A fungal infection of the nails is called onychomycosis and tinea unguium. Starting as a white or yellow spot under a toenail, the fungal infection could grow deeper, causing the nail to thicken, discolor, and crumble at the edges. In many cases, there’s no pain associated with the condition and frequently self-care relieves the symptoms. However, nail fungus can recur and it may develop into a painful condition. Any time you’re unhappy with the condition or feel of your toenails, it’s a good time to call Dr. Shabazz to learn what treatment options may help you.
Nail fungus starts out as white or yellow spots under the tips of your toenails. If untreated, it eventually takes over the entire nail. Nails become discolored, thicken, and brittle at the edges. The nail itself may become distorted and dull, and will have no surface sheen. Fungus also commonly infects the areas between the toes, making them itch, redden, and peel. When the fungus appears between the toes, it's called athlete's foot.
Over-the-counter medications may offer improvements in minor cases, but should the fungus progress, more vigorous treatment involves prescription medication. These include oral antifungal drugs such as terbinafine and itraconazole, taken over a 6-12 week period. While these treatments can be effective, they carry heavy side effects. Medicated creams and nail polishes offer topical treatment options. Surgically, affected nails may be removed, but take as long as a year to regrow.
Dr. Shabazz offers a state-of-the-art treatment using the PinPointe® Foot Laser. This procedure is virtually painless and takes less than 30 minutes to complete, resulting in a healthier looking nail. The light of the PinPointe laser temporarily clears the darker discolorations of a fungal nail, improving its overall appearance.
At Fair Oaks Podiatry & Sports Medicine, we accept most major insurance plans. Here is a list of some of the plans we accept. Please contact our office if you do not see your insurance provider listed.
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