Discover What Treatments A Podiatrist In Seattle Can Administer To Eliminate Toenail Fungus.
Toenail fungus is one of the more unsightly and embarrassing medical conditions one can endure. Although toenail fungus usually doesn’t cause any serious health problems, it can do a number on your self-esteem and bring an end to your sandal wearing days. According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, an estimated 13% of Americans have toenail fungus.
Fungal nail infections are common among adults and tend to get worse as you age. Known as onychomycosis, nail fungus can affect one or more of your toenails. It typically begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. As the fungus spreads further, it may cause the following symptoms:
- Thickened and discolored toenails
- Foul smell
- Loosening of the toenail
- Toenails that are distorted in shape
- White or yellow patches on the nail bed
- Loss of shine or luster
- Scaly skin next to the nail
- Brittle or crumbling toenails
- Dark color under the toenail caused by buildup of debris
If a fungal toenail infection is left untreated, it can cause pain and discomfort, making it difficult to wear shoes, walk, and work. Toenail fungus can even lead to the complete loss of a toenail.
People who frequent gyms, swimming pools, and public shower rooms or those who sweat a lot tend to suffer from toenail fungus infections because fungus thrives in warm, moist environments. The fungus invades your skin through small cuts or the separation between your nail and nail bed.
Toenail Fungus Treatment Options
Toenail fungus is notoriously difficult to treat. Over-the-counter remedies aren’t particularly effective and many people suffer from repeat infections. A podiatrist in Seattle might prescribe an oral antifungal medication if a fungal toenail infection is causing you pain and discomfort, but treatment will vary depending on the severity of your infection. One of the most effective prescription medications available for the treatment of toenail fungus is Lamisil, which must be taken orally for 90 days. However, Lamisil has been associated with rare cases of liver damage. Other available treatments include topical antifungal treatment, surgery to remove the affected nail, or debridement, which is the removal of diseased nail matter.
A new and promising treatment for toenail fungus that was recently approved by the FDA is laser treatment. Laser toenail fungus treatment kills the organisms that cause fungus and inhibits fungal growth. The treatment typically takes 30 to 45 minutes for up to 10 toes. Depending on the severity of the problem, patients may need to undergo anywhere from one to four treatments.
The odds of success are better with laser treatment than oral medication and there are no side effects. A study by the American Podiatric Medical Association showed that 85% of toenails had improved six months after undergoing laser treatment. The downside of laser toenail fungus treatment is the cost, which ranges from approximately $750 to $1500. Laser treatment for toenail fungus isn’t covered by insurance, as it is considered an aesthetic treatment.
To prevent toenail fungus from recurring after treatment, it’s essential to follow proper hygienic practices, like keeping your toenails short, dry, and clean; applying anti-fungal spray to your toes and feet; wearing shower shoes in public areas; and disinfecting nail cutters and other instruments.
Looking For A Seattle Foot Doctor?
The podiatrists at Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington offer an array of treatments for toenail fungus, including laser treatment. To undergo the best toenail fungus treatment for your needs in Seattle or surrounding areas, including Everett, Kirkland, Redmond, and Renton, contact Integrative Foot & Ankle Centers of Washington today to schedule an appointment.