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Untreated Toenail Fungus? Yech!
Feet in air at beach | Toenail Fungus | Atlanta Laser Nail Specialist

Get ready for warm weather or a trip to the beach. You can have healthy toenails again often after only one or two laser treatments.

Believe it or not, fungus is a natural part of the human body and has important jobs to do for us. Tiny helpers including fungi, bacteria and other microbes break down toxins and are barriers against foreign microbial invaders. The numbers of each are kept in careful balance, critical to maintaining good health.

An embarrassing problem like untreated toenail fungus comes simply from an overgrowth of fungus. In other words, the balance has been disturbed and one of the components is now growing out of control.

How to Treat a Nail Fungus Overgrowth

It takes a long time to treat a toenail fungus problem. First, of course, a wet, warm environment must be avoided. Atlanta is a humid environment, of course, so take special care to keep your feet dry. Promptly drying feet when wet, using powder to keep the skin and nails dry, and wearing proper footwear that allows air circulation are important first steps.

Then, to reverse the overgrowth and heal the damage, the following direct treatments are available. Each of these treatments work, but it may be more than a year before the nail grows out and again looks healthy.

Tablets such as Lamisil (terbinafine hydrochloride), Sporanox (Itraconazole), and Diflucan (Fluconazole) can be prescribed for daily use for any case of fungal (particularly in the dermatophyte group) overgrowth, in persons four years or older. While they are usually eventually effective, there are many possibly serious side-effects, particularly in the liver.

Efinaconazole is a topical treatment, unlike the pills that must be taken internally, affecting the entire body. This drug instead is applied to the nail itself. This cream is especially effective with onychomycosis that is found in fingernails. Tests in which the cream was applied daily were found to be effective by about 36 weeks in treatment.

Tavaborole is a new candidate undergoing final testing by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It is anticipated that the drug will be ready for final approval in the summer of 2014. This cream is applied externally on the problem nail and is meant for onychomycosis.

Laser treatments use high-energy bursts of light that destroys the yeast organisms that are multiplying out of control under the nails. The fungi are killed by the treatment. The treatment has no side-effects since the treatment is outside the body. The podiatrists at Atlanta Laser Nail Specialist are specialists in these new laser treatments.

The Danger of Not Treating Toenail Fungus

Even if you are OK with the ugliness of crumbling, broken and discolored toenails as the fungus crawls relentlessly from the tip of the toenail toward its nail bed, there are more reasons not to let the condition continue.

In about one in 24 cases, the fungus moves to affect other parts of the body, particularly in older or diabetic persons or those taking chemotherapy or corticosteroids. Fungus can move to hands, back and legs.

For instance, in a person with diabetic neuropathy, fungus infections can cause cracks in the skin where bacteria can then easily enter. The resulting bacterial infection can cause a diabetic to have such a serious infection that an amputation may be all that saves their life.

If you have an untreated toenail fungus and want to avoid its consequences, make an appointment at the Atlanta Laser Nail Specialist at (678) 432-7060 immediately. The sooner your start treatment, the faster your nail will get well.