Fungal Toenails

Fungal toenails rarely cause physical pain, but they can nevertheless create plenty of discomfort in terms of stress, embarrassment, and loss of confidence.

Most people just want to get rid of their toenail fungus, and we are here to provide advanced, professional treatment that gets results. There is no reason to delay treatment, as the more time fungus has to thrive in your nails, the more challenging it can be to fight.

What Does Toenail Fungus Look Like?

Most people do not recognize the signs of a fungal toenail infection until it has already caused significant damage to the nail. Classic symptoms include nails that are:

  • Discolored (often yellow, brown, or off-white)
  • Thick
  • Crumbling
  • Distorted or misshapen
  • Possessing an unpleasant odor

However, the earliest signs of toenail fungus tend to be much more subtle. It may appear as small whitish spots or streaks on the nail – easy to pass off as results of bumps or scratches. But if those marks remain on the nail for some time, changing in shape or growing, it’s worth having us check it out. Getting rid of fungus at this stage is much easier than later on.

Point to Damaged toenail, broken nail

How Are Fungal Nails Treated?

Advanced Foot and Ankle Centers of Illinois provides multiple treatment options for fungal toenails. We will discuss with you the best options that fit the circumstances of your condition and your personal needs. In some cases, we may recommend two treatments working together for best results.

Remy Laser Treatment

The Remy laser, currently available at our Joliet and Hoffman Estates offices, can provide advanced treatment for fungal nails.

The laser is capable of passing through nail tissue and attacking the fungus directly at the source – without burning the nail or causing any sort of damage to your skin. Laser sessions are painless and have no other side effects.

Remy treatment is typically scheduled in 2-3 sessions over a couple months, each lasting about 15 minutes in length (although overall time and sessions may change depending on the severity of the infection). 

Antifungal Medications

Antifungal medications are the traditional remedy for fungal toenails. They come in two common forms: topical and oral.

Topical creams and ointments must have direct contact with the fungus to work best, and we will often file the nails down to give topical medications the best chance to work, if used.

Oral antifungal medications work by delivering the medication through the bloodstream, attacking the fungus “from the inside out.” While most people tolerate this medication well, oral antifungals can cause side effects in some cases. This makes them unusable for patients with certain conditions, and we may schedule follow-up appointments to ensure the medication is not having adverse effects.

Surgical Treatment

In more extreme cases where the toenail fungus does not respond to other forms of treatment, we can perform a quick surgical removal of the infected nail and apply medication directly to the fungus. This procedure is very uncommon.

Aftercare Expectations

What can you expect from fungal toenail treatment? For the most part, overall success rates are high for those who complete the treatment course as directed and take their aftercare seriously.

That said, it is important to bear these two notes in mind:

  • You will not see the full effect of fungal nail treatment for several months. Even when the fungus is completely eradicated from under the nail, the damage it caused will remain until the new nail is able to grow out and replace it.
  • Fungal infection can happen again. You must continue to practice good foot hygiene and reduce your risks of exposure when possible.

Please do not hesitate to ask us any questions you may have about treatment or prevention. We will always be happy to help you.

Get the Fungal Toenail Treatment You Need Now

Whether you feel you might have the beginnings of a fungal nail infection or have had one for quite some time, there is no better time to see us than now. Call any of our area offices below or click the “Same Day Appointment” button to reach out to us electronically.

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