Darin Alan Bocian, DPM, FACFAS
Podiatrist located in Tucson, AZ
Toenail fungus has a number of unpleasant, unsightly symptoms, including discoloration, thickening, and crumbling. Though nail fungus often responds to medication, some cases are persistent, which is why board-certified podiatrist Darin A. Bocian, DPM, offers laser treatment for nail fungus. To learn more about how laser treatment can kill fungus once and for all and prevent it from returning, call the office in Tucson, Arizona, or use the online booking tool today.
What causes fungal nails?
Fungus tends to live in warm, damp, dark environments. Your toenails spend hours every day in an environment where fungi can thrive — your socks and shoes. A fungal nail infection means, simply, that a lot of fungi have congregated in your nails.
You’re more likely to get a fungal infection if you don’t thoroughly wash and dry your feet or if your feet are hot and sweaty. If you go barefoot in a locker room or swim in a public pool, you may be exposing yourself to nail fungi.
It’s easy for fungi to spread. You may catch it from another person. Once your nails become infected, the infection can easily spread to other parts of your body. It’s common for nail fungus to accompany athlete’s foot, an infection of the skin between your toes.
Your risk of developing fungal nails is higher if you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or poor circulation. Your toes don’t receive as much blood as your fingers, so it’s harder for them to combat infections, and these conditions make it that much harder. Also, some people are genetically susceptible to nail fungus.
What are signs of a fungal infection?
A fungal infection usually includes at least one of the following signs on one or more of your toenails:
- Scaling under the nail
- White or yellow streaks on the nail
- Flaking white areas on the surface of the nail
- Small pits on the nail
- Crumbling corners or tips of the nail
- Foul odor coming from the nail
- Thickened or brittle texture
- The nail separating from the nail bed
A fungal infection isn’t the only thing that can change the appearance or texture of your toenails. Have Dr. Bocian take a look before you try to treat a fungal infection on your own. He can determine if you have a fungal infection, how serious it is, and how to treat it.
How is nail fungus treated?
Not all cases of fungal infections are equally severe. That means they don’t all require the same intensity of treatment. No matter how serious your symptoms are, however, it’s a good idea to seek treatment to prevent the infection from spreading to other people, to additional toes, or to other parts of your body.
In mild cases, Dr. Bocian may prescribe an oral medication that promotes healthy nail growth. Over time, the new nail replaces the infected part of the nail. He may also combine it with a topical anti-fungal medication, which you apply directly to your nail, similar to nail polish.
Though these medications can help improve the symptoms of fungal nails, they don’t necessarily eliminate the fungus. That means there’s still a risk of recurring fungal nails. If you have a persistent nail infection, Dr. Bocian provides laser treatment, which permanently destroys the fungus and supports healthy nail growth.
Don’t let fungal nails stick around. Schedule an appointment with Darin A. Bocian, DPM, online or over the phone.