If you’re dealing with toenail fungus, you may experience pain and discomfort or feel embarrassed to show your toes. You might even start to feel hopeless if you’re unsure how to get rid of the problem. First, know that you’re not alone! Anyone can contract a fungal infection. However, those with weakened immune systems are more likely to contract an infection from toenail fungus. The good news is there is a noninvasive way to get rid of the fungus: laser nail therapy. Read on to learn about the causes of toenail fungus and the treatments for it, including laser nail therapy.
What causes toenail fungus?
Exposure to a contaminated environment may cause a toenail fungal infection. Instances when you may come into contact with the fungus are when walking barefoot at a public pool or public shower or when sharing bath mats, socks, or shoes.
Common signs of toenail fungus
Catching the early signs of a problem can help you avoid seeking professional treatment. Warning signs of a toenail fungus include
- Darkening or white or yellow discoloration of the affected nail
- Thickening of the nail
- Crumbling along the edges or tips of the nail, particularly where it’s discolored
- Redness, swelling, pain, and discomfort around the nail, especially when wearing shoes
- Foul odor coming from the nail
- Separation of the nail from the nail bed
How to prevent toenail fungus
The best way to stop toenail fungus is to keep your feet and toes clean and dry. Some other preventative measures include:
- Washing your feet with soap and water
- Changing socks and shoes daily
- Cleaning your bath mat
- Wearing shoes in public showers
- Wearing socks that are made of synthetic fiber to wick away moisture
- Clipping toenails straight across to keep them from extending beyond the tip of your toes
How to treat toenail fungus
There are several ways to treat toenail fungus, depending on the severity of the infection. For less severe conditions, a topical or oral medication can do the trick. As part of this treatment, it’s good practice to remove parts of the diseased nail and any debris. If medication doesn’t work, then permanent removal of the nail may be recommended.
Home remedies for treating toenail fungus
Nails are susceptible to fungal infections, as they don’t have cell-mediated capability to fight off the infection. Therefore, when they’re infected, it’s best to aid in ridding the fungus.
- Topical products and over-the-counter medications with antifungal agents may help alleviate your toenail fungus.
- Your podiatrist may prescribe oral antifungal treatments. Oral antifungal treatments are often the go-to treatment, as they don’t leave a mess, they have shorter treatment regimens, and they’re easier to keep up with.
- Visiting your physician for diagnosis and proper treatment is recommended to avoid using unnecessary medications or experiencing side effects and drug-to-drug interactions.
Laser nail therapy at Arizona Foot Doctors in Scottsdale, AZ
There is another safe, painless way to treat the problem: laser nail therapy. Laser toenail fungus therapy can alleviate pain around the nail bed and prevent the spread of a fungal infection. It’s noninvasive, promotes the healthy growth of the nail, and restores the nail to its normal appearance.
Laser nail therapy has made toenail fungus removal easier than ever before. The procedure is simple, and most patients don’t feel any pain (some feel a warming sensation or a pinprick). Before your laser nail therapy session, a specialist will examine your nail beds and overall appearance of your toenails. They may trim down your toenails as well before beginning the treatment.
Laser therapy FAQs
How does laser nail therapy work on toenail fungus?
With laser nail therapy, the heat from the laser beam penetrates the toenail. It treats the affected nail bed without causing you any pain. A typical session lasts only 30 minutes and has no recovery time—you can walk out the door and drive home right after the procedure!
What to expect after the procedure
Many people see results after one appointment! If multiple sessions are required, speak with your podiatrist about expectations and any questions you might have about the process. Although pain relief can be immediate, it may take 6–12 months for the nail to grow back to its natural, healthy appearance.
Will my toenail fungus come back after laser treatment?
It’s unlikely that the fungus will reappear if you take the proper steps to care for your feet and toenails. However, if you’re concerned about contracting a fungus, speak with a podiatrist, who can give you tips on caring for your feet and toes.
Schedule an appointment for laser treatment for toenail fungus
If you’re looking for the most effective toenail fungus treatment near Scottsdale, Arizona, schedule an appointment with Arizona Foot Doctors. After a careful evaluation of your foot, we’ll suggest the right treatment plan for you. We have over 35 years of experience in podiatry and encourage you to schedule an appointment online.