If you have toenail fungus, you aren’t alone. Toenail fungus affects about 10% of Americans. Left unmanaged, toenail fungus can spread, causing damage and affecting your quality of life. At West Suburban Podiatry in Western Springs, Illinois, the team regularly works with patients to diagnose and treat toenail fungus. To book your appointment, call the office today or use the online scheduling tool.
Toenail fungus is a common foot health problem characterized by a fungal infection in one or more toenails.
Toenail fungus usually starts as a small yellow or white dot. As the infection goes deeper, you’ll experience discolored nails, thickened nails, or nails that crumble and flake at the edges.
Nail fungus is very similar to athlete’s foot. The difference is that athlete’s foot infects the skin between your toes and the bottom of your foot, while nail fungus (onychomycosis) infects the nail itself.
The symptoms of toenail fungus depend on where and how severe the infection is. Common signs of toenail fungus include:
If you have toenail fungus, you could also notice an unpleasant odor coming from your feet.
Toenail fungus happens when fungal organisms get into your nails and multiply.
Anyone can experience toenail fungus, but it’s especially common in middle-aged and older people. As you get older, your nails become brittle and dry. This causes cracks to form, allowing fungi to enter and spread.
Things that increase your risk of toenail fungus include reduced circulation in your feet and chronic conditions like diabetes.
To diagnose toenail fungus, your provider at West Suburban Podiatry examines your toenails and asks questions about your symptoms. They might also take some toenail clippings and send them to a lab for testing.
Conditions like psoriasis can mimic toenail fungus, so they will want to rule out other causes before coming up with a treatment.
At West Suburban Podiatry, the team uses the latest treatments for toenail fungus, including laser technology, oral medications, and prescription ointments and lotions.
The type of treatment you’ll most benefit from depends on the type of toenail fungus you have and how severe your symptoms are.
If conservative treatment doesn’t clear up your fungal infection or it returns, your provider could recommend surgically removing your nail and applying an antifungal drug directly to the infected area.
To request your toenail fungus appointment at West Suburban Podiatry, call the office or use the online scheduling tool today.