Toenail fungus (onychomycosis) starts as a small spot on one of your toenails. It can cause the nail to become brittle and discolored with yellow or white spots. As time goes on, the problem can become more obvious with the fungus spreading to a larger area of the nail or also infecting the other toenails. If this sounds familiar, you likely have developed a fungal nail problem. You don’t have to suffer with toenail fungus and live with it. With some care, you can eliminate the fungal infection.
About Fungal Infections
Fungal toenails are caused by a microscopic fungus from the fungal family of dermatophytes. This is the same organism that causes athlete’s foot. It lives in warm, damp environments and it’s often found in public pools, locker rooms, saunas, and shoes. The fungus gets underneath the nail where it thrives and continues to multiply. As it grows, it damages the nail tissue. This causes thickening, crumbling, brittleness, discoloration, and sometimes a foul odor. The longer the problem continues, the more time it has to spread to other nails on your feet and the harder it is to eliminate.
The doctors at Greater Houston Foot & Ankle Specialists will work with your feet to eliminate the fungal infection and restore your toenails. When you come in for an appointment, Dr. Moore and Dr. Gkotsoulias will examine your feet for other possible causes for nail changes including damage from trauma, psoriasis, and bone spurs under the nail. It is sometimes necessary for us to take a few samples of the nail for lab testing.
Treating Toenail Fungus
We educate you to reduce exposure to the warm, moist atmosphere that caused the infection. Topical medications are able to eliminate fungus on the surface, but they cannot reach the microorganisms under the nail. We use this when the infection is superficial.
Oral medication is prescribed when there is a deeper or more advanced fungal infection. It does take time for both the oral medication to fully eliminate the fungus as the toenail grows out.