Nail Fungus Got You by the Toe? What Causes It and How to Cure It – for Good!

Toenail Fungus Treatment

Fungal nail infections are one of the most common foot ailments and they can happen to the best of us. From unsightly symptoms to a high recurrence rate, you should learn the signs of a toenail fungus infection. No one wants a long-term, debilitating and painful bout with this foot condition.

It’s especially true for seniors. Only about 7% of the under 20 population, and 20% of those aged 30 to 60, suffer from toenail fungus. For those over 60, the incidence rate jumps up to about 45%. 

Our nails are a horn-like covering of the tips of our fingers and toes. Like the talons and hooves of other animals, our nails are composed of a tough protein known as keratin. A healthy toenail protects the tips of the toes and surrounding soft tissues from injuries. 

A disruption in the seal between the toenail and the nail bed can allow invading fungus to intrude and spread, both within and under the nail. Such disruptions are usually created by some type of trauma like stubbing your toe. The long-term consequences of long-distance running or poorly fitting shoes can also cause trauma to the toes.

What Factors Can Increase the Risk of Toenail Fungus?

People with diabetes or a compromised immune system are at higher risk of developing toenail fungus. Exposure to fungus at a public swimming pool and the shower or sauna in a public gym can also lead to toenail fungus. Leaving your toenails long and untrimmed can cause injuries that open the door to fungus. Note that men incur toenail fungus 2 to 3 times more than do women.

How do you know if you have toenail fungus?

How Do You Know if You Have Toenail Fungus?

The symptoms usually start with thickening or warping of the toenail. This is followed by yellowing of the nail or the appearance of white spots on the toenail. Left untreated, the nail may begin to separate from its bed and the skin next to the nail can become rough and scaly. An unpleasant smell often signals the presence of toenail fungus. All these signs and symptoms are generally accompanied by increasing pain. 

If continued untreated, the fungus will spread. It will migrate to the skin and morph into athlete’s foot, on its way to infecting neighboring toenails. 

The damage caused by toenail fungus is not solely physical. One survey shows that 92% of those with infected toes have reduced self-esteem. The survey points out that 46% reported decreased mobility.

Toenail Fungus Treatment Options

The standard modes of treatment begin with debridement, a process that removes much of the fungal material. 

Topical ointments are available, both over-the-counter and by prescription. But they are minimally effective, at best.

Oral antifungal medications attack the fungus systemically. The most up-to-date medications are effective initially, but significant side effects prohibit long-term usage. 

Removal of the nail allows the regrowth of a new, fungus-free nail. It does affect the nail bed, so the appearance of the new nail may not be attractive. Also, this remedy can involve a significant amount of unavoidable discomfort for the patient.

Q laser treatment for toenail fungus

UFAI Now Provides Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus

Traditional treatments often fail to provide anything approaching a complete and permanent remedy. The newest laser technology is revolutionizing the treatment of toenail fungus. UFAI now utilizes the Q-Clear system, which emits a laser beam at a wavelength of 1064 nanometers. This wavelength is harmless to normal tissue and works on all skin types.

As the laser beam interacts with the toenail and its bed, our patients experience only mild warming of the toenail area. The process is painless, both during and after application of the laser beam. With no recovery time, our laser patients immediately return to their normal activities.

There are reports in relevant studies of cure rates from 77% to 95% after only one laser treatment. UFAI achieves even more optimal results from three applications, spaced a month apart.

The laser treatment is incorporated into a comprehensive care plan. This includes debridement of the nail and a long-term post-treatment protocol designed to prevent re-infection.

UFAI Is the Best Choice for Toenail Fungus Treatment

The physicians at University Foot and Ankle Institute have decades of combined experience diagnosing and treating toenail fungus. If you would like more information or to schedule a consultation, please call (877) 475-1678 or visit us at www.footankleinstitute.com.

University Foot and Ankle Institute is conveniently located throughout Southern California and the Los Angeles area as our foot doctors are available at locations in or near Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, West Los Angeles, Manhattan Beach, Northridge, Downtown Los Angeles, Westlake Village, Granada Hills, and Valencia, California.

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