Toenail fungus can set itself up in your toenails without you realizing until your toenail starts looking discolored and thickened. If you notice symptoms like these, experienced podiatrist Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, can assess your toes and find out what’s causing the symptoms. Dr. Isaacson and his team provide services in the Murray Hill neighborhood of Manhattan in New York City and specialize in treating conditions like toenail fungus using the most advanced and up to date treatment methods. Call today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.

Toenail Fungus Q & A

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is a common condition affecting the toenails on your feet. It can affect one or many toes and may spread to other areas of your foot, like the surrounding skin or between your toes.

You’re more likely to develop toenail fungus if you have:

  • Athlete’s foot
  • Fungal skin infections
  • Previous nail infections
  • Diabetes
  • Chemotherapy for cancer
  • Nail or skin injuries
  • Nail surgeries
  • Family history of nail infections
  • Psoriasis
  • Poor circulation
  • An organ transplant
  • Certain autoimmune conditions

Toenail fungus enters through a break in your skin. The fungus is happiest living in a warm, moist environment, which means your feet are the perfect location. Places like locker rooms and swimming pools are ideal breeding grounds for toenail fungus, so try and avoid walking barefoot in these places or sharing towels.

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

In most cases, the first toenail fungus symptom is the appearance of a whitish or yellowish blemish at the tip of your toenail. You might notice other symptoms in the affected toenails as the fungus spreads, such as:

  • Thickening
  • Discoloration
  • Weakening
  • Crumbling
  • Distortions
  • Darkening
  • Unpleasant odor

To diagnose the cause of these symptoms, Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, might need to take some samples of cells from the nails for analysis.

Does toenail fungus cause any complications?

Left untreated, toenail fungus can cause the toenail to lift and even come away from your toe. As well as being uncomfortable and unsightly, this encourages infection.

If you have diabetes, you should be especially vigilant in looking for foot problems like toenail fungus. This is because diabetes causes reduced circulation and a condition called diabetic neuropathy that can affect your ability to feel your feet.

Any wounds or damage to your feet can go unnoticed until they get infected and you develop more serious foot problems.

How is toenail fungus treated?

Treatment options for toenail fungus could include:

  • Oral antifungal medications
  • Medicinal antifungal nail polish
  • Antifungal creams
  • Toenail removal surgery
  • Laser Treatment

Toenail fungus can be a bit of a challenge to treat, but Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, treats toenail fungus swiftly on-site using state-of-the-art laser treatment. The light energy the laser produces penetrates your nail and kills the fungus. Laser treatment is a safe treatment option with minimal side effects.

If you’d like to find out more about treating toenail fungus, call Ernest L. Isaacson, DPM PC, today or book an appointment online.