What Causes Toenail Fungus?
At Third Coast Foot and Ankle, we offer treatment for toenail fungus and fungal nail infections. If you’re struggling with any of these issues, reach out to us to schedule an appointment.
Read on to learn more about signs of fungal nails, treatment options, and ways to prevent them in the future.
What Is Toenail Fungus?
Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, can happen to anyone. Toenail fungus is an infection that can negatively impact the health of your toenails.
Fungal toenails may start small and barely noticeable. However, they only worsen without treatment.
You might notice that your toenails appear yellow or discolored, and they appear to break more easily than they used to. This could be a sign that you are suffering from a fungal toenail.
Toenail fungus can also look like:
- A darker color under your toenail that doesn’t wash away
- A warped, jagged, or ragged nail shape
- Hardened and thickened toenails
- Increased brittleness and breaking
- A slight odor
How Did You Get It?
Having fungal toenails does not mean you aren’t hygienic. There are specific risk factors that can lead to toenail fungus.
Discoloration may start as a small streak that goes unnoticed. But as a fungal infection worsens, it will become apparent that you need to come in for treatment.
There are many different types of fungi (yeasts and molds) that can enter the nail through chips, nicks, and cracks. When fungus enters the nail bed, it can begin to grow under the nail, leading to infection.
If you have skin conditions, a weakened immune system, low blood pressure, or diabetes, you may be more likely to develop fungal toenails.
What Causes Toenail Fungus?
Fungal infections start when a type of fungi enters the nail bed. This is usually through a crack or chip in the nail or nearby skin.
Wearing tight-fitting shoes and socks provide the ideal environment for fungus to grow.
Walking barefoot in public places, sharing nail clippers, and receiving a pedicure at a nail salon with poor sanitation can lead to toenail fungus.
Toenail fungus can occur naturally from wearing shoes and socks. Because these areas are dark and moist from sweat, they can naturally breed and grow fungus.
Public spaces, such as parks, public swimming pools, gyms, and spas, are also more likely to contain fungi that can lead to infection. Avoid walking barefoot in public spaces, and wear shower shoes when appropriate.
More than location, certain people are at a higher risk of fungal nails. These include:
- Adults over 60
- People with poor blood circulation
- People with diabetes
- People with skin conditions
- Organ donor recipients
- Anyone with a weakened immune system
- Anyone recovering from nail injury or surgery
What Is the Best Treatment for Fungal Nails?
Getting rid of toenail fungus can be difficult alone since, by the time you notice it, it has likely been brewing under the surface for quite a while. There are many at-home remedies around the internet you’re likely to find, such as tea tree and eucalyptus oil, vinegar, and even Vicks VaporRub.
What works is a personalized treatment from a board-certified podiatrist. This is the only way to ensure your fungus is addressed with the most effective methods and to prevent it from returning in the future.
While you may first try some antifungal creams and medications, there is another option we love and highly recommend: LunulaLaser treatment!
What Is LunulaLaser Treatment?
Imagine being able to target toenail fungus directly without having to take prescription medications or apply topical ointments.
The LunulaLaser uses light energy to penetrate the nail with zero pain or discomfort. Through a period of about 12-minute long sessions, we can eliminate your toenail fungus without the need for any downtime or aftercare.
Toenail fungus can be extremely persistent, but the LunulaLaser treatment is the most effective at treating even the most severe cases of fungal infections.
In clinical trials, LunulaLaser is 90% effective, which makes it one of the most powerful and painless solutions available today.
Left untreated, fungal nails can worsen and cause pain, nail damage, and spread to neighboring toes. In severe cases, you may even need your nail surgically removed.
Avoid the stress, hassle, and frustration of trying to get rid of toenail fungus on your own and do it instead through a clinically-backed method. LunulaLaser helps completely remove all toenail fungus, eliminating the risk of nail damage or worsening infection.
Contact Us Today to Start Your Treatment!
Don’t spend another step struggling with toenail fungus. Contact us at Third Coast Foot & Ankle today to book a treatment session in either Oak Creek or New Berlin, WI. We want to help you (and your feet!) feel better ASAP.