Though nail fungus is sometimes treatable at home, it can be very persistent. If you notice signs of a fungal infection, the team of podiatrists at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. can expertly treat it with medication and laser therapy. For your convenience, there are five New Jersey offices in Warren, Woodbridge, South Plainfield, Hillsborough, and East Brunswick. To schedule an appointment, with Pragnesh Patel, DPM, or Jyotsna Thapar, DPM, call your nearest office or use the online booking tool.
Fungal infections commonly infect the skin under your toenails. Fungi thrive in dark, moist environments, including pools, gyms, and locker rooms. You can easily pick up fungal infections if you walk around barefoot in these spaces.
When you wear sweaty socks and poorly ventilated shoes, it can create another environment for fungi to thrive. Nail fungus can be a problem for runners and people who have to wear work boots at their jobs.
Toenail fungus is contagious. It can easily spread from nail to nail and infect other people. If left untreated, toenail infections can cause significant damage, including nail loss.
Fungal infections usually infect a small area under the tip of one nail at first. The infection can then go deeper into your skin and spread to your other toenails.
You may notice any of the following signs in an infected nail:
These changes may affect part of the infected nail or the entire nail.
Don’t ignore the signs of a fungal nail infection, even if they’re minor and you’re not in any pain. Without treatment, nail fungus can spread fast, and the symptoms can quickly worsen.
Your podiatrist at Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. usually prescribes topical medication as a first-line treatment to kill fungus on the surface of the nail. If the fungus has penetrated beneath your nails, you may need oral medication, often combined with the topical cream.
If the fungal infection doesn’t respond to medication, or you’re in pain, your podiatrist may recommend laser treatment, which can destroy fungi without affecting nearby healthy skin. In severe cases, it may be necessary to perform surgery to remove the infected part of the nail.
Fungal nail infections tend to return, so it’s important to take steps to prevent this from happening. Your podiatrist advises you on proper foot hygiene. This includes washing and drying your feet every day, regularly changing your socks and shoes, and never going barefoot in places where you could pick up or spread a fungal infection.
To get treatment for fungal toenails, call Ankle & Foot Specialist of N.J. or use the online booking tool.