Nail fungus is more common than you might think, and is nothing to be embarrassed about. At Jenson Foot and Ankle Specialists in The Woodlands, Texas & Houston, Texas, and Shenandoah, Texas, David Jenson, DPM, offers comprehensive care for nail fungus and can help you feel great about the condition of your toenails. When you’re ready to get started, schedule an appointment using the easy online tool or by calling the office.
Nail fungus is an infection of fungi in your fingernails or toenails. This specific type of fungal infection is also called onychomycosis, and it is very common.
Older people have a higher risk of nail fungus, and men experience the condition more often than women. You are also at an elevated risk if you have diabetes or other chronic health problems.
The symptoms of fungal nails include:
Nail fungus is not a life-threatening condition, but it can cause discomfort if left untreated. You can also lose your toenail, which increases sensitivity.
Anyone can get nail fungus if the conditions are right. Prevention rests upon avoiding fungus and creating an environment in which fungus cannot thrive.
Good foot hygiene is a great place to start. Be sure to routinely wash your feet using soap and plenty of friction, including between your toes. Keep your toenails trimmed short and straight across. Choose socks that pull moisture away from your skin, and change your socks a couple of times a day if your feet seem to sweat often.
Take care to avoid walking barefoot on shared surfaces, such as gym floors, locker rooms, saunas, or pool decks. Don’t share towels with loved ones who have a fungal infection. If you suspect you’re developing fungal nails, use antifungal spray or powder on both your feet and shoes.
There are several options for treating fungal nails, and Dr. Jenson discusses the pros and cons of each during your initial appointment. Topical treatments can help kill nail fungus and control some fungal infections.
The medications available from a podiatrist are far more potent and effective than the consumer brands available without a prescription. Some formulations are massaged into the surface of the affected nail, while others are painted on like nail polish.
For deeper fungal infections, laser therapy may be the best treatment path. The team at Jenson Foot and Ankle Specialists uses an FDA-approved laser to kill nail fungus. The laser delivers enough heat to destroy the fungus without affecting the surrounding tissues.
Nail debridement is the manual reduction in the length, width, or thickness of your toenail. It’s often used to treat fungal nails by removing the thickened portion of the nail to allow the medication to penetrate more deeply. Debridement can be performed using clippers or a Dremel-style rotating tool.
If you notice changes in your toenails, schedule an appointment to determine if a fungal infection is present. You can book a visit online, or call to check availability.