Toenail fungus causes up to half of all nail disease today, and it can be a very persistent and frustrating problem if you don’t get professional treatment. At Bonnie Vader, DPM, PC, in East New York, Brooklyn, New York, Dr. Vader can treat your toenail fungus painlessly and quickly. Call the office or use online booking so you can stop burying your feet in the sand!

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What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a very common infection below your nail plate. When toenail fungus takes hold, it causes changes in the nail plate, including:

  • Thickening, becoming hard to trim
  • Yellow, brown, or white discoloration
  • Ragged or crumbly edges
  • Warped shape
  • Foul odor

If the nail isn’t treated, you might notice the symptoms spreading to other nails as well. Sometimes, the nail fungus can also transfer to your fingernails.

What causes toenail fungus?

Several different fungi can cause nail fungus, the most common of which is dermatophyte, which also causes athlete’s foot. You can experience an overgrowth of fungi for a variety of reasons, including:

  • Walking barefoot around swimming pools or other damp areas
  • Broken nail, skin cut, or other opening on your foot
  • Unclean pedicure tools
  • Wearing damp socks
  • Sweating heavily in your shoes
  • History of athlete’s foot

If you have chronic illnesses that affect your immune, circulatory, or nervous system, you’re more likely to develop toenail fungus. For example, diabetes sufferers may be prone to fungal toenails, so Dr. Vader always checks your nails carefully during all diabetic foot care exams.

How do you diagnose fungal toenails?

Dr. Vader examines your feet and checks your toenails carefully to diagnose nail fungus. She may take a small sample from your nail for lab testing purposes. The lab test can identify the particular type of fungus causing your infection, which can help in customizing your treatment.

What is the best way to treat fungal toenails?

Dr. Vader prescribes oral and/or topical antifungal medication to destroy the fungus causing the infection. Additionally, she performs mechanical debridement, which can remove a significant portion of the fungus.

In many cases, medication plus debridement works very well. But, in cases of severe toenail fungus that keeps coming back, Dr. Vader may recommend another solution like total nail removal.

How can I prevent toenail fungus?

With a few preventive tips, you can often put a stop to recurring toenail fungus. Dr. Vader may recommend:

  • Sterilizing your nail clippers regularly
  • Not going barefoot in public areas
  • Treating any foot lacerations or broken nails promptly
  • Avoiding damp socks and shoes
  • Wearing moisture-wicking socks
  • Trimming toenails neatly straight across

Bonnie Vader, DPM, PC offers effective fungal nail solutions. Call the office or book your appointment using the online scheduler for treatment today.