Help! There is a fungus among us!
Onychomycosis, or tinea ungium, is a fungal infection of the toenails that affects more 3 million people in the United States.
What is the cause?
90% of Toenail fungus is caused by the Trichphyton Mentagrophytes fungus species. Specific causes of infection include, but are not limited to:
- Predisposition, meaning toe fungus runs in your family
- Damage to the nail beds, which causes the nail to lift and allows the fungus to enter
- Sweaty feet which lead to the conditions that fungus loves
The variety of causes makes it more important than ever for a podiatrist to pinpoint the cause so appropriate toe fungus treatment is started so your time and money are not wasted. It is important to treat the cause of cofactors that enable the “athletes foot of the toenail” to thrive!
What are treatment options?
If you are suffering from toenail fungus, do not get discouraged, there are several treatment options available!
- Topical antifungals
- Oral antifungals
- Antifungal Nail Polishes
- Laser toenail fungus treatment
- Periodic debridement by your podiatrist
How is it diagnosed?
Often a clinical diagnosis, there are fungal cultures that can be sent to a lab to confirm the species, thus the most appropriate treatment. Although Mentagrophytes accounts for most of the fungal infections responsible for toenail fungus, if you are in the other 10% you won’t be happy. That’s why at Beaver Valley Foot Clinic we carry a variety of more broad spectrum and specific treatments for the other 10% of toenail treatments.
Candida, molds, mildews, and even psoriasis also cause thick yellow crumbly nails.
Toenail fungus can be diagnosed by visiting you local podiatrist with a quick, in-office exam. To schedule an appointment, call 878-313-FEET (3338).
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If you live out side of the Greater Pittsburgh area there is still help available. Call Sound Medical Technologies to find a provider near you!