It’s estimated that 1 in 10 adults will get a fungal toenail infection or, as it’s known by its medical name, onychomycosis, at some point in their lifetime. The fungi that cause the infection are found in warm, damp places like public swimming pools, gyms, locker rooms, nail salons, and even in the carpet of hotel rooms and other public places where people walk barefoot.
At Great Neck Family Foot Care we see many cases of fungal toenails every year. The symptoms include discolored toenails that thicken and become brittle and crumbly at the edges. Debris may appear under the nail and the infection may be accompanied by a foul smell.
Diagnosis and Treatment
Having a fungal toenail evaluated by a doctor is important because, left untreated, the thickening toenail can make wearing shoes quite painful. The infection can also spread to other parts of your body and may be accompanied by a yeast or bacterial infection around the nail plate. Our board certified foot and ankle surgeons, Dr. Alec Hochstein and Dr. Diana Gagliano will be able to diagnose a fungal toenail infection after examining your toenail and possibly scraping some skin cells to look at under a microscope and test further.
In the past, treatment for fungal toenail infections consisted of topical or oral anti-fungal medication. Here at our Great Neck office, we offer laser treatment for your fungal toenail. This brief treatment with a laser beam is painless and will not damage healthy surrounding tissue. Most patients notice a significant improvement even after just one treatment.
Preventing Fungal Toenail
Of course preventing fungal toenail in the first place is the best goal. Follow these tips to avoid contracting a fungal toenail infection:
- Always wear flip flops or shower shoes in public places where fungi are likely to be present
- Don’t share socks or shoes with others
- Keep feet clean and dry and change socks if they become damp
- If you get pedicures at a salon, make sure proper sanitizing procedures are being followed
If you believe you have fungal toenail infection, call our Great Neck office for an appointment at: (516) 482-5999. And remember, Great Neck Family Foot Care now makes house calls. If you or someone in your home that cannot get out to the doctor and has symptoms of fungal toenail or other foot problems, contact our office to schedule a home visit.