When a toenail changes color, texture, or shape, nail fungus is the most likely culprit. At Gentle Foot and Ankle Care, in Madison Heights, Troy, Commerce Township, and South Lyon, Michigan, the team of podiatry care specialists treats nail fungus using high-tech laser therapy and other innovative treatment options. They also offer periodic nail care to help you avoid nail fungus in the future. Book an appointment online or call the office located in your area.
Nail fungus is an infection that comes from a fungal organism. If you have any small crack in your nail or a break in the skin around the nail, fungi in the environment can penetrate your toe and cause disease in the nail.
While fungal nails usually aren't painful, they can cause distinct changes in the appearance of your nail.
Nail fungus can look different based upon the particular type of fungus involved. Three of the most common types of fungus that cause nail infections are:
A dermatophyte infection, the most common kind of nail fungus, typically turns the affected nail a yellow color.
Yeast-related infections usually cause the nail to turn white.
A mold-related infection usually turns the nail a brownish color.
The exact location of the fungus can vary. Some infections start from the top of the nail, and others originate at the nail fold. Nail fungus usually spreads until it affects your whole nail.
In addition to the color change, nail fungus can cause symptoms including thickening, crumbling, ragged edges, and foul odor.
Anyone can develop a fungal nail infection, but certain groups are especially prone to this issue, including adults over age 60 and people with diabetes or other immune or circulatory diseases.
If you have a nail injury or an ingrown toenail, your risk of nail fungus increases. Athlete's foot is a skin infection, but it can spread to your nail, where it becomes nail fungus.
At Gentle Foot and Ankle Care, the team of specialists offers laser therapy for nail fungus. Laser therapy targets the fungus beneath your nail, but it doesn't harm the healthy skin around it. The laser travels through your nail to attack the fungus, while topical treatments can't penetrate the nail.
If necessary, the team can also remove part or all of the diseased nail, which creates the best environment for a healthy fungus-free nail to grow back.
In some cases, you may need oral antifungal medication for a period of around three months. Gentle Foot and Ankle Care offers preventive care as well. This can include nail maintenance like trimming hard-to-cut nails.
Book your appointment online or call the Gentle Foot and Ankle Care office for help with toenail fungus.