Toe Conditions: Toenail Fungus (Onychomycosis)

Nail Fungus is treated painlessly with a special laser
Nail Fungus is treated painlessly with a special laser.

The dark, moist surroundings created by shoes and stockings make the feet especially susceptible to a fungal infection. Various types of fungi are present everywhere in the environment and most fungi are harmless until they penetrate the skin.

 

A fungus can invade through minor cuts or after injury. Repeated irritation to the toes may cause the nail to separate from the bed. Fungal infections of the nail plate, also known as onychomycosis and nail matrix, are the most common nail disease.

 

We take a cutting-edge approach to your nail problems. Whether the solution is as simple as an over-the-counter drug or taking advantage of laser technology, we care about your feet.

What are the symptoms of Toenail Fungus?

 

The first sign of a potential fungal nail infection is when the nail becomes thickened and turns black, yellow or green in color. After that stage, the nail often becomes brittle, with pieces breaking off from the toe.

 

Through time, the skin underneath and around the nail becomes inflamed. You may also notice white or yellow patches on the nail bed, scaly skin next to the nail, and an unpleasant smell. It may be painful secondary to the thickness of the nail and from the lifting of the nail plate off the nail bed.

 

What causes a Toenail Fungal Infection?

Toenail Fungus - University Foot and Ankle Institute

 

As we age, blood circulation is diminished, the fungus has had many years to grow, and nails grow slower and thicken, giving way to possible infection.  Nail fungus tends to affect men more often than women.

 

Other risk factors include:

  • Excessive perspiration

  • A humid environment

  • Poorly-ventilated socks and shoes

  • Going barefoot in public pools, gyms and shower rooms

  • Athlete’s foot

  • Diabetes 


Toenail Fungus treatment options

 

Treatment for nail fungus presents challenges because the infection lives inside the nail and is difficult to reach. It may take a year for new nail growth to replace the infect old growth. University Foot and Ankle Institute offers following treatments for nail fungus:

 

Topical

The first line of defense is typically topical medication. This can be administered as a cream, gel or nail polish. Your doctor may write you a prescription, though some topical toenail anti-fungal agents can be purchased over the counter.

 

Oral

Oral antifungal pills may be used for moderate-to-severe or hard-to-treat fungal nail infections. These medicines have shown the most success at approximately 75% clinical cure. However, oral medicine may cause possible drug interactions, allergy, and/or systemic effects for some patients.

 

Nail Removal

For severe nail infections, your doctor may recommend removing the infected nail during an office visit. Performed with a numbing injection, your doctor will loosen the skin around the nail and separate the nail from the skin by using a tool under the nail. If only part of the nail is diseased, only the diseased part is removed.

 

Q-Clear™ laser treatment

The new advent of a fungal nail laser has changed the treatment options.

 

Q-clear™laser treatment effectively resolves underlying fungal infections while preserving delicate surrounding tissue. The mid-infrared laser wavelength penetrates the toenail and eliminates the destructive fungus at the root the infection. Clear growth will begin to appear as the revitalized nail grows out.

 

The treatment takes approximately 15 minutes for both feet and patients report a mild, warming sensation as laser treats the nail. There is no down time following the treatment and patients can immediately return to normal activity. Laser treatment takes one visit, with an occasional touch-up.

 

There are reports of cure rates from 77% to 95% in the literature after one treatment with the laser. In many cases, patients who did not obtain a cure went on to full resolution with a second treatment. We have found that laser therapy is a very safe and effective method of treating onychomycosis.

 

In addition to applying the heat-based laser treatments, our physicians apply nail lacquer for optimal results.


University Foot and Ankle Institute, the best choice for Onychomycosis treatment

 

Our doctors take a cutting-edge approach to your nail problems. Whether the solution is as simple as an over-the-counter drug or taking advantage of laser technology, we care about your feet.

  • Yelp
    "Dr. Bob" is amazing.  I destroyed my tibia in a Pilon fracture a year ago and was having serious difficulty recovering.  No amount of PT would help, so I ended up seeing a sports medicine doc, who referred me to Dr. ...
    Dave F.
  • CustomerSure
    Excellent service. Dr. Bob is fantastic!
    Dana M.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Campbell is fabulous both in personality & expertise.  I went into my appointment with 4 separate issues & he knowledgeably answered all of my questions & addressed all of my concerns.  Marta who helped to schedul...
    Lisa D.
  • ZocDoc
    Was very impressed with the professionalism of the entire office. Very courteous and knowledgeable nurses - prompt and gentle too.
    Ronald B.
  • Yelp
    After 15 years of surgery fear and bad big toe joints I could hardly walk for more than 10 minutes. I have visited many Dr.s but was not comfortable until met Dr. Bob Baravarian 2 years ago in Sherman Oaks.  At 62, I ...
    Steve N.
  • Yelp
    Dr. Morris took the time to listen, diagnose, and answer many questions I had.  In combination of his treatment, suitable ankle support, and physical therapy sessions, which prescribed by Dr. Morris, I was able to hea...
    Margaux H.
  • Angies List
    I was treated very well. I have a recheck on Wednesday. Dr. Bob is very personable. He is the head of podiatry at UCLA Medical Center. He's been doing this kind of surgery for 17 years. He is very knowledgeable. He wa...
    Anonymous
  • Yelp
    I'm an R.A patient and I was 24 yrs old when I was diagnosed, so I developed feet deformities due to my illness. The joint damage was so severe that I could no longer wear normal  shoes. All I was able to wear was a ...
    Sandra T.
  • Angies List
    Exceptional care. Very professional, no BS, exactly what I was told would happen, has happened. How often does that happen in the real world? Rarely, but it did here and I am very happy and grateful for that.
    Anonymous
  • CustomerSure
    The therapists are very knowledgeable. It was nice to see how they all helped out where needed. If someone started something, but was busy when a treatment ended, then someone else would finish up. A nice team effort.
    Hunter M.
Same day appointments now available!
or call 24/7:
  • University Foot & Ankle, a Preferred Provider to:
  • UCLA Health System - UCLA Medical Group
  • MPTF - Member Industry Health Network
  • Cirque du Soleil
  • ATP - Association of Tennis Professionals
  • And consulting physicians for:
  • C&S - Cedars-Sinai
  • Saint John's Health Center