Toenail Fungus

Fungal Nail Infections

A very common problem that causes pain, embarrassment, and confusion is a fungal infection of the toenails.  Often, people assume that nothing can be done about it and they resign themselves to a lifetime of simple neglect.  By pretending that the condition will go away on its own or will get better with time is not accurate.  The good news is that the sooner this condition is treated, the better the long-term results both physical and mental.

Nails that look thickened, brittle, or flaky most likely are affected by a fungal or yeast infection.  Trichophyton rubrum, Trichophyton mentagrophytes, and candida are the most common organisms that cause this condition.  Taking a culture and growing out the organism makes a definitive diagnosis.  A nail infection can start on the feet and travel to the fingernails.  Athlete’s foot, ringworm, and “jock itch” are all fungal infections and can result from cross contamination from the feet.

In order to treat this condition, the nails are cut and ground down both in thickness and in length.  This decreases pain from shoes rubbing on the nails and also cuts down on holes in people’s socks.  Fungal infections are a common problem that can be treated effectively, especially if caught early before the whole nail is affected.  There are many different types of antifungal treatments, including topical drops, polishes and creams, as well as oral medications and laser treatments that can help get rid of the fungal infection.

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