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Fungal Toenails

Family Foot & Ankle Specialists

Podiatrists & Foot & Ankle Surgeons located in Greenville, TX & Rockwall, TX

Toenail fungus affects around 14% of all Americans, and it’s the reason for half of all nail disease. If you have fungal toenails, it’s important to know that it doesn’t get better without specific targeted treatment. In fact, your toenail fungus might spread to other nails. Steven Brancheau, DPM; Paul Brancheau, DPM; and Ryan Pinedo, DPM, the experienced podiatrists at Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Greenville and Rockwall, Texas, offer advanced treatments for fungal toenails to help you permanently live fungus-free. Book your appointment online or by calling the office closest to you.

Fungal Toenails Q & A

What is a fungal toenail?

A fungal toenail is an infection beneath your nail plate. The nail fungus generally starts around the cuticle and then moves throughout the nail. Toenail fungus causes significant damage to your toenail and can be very embarrassing as well. 

What are the symptoms of a fungal toenail?

Fungal toenail symptoms typically include:

  • Nail thickening
  • Warped nails
  • Nail yellowing or darkening
  • Ragged nails
  • Crumbling nails
  • Dull-looking nails
  • White or yellow spots on the nail 

Toenail fungus symptoms tend to get worse with time, and the symptoms can spread to the adjacent nails as well. It’s also possible to spread toenail fungus to other areas in your body. Sometimes toenail fungus starts as athlete’s foot, as it’s the same type of fungus.

What causes fungal toenails?

Fungal toenails develop when the conditions are ideal for nail fungus growth. This includes moist and damp environments. For example, you're especially likely to develop nail fungus if you wear shoes and socks that don't allow air circulation. 

Communal showers, locker rooms, and public swimming pools are all common environments for toenail fungus to thrive, so it's important to avoid walking without shoes in these areas.

How are fungal toenails treated?

Treatment depends on your particular symptoms and the particular fungus. Your Family Foot & Ankle Specialists podiatrist may collect a sample of the fungus from your nails. 

Then, the laboratory analyzes the sample to determine the causative fungus so your podiatrist can tailor treatment. Treatments generally include:

  • Antifungal cream or ointment
  • Medicated nail polish
  • Topical medication
  • Oral antifungal medication

Keeping your nails trimmed short and straight across can relieve pressure and increase your comfort during fungal nail treatment. 

If oral and topical treatments don’t relieve toenail fungus, your Family Foot & Ankle Specialists podiatrist may recommend laser treatment. The laser treatment moves through the nail to kill fungus. 

It’s quite unusual to need surgery for nail fungus, but for severe cases that don’t respond to other treatments, you could need outpatient surgery to remove the nail and completely eliminate the fungus.

Use the online scheduling tool or call Family Foot & Ankle Specialists to beat nail fungus and break out your sandals again at last.