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Treatments for Nail Diseases

 Nail diseases and nail fungus can be very distressing especially on the hands. But toenail fungus should not be ignored either since it is an infection that can eventually lead to complications as we get older and our immune system is not as robust.

Overview

An infection with nail fungus can affect one or more fingernails or toenails and may begin with a white or yellow spot. The cause often is a fungus called a dermatophyte, but could also be a yeast or mold. These organisms thrive in warm, moist places such as showers or swimming pools and invade the body through small cuts or separations in the nail bed. They are very common in people that have to have their hands exposed to water,  or enclosed environment

Signs and Symptoms

The affected nail often becomes thickened, dull, brittle or crumbly with a discolored yellowish appearance.  On the hands very often it will be noticed with use of acrylic nails. There is often a separation of the nail from the bed- onycholysis , especially with Candida- dishwater nail fungus disease. It is possible also to have a skin infection around the toes/ bottom of the feet called Tinea Pedis (athletes foot), a contagious disease caused by a fungus that thrives on moist surfaces, which causes itching, peeling and sometimes burning skin between the toes. It can spread to other areas of the body. They both need to be treated for successful outcome.

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Diagnosis and Treatment

The medication recommended depends on the type and severity of the nail infection. The doctor may send your nail clippings to an offsite laboratory for further diagnosis if there is any doubt about the diagnosis or if treatment has failed.Rescent advances in topical Rx have eliminated the need for oral medication for nail fungus.

Tinea Pedis is best treated with antifungal cream or ointment, as over-the-counter medications rarely are often strong enough to be effective.

Follow up and Outcomes

Preventative actions include keeping nails short, wearing loose shoes, avoiding exposure of the feet or hands to damp environments, and avoiding going barefoot or wearing open sandals. Breathable fabric socks and shoes are highly recommended, as are regular visits to our practice where skincare specialists can screen for recurrence and remind you of preventative actions.

DISCLAIMER: The information provided by this site is intended solely for educational purposes. This information is not to be used for medical diagnostic purposes and is not intended to serve as a recommendation for treatment and/or management of any medical/surgical condition. Most of all, this information should not be used in place of a physician or other qualified health provider. If you believe you have a medical condition, please contact your physician immediately