Fungus toenails, medically known as onychomycosis, are fungal infections that affect the toenails. This type of infection occurs when a fungus gets in between the toenail and soft tissue under the toe. The fungus usually finds its way under the toenail through a crack or cut in the toe.
Anyone can develop fungus toenails; however, it’s more common in older adults.
There are many types of fungi that might cause a fungal toenail infection. However, dermatophytes are the most common. A dermatophyte is a mold that feeds off the keratin in the toenail — a protein that makes your toenail hard.
The fungi that cause fungus toenails are hard to avoid. You may accidentally pick up the microscopic organism when walking barefoot through a damp area such as a community swimming pool or gym locker room.
It’s possible to have a fungal toenail infection for years and not have any symptoms. However, as the fungus grows, you may start to notice changes in the look and health of your toenail.
Fungus toenails may cause your nail to change colors, turning white, brown, or yellow. The nail may thicken and become crumbly or emit a foul odor.
Your toenail may also start to lift from the nail bed.
Dr. Buckley is an experienced podiatrist and treats patients of all ages, including children, struggling with a fungal toenail infection. She customizes your treatment plan based on the severity of your condition.
Initially, she may recommend an oral antifungal medication and a topical medication you apply directly to the nail. Though these treatments are effective, it may take several months for your infection to clear.
If you have a severe toenail fungal infection, Dr. Buckley may recommend surgical treatment, which involves temporarily removing the nail so she can apply an antifungal medication directly to the nail bed.
Roka Foot and Ankle Centers also offers KeryFlex® for patients with severely damaged fungus toenails. With KeryFlex, Dr. Buckley remodels your damaged toenail, improving the appearance.
To get help for your fungus toenails, call Roka Foot and Ankle Centers or schedule an appointment online today.