Disclaimer.

FAQs

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How did I get toenail fungus?

You can get toenail fungus from many sources. The live and dormant varieties can be found on most warm, moist areas of the body. They only grow on or within toenails when there are similar places underneath or in cracks of the toenail that are warm and moist. Mold fungal infection toenail and yeast fungal infection toenail are examples of how diverse these fungi can be, showing that various fungal types can cause fungal toenails.

What is the best fungal toenail treatment?

Medically, the most effective treat nail fungus are the oral antifungal medications. They are metabolized and eliminated out of the body through the liver. Best fungal toenail treatment often includes a combination of oral and topical therapies. Testing is still the standard of care, but liver enzyme elevations or any reactions are extremely rare. Not recommended for anyone with liver problems or taking medications that affect the liver. Anti-fungal toe nail polish may also be used as an adjunct therapy in some cases.

What happens if you leave toenail fungus untreated?

If you leave toenail fungus untreated, it can infect the entire nail or even spread. Fungal infection under toenail can worsen, leading to more severe conditions such as black fungal toenail. The risk of spreading the infection to other parts of the body or other people, although relatively low, exists if the fungal toenail is not treated.

Can toenail fungus get into your bloodstream?

It is very rare for any fungus, including those causing toenail fungal infection, to get into your bloodstream. Unless a person is immunologically compromised and/or on high doses of immunosuppressive drugs, toenail fungus will grow only externally. Situations involving fungal infection in toenail rarely escalate to systemic infection.

Is toe fungus contagious?

Toe fungus is not contagious in the general sense of catching it from someone else. The fungus cannot grow unless it has a damp place to hide, usually a nail that is detached or ‘lifted.’ While fungal toenail itself is not highly contagious, the environments that facilitate fungal growth can be shared, such as showers, locker rooms, or swimming pools.

How do you get rid of a fungal toenail?

Treating a fungal toenail often involves antifungal medications, either topical or oral, depending on the infection's severity. Consistently applying topical treatments and taking oral medication as prescribed can effectively eliminate the fungus. In more severe cases, partial or total nail removal may be necessary.

What kills toenail fungus the fastest?

Oral antifungal medications are generally considered the fastest way to kill toenail fungus. These medications promote the growth of a new, uninfected nail, gradually replacing the infected part. However, treatment can take several months to fully clear the fungus.

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Diabetic Foot Care

Our podiatrists specialize in caring for diabetic feet, providing routine foot care, wound care, and education to help prevent complications.

Ingrown Toenail

Our podiatrists can safely and effectively remove ingrown toenails to help alleviate pain and prevent infection.

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Our podiatrists can help manage the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis of the feet and ankles.

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