If your toenails appear thicker than usual, seem slightly brittle, or look discolored, you may have a fungal infection. If you suspect you have toenail fungus, Nina Coletta, DPM, PA, in Plantation, Florida, can help. From diagnosis to treatment and preventing recurrence of your infection, Dr. Coletta allows patients of all ages in Broward County maintain healthy, fungus-free feet. To learn more, call or schedule an appointment online today.
Onychomycosis, or any fungal infection that affects your nails, is a common nail disease. The microscopic organisms that cause nail infections thrive in warm, moist environments, and don’t need light to survive.
These fungi are so small they can invade your body through openings in your skin that you can’t even see, including minuscule gaps between your nail and toe. Several factors can increase your risk of getting a toenail fungus, including:
Older adults are more prone to developing a toenail fungal infection, as are adults with chronic, untreated athlete’s foot or those who have had a previous nail injury or contamination. Psoriasis, diabetes, and poor circulation are other factors that can increase your risk of contracting a toenail fungus.
Most toenail fungal infections first appear as a white or yellow dot under the tip of the nail. As the fungus spreads, it can cause your nail to thicken or become discolored, often by turning white, black, yellow, or green. You may also notice one or more of the following signs or symptoms:
Although most fungal infections don’t initially cause any discomfort, they can become quite painful as they progress, sometimes making it difficult to wear close-toed shoes.
It’s best to treat toenail fungus early on before it’s had a chance to progress deep into the nail bed or spread to any of your other nails. Traditional treatment methods, such as oral antifungal medications or medicated nail creams, can be useful, but they often take several weeks or months to eliminate the infection.
As a podiatrist who prides herself in providing the latest and most innovative treatments available, Dr. Coletta is pleased to offer noninvasive laser therapy, a cutting-edge approach that can eradicate even the most stubborn fungal infections safely, gently, and effectively.
By sending tiny pulses of laser energy through your nail to target the underlying fungus, laser therapy acts to heat up the pigments in the fungus, effectively destroying the invading microorganisms and clearing up the infection without damaging your nail, skin, or surrounding tissues.
If you’re ready to banish toenail fungus for good, call Dr. Coletta’s office or schedule an appointment online today.