With fall backyard football gatherings and holiday party peep-toed shoes in the near future, people in Columbus and across the country are looking for ways to relieve the pain and embarrassing appearance of fungal toenails. Onychomycosis, or fungal infection of the nail, is reported to affect up to nearly 15% of individuals in North America and can cause a variety of problematic symptoms.
Toenails that are discolored and thickened are the most common signs that a toenail has developed a fungal infection. These nails may also be painful. To be invaded by a fungus, nails first must have an inciting trauma or secondary condition that results in changes to the underlying nail bed. Most commonly, a small repetitive trauma caused by an abnormally functioning or deformed foot will contribute these changes. Other underlying causes can include vascular disease and psoriasis. Tinea pedis, or athlete’s foot is also often present and a contributing factor to the development of a fungal toenail.
Different types of onychomycosis exist and the specific type must be diagnosed to set a successful treatment plan. The classic symptoms described above are seen in the vast majority of cases and are caused when fungus enters under the tip of the nail and proceeds backwards. Another form of fungal nail is known as causes the nail to appear white and sometimes crumbly. While this form is rarer, it is also the form that responds most readily to topical treatment because the fungus is located primarily on the top of the nail.
Treatment of toenail fungus can be difficult. The first step in treatment is to first visit your podiatrist to obtain an accurate diagnosis as soon as changes in the nail are noticed. Early on, when less than half of the nail is infected, a topical nail polish-like solution can be applied daily. Once the fungus has caused damage in more than half of the nail, serious oral medications may be needed. At Columbus Podiatry and Surgery and Surgery, the PinPointe Foot Laser is available as a painless alternative that can be used at any stage of toenail fungus. Laser treatment of fungal nails avoids blood tests and the serious side effects including liver and blood cell disease that can be caused by oral medications. With all treatment plans for a fungal nail, underlying biomechanical issues need to be addressed with orthotics or shoe modifications if present to end the cycle of trauma allowing the fungus to enter the nail. Talk to your podiatrist to have toenails looking and feeling picture perfect for all your upcoming events!
Please visit www.ColumbusFoot.com for more information or call 614-885-3338 (FEET) to schedule an appointment with a podiatrist in Columbus, Ohio. Columbus Podiatry & Surgery is located on the North side of Columbus, Ohio near Worthington.
Columbus Podiatry & Surgery has opened a new location in Gahanna, near Easton. Please call 614-476-3338 (FEET) for an appointment with a podiatrist in Gahanna, OH today.