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Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is an unsightly condition of the nails that causes them to become yellowed and flaky, with a crumbly appearance. This condition is common in the adult population, affecting about 35 million people. Fortunately, a number of treatments are available for this troublesome problem.

Fungus on Toenails

The medical name for toenail fungus is onychonmycosis. It occurs when fungus attacks the tough protein of the nails called keratin. The fungus can hide under the nail and spread from one nail to another. Feet are particularly susceptible to fungus problems because they are usually covered with socks and shoes, which makes a warm, dark and dry environment that is perfect for fungus growth.

A Stubborn Problem

For many patients, onychomycosis can be an ongoing problem that keeps returning. The condition can cause social embarrassment and low self-esteem because of the unattractive appearance of the nails. Many people avoid beaches, swimming pools and other places were going barefoot is required.

Causes

Some people are prone to getting fungus on their nails because of their lifestyle. Swimmers and athletes may spend a significant amount of time in pool areas, gyms, locker rooms or other areas where fungus commonly grows. These athletes may often have wet feet, which makes them vulnerable to fungus growth. Other people may be genetically predisposed to toenail fungus and must constantly fight fungus problems of the nails.

Treating Onychomycosis

A number of treatments are available to help rid patients of this embarrassing problem. Your physician will determine the best treatment for your problem.

  • Topical ointments – Fungus of the nails can be treated with topical ointments applied directly to the nail over a period of time. In many cases, patients can see improvement in months.
  • Oral Medications – Oral medications can be used to treat toe fungus. However, the fungus may return in as much as 35 percent of cases.
  • Laser treatments – Laser is high-energy light that is directly on the toenails to kill the fungus. This treatment can be 77 to 90 percent effective in eliminating the fungus and allowing clear nail to grow.


You don’t have to suffer the embarrassment of having discolored, unsightly toenails. Make an appointment at Atlanta Laser Nail Specialist, a specialty practice of American Foot and Leg, to discuss treatment options for your toenail disorders today.

Toenail Problems