There’s nothing fun about toenail fungus. Also known as onychomycosis, it often starts as a skin infection called tinea pedis, the technical term for athlete’s foot. Fungus then builds up under the nail fold, gradually leading to changes in appearance. Your toenails may become thick with a yellowish or brownish hue.
While toenail fungus isn’t a major health threat, it can be quite bothersome. Most often, toenail fungus lingers and worsens until you receive proper care. Thankfully, the condition is very treatable and even potentially preventable.
Dr. Francine Rhinehart is pleased to offer the latest and most effective nail fungus solutions, including Q-Clear™ laser treatments. She shares more about toenail fungus here, and you can contact our office for personalized support.
The infection that spurs toenail fungus usually shows very few symptoms at first. You might notice only a tiny yellow or white dot on one or more of your toenails. As the infection worsens and fungus multiplies, this dot expands, leading to:
These symptoms worsen over time. The infection also gets worse the more time your toes spend in warm, wet places, such as public showers or warm, tight socks that leave your feet sweaty.
There’s a chance toenail fungus will go away on its own, but most often, early treatment is key. The longer you wait to seek treatment, the more pronounced your symptoms will become. Early on, Dr. Rhinehart might recommend oral medication, a topical antifungal ointment or cream, or a medicated nail polish.
You might also be a great candidate for Q-Clear laser treatment. The Q-Clear Nd: YAG laser platform destroys fungus in a short (roughly 10-15 minute) appointment. While you may need a series of treatments to do away with the infection, over time, healthier nails will grow in. This treatment can help prevent the need for nail removal, which is often recommended for severe cases of toenail fungus.
If you’re prone to toenail fungus, practicing good foot hygiene is important. Keep your feet clean and dry as much as possible, changing socks when your feet have been sweating. Breathable, well-fitting footwear may also help, as can keeping your toenails nicely trimmed. Always wear shoes in public areas, such as gym locker rooms and saunas. To keep from spreading or catching toenail fungus, avoiding sharing nail clippers.
If you have questions about toenail fungus, reach out to our office in Dallas, Texas, or book an appointment with Dr. Rhinehart here on our website. It’s never too early or late to address problems that affect your feet.