Why do podiatrists AND patients hate fungus of the toenails?
This is because the fungus of the toenails is extremely difficult to get rid of. It is probably one of the hardest things to battle and the most common things podiatrists see.
How did I get this fungus?
Fungus is everywhere in the environment, however, people who are more likely to get a fungus are sometimes those who are immunocompromised, stub or get an injury to his or her toe, and those who frequent pedicure places.
Should I treat my nail fungus?
Yes! You always should treat toenail fungus because it can cause thickening of the nail, yellow and brown nail changes, and can even spread to your other healthy nails. If you let the fungus go, the fungus can cause pain in the toes not only when clipping and filing the toenails, but also with walking and shoe gear. You can also transfer the fungus to your family members as well so protect them and your other “healthy” nails by getting treatment as soon as you notice the nail changes.
How do I know if it is a fungus?
The only way to truly know if you have a fungus or if the yellow, painful, thickened nail is not a fungus and related to trauma or another underlying disease, is to test the nail. Our doctor does nail biopsies in the office. Nail biopsies are helpful because it will tell you if you have a nail fungus, what organisms are causing it, and what may be the best treatment solution for getting rid of it.
What you have tried and haven’t tried?
A lot of patients try over-the-counter anti-fungal medications, however, these are rarely effective enough to get rid of them. We have several options in our office that have been proven to work better than over-the-counter medications and that are better at penetrating through the thick nail plate. Also, oral medications when combined with topicals have better success in ridding the nail of fungus and may be an option for you. Our doctor will discuss with you the treatment options that will give the best results for your affected nails and also discuss the risks and benefits of each medication option. Since fungus is often difficult to get rid of, sometimes medications are done in combinations and may be beneficial for you.
I’ve tried everything and still am not getting anywhere!
One of the newer concepts to fighting nail fungus is laser therapy that is cleared by the FDA for treating nail fungus. Our doctor does laser therapy for fungal nails in our office. Laser therapy is painless and fast with no recovery time needed. It is also very safe and does not use any chemicals on the nails. Laser therapy is performed in the office setting during your office visit. The laser penetrates through the nail into the nail bed region where the fungus is causing the infection and kills the fungal organisms so your nail can grow normally again. Sometimes, laser therapy is treated in combination with other treatments. The longer you have had fungus of the nails, usually, the longer it is to get rid of the fungus. Laser therapy is performed by our doctor and staff in the office who is certified in laser therapies and treatments. This is a great option for fungal nails that don’t respond to other treatments.
I know my nail is funky looking and I know it is not fungus!
The good news is we have several options in our office to help you. Once the doctor assesses the affected nail, she will determine the best treatment and/or medication that may be most effective on the nail based on what you have tried and based on what the nail looks like.
Come see our doctor and staff at Grandville Foot and Ankle and we will get your nails starting to look healthier and happier!
Request an Appointment Today
Grandville Foot and Ankle serves patients from Grandville, Jenison, Hudsonville, Georgetown, Zeeland, Grand Rapids, Caledonia, Kentwood, Lowell, and throughout Michigan. Contact us to schedule your appointment with Dr. Sarah Stewart.