Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala
Robert F Linn, DPM
Podiatrist & Orthopedic Foot and Ankle Surgery & Lower Extremity Trauma located in West End of the Jasmine Plaza, Ocala, FL
Toenail fungus is a common problem that affects between 3-12% of the population at any given time. Though it’s relatively easy to treat, if you’re living with diabetes or other circulatory problems, it can increase the risk of more serious complications. At Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala, podiatrist Robert Linn Jr., DPM, uses advanced treatments to manage toenail fungus. To schedule an appointment at the Ocala, Florida, practice, book online, or call the office to speak with a team member today.
Toenail Fungus Q & A
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, occurs when fungi infect your nails, causing them to thicken, change color, and crumble.
Mild cases typically respond to conservative treatments like over-the-counter ointment, but if the condition causes you pain or interferes with your quality of life, contact Dr. Linn right away.
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
You might have toenail fungus if one or more of your nails are:
- Smell foul
- Brittle or crumbly
- Yellow or brown
You might also notice that your nails are more sensitive and break or chip easily.
What causes toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus usually occurs due to fungal organisms called dermatophytes. Anyone can develop a fungal infection, but they’re especially common in people who are 50 or older. That’s because the structure of your nails changes as you age. Over the years, nails become brittle and dry, allowing fungi to enter.
Other factors, including poor circulation, can also play a role.
Who is at risk of toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus affects people of all ages, races, and genders, but several factors increase your risk, including being older, sweating heavily, or having a chronic health problem like diabetes or a weakened immune system.
You might also develop toenail fungus if you walk around barefoot in damp communal areas like public locker rooms, pools, or saunas.
How is toenail fungus diagnosed?
To diagnose toenail fungus, Dr. Linn reviews your health history, asks about your symptoms, and visually examines your toes. Afterward, he takes a few clippings and sends them to a laboratory for further analysis. That’s because other conditions can mimic toenail fungus, including psoriasis and yeast infections.
How is toenail fungus treated?
Treatment of toenail fungus depends on the intensity of your symptoms and the type of fungi responsible. After making a diagnosis, Dr. Linn might recommend:
- Oral antifungal drugs
- Medicated nail polish
- Medicated nail cream
- Temporary removal of the nail
Depending on your needs, Dr. Linn might combine several of these treatments to speed up the recovery process.
Is there any way to prevent toenail fungus?
There’s no way to prevent toenail fungus entirely, but there are things you can do to significantly lower your risk. Dr. Linn recommends washing your feet regularly, wearing sweat-absorbing socks, and choosing shoes that provide proper ventilation, allowing your feet to breathe.
To learn more about treatment for toenail fungus, request a consultation at Foot & Ankle Center of Ocala. Book online, or call the office to speak with a team member today.