Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist
Podiatry & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Homer Glen, IL & Southwest Suburbs, New Lenox, IL
Toenail fungus affects about one in every 10 people. It can occur at any age but is especially common in people 70 and older. At Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist, Christopher Vittori, DPM, and Ameet Thakrar, DPM, boast years of experience diagnosing and treating toenail fungus. To schedule an appointment at the office in Homer Glen or New Lenox, Illinois, call or click the online booking tool.
Toenail Fungus Q & A
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection that causes your toenails to change color, thicken, and crumble. It usually starts small, as a white or yellow dot, but often spreads quickly to both feet.
Mild and moderate infections often respond to conservative, at-home treatments like topical ointments or salves. More serious infections can result in pain or other complications, especially if you have an underlying health problem that affects circulation.
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
Common symptoms of toenail fungus include:
- Thick, brittle nails
- White, yellow, or brown discoloration
- Nails that are crumbly or ragged
- A buildup of debris under the nails
As the fungal infection grows, you might also notice that your toes emit a foul odor.
When should I visit a podiatrist about toenail fungus?
If you experience any symptoms of toenail fungus, and they don’t respond to over-the-counter treatments, make an appointment at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist. That’s particularly true if you have diabetes.
Because diabetes affects blood flow to your feet, toenail fungus increases the risk of more serious problems like an infection or gangrene.
Who is at risk of developing toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus affects people of all backgrounds, but several factors may increase your risk, including:
- Being 70 or older
- Sweating heavily
- Having a history of athlete’s foot
- Walking barefoot in communal areas, like saunas or locker rooms
- Having a skin-related condition, like psoriasis or eczema
You’re also more likely to experience toenail fungus if you have a chronic condition that affects the immune system.
How is toenail fungus diagnosed?
To diagnose toenail fungus, the Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist team visually examines your toenails. Then, they take nail clippings and send them to a laboratory for further analysis. The lab can identify the cause of the infection. Since other microorganisms, like yeast, can infect the nails, laboratory analysis helps your provider determine the most effective treatment.
How is toenail fungus treated?
Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist treats toenail fungus with laser therapy. The outpatient procedure uses targeted light energy to heat up the fungus inside your nails.
Over time, the heat causes the infected tissue to decompose, destroying the fungi in the process. In addition, laser therapy sterilizes your nails, preventing new fungal growth.
To ensure a positive outcome, Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist typically recommends a series of laser treatments spaced several weeks apart.
If you’re living with toenail fungus, make an appointment at Vittori Foot & Ankle Specialist. Call the nearest office or click the online booking tool.
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