Nail Fungus Treatment in Dallas-Fort Worth
What is a fungal nail infection?
A fungal nail infection, or onychomycosis, occurs when a fungus attacks a fingernail, a toenail, or the skin under the nail, called the nail bed. Fungi (plural of fungus) can attack your nails through small cuts in the skin around your nail or through the opening between your nail and nail bed.
If you are healthy, a fungal nail infection probably won’t cause serious problems. But it may look bad, hurt, or damage your nail or nail bed.
A fungal nail infection could lead to more serious problems if you have diabetes or a weak immune system. Although we provide laser nail fungus treatment in our Dallas-Forth Worth location, you should talk to your doctor about the best way to treat a nail infection if you have one of these problems.
What causes a fungal nail infection?
Yeasts, molds, and different kinds of fungi can cause fungal nail infections. Most are caused by the same type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot.
Fungi grow best in warm, moist places, and they can spread from person to person. You can get a fungal nail infection from walking barefoot in public showers or pools or by sharing personal items, such as towels and nail clippers. If you have athlete’s foot, the fungus can spread from your skin to your nails.
You are more likely to get a nail infection if you:
- Are older than 60.
- Have diabetes or a weak immune system.
- Have a nail injury like a hangnail or an ingrown toenail.
- Wear shoes that make your feet moist or sweaty.
- Live or work in a hot, humid place.
What are the symptoms?
A nail with a fungal infection may:
- Turn yellow or white.
- Get thicker.
- Crumble and split, and it may separate from the skin.
When you have a fungal nail infection, it can be uncomfortable or even painful to wear shoes, walk, or stand for a long time. The fungus could also spread to other nails or your skin. Over time, the infection can cause permanent damage to your nail or nail bed.
How is it treated?
There are several popular ways that nail fungus is treated:
- Topical antifungal agents.
- Oral antifungal agents.
- Home remedies.
- Laser treatment.
Recent studies and clinical results have shown that laser or Photodynamic therapy is the most effective of these modalities and requires the least amount of client compliance and has the fewest adverse effects. Our clinic provides nail fungus treatment to the residents of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The optical energy of the Nd:YAG laser is absorbed in the region between the nail plate and nail bed where the temperature is increased to thermally deactivate the unwanted organism without causing unwanted or permanent damage to surrounding tissue. Before laser treatment we recommend removing nail polish, clipping nails, then soak the infected hands or feet in warm water and epsom salt for 30 minutes. Dry well and lightly file the top of the infected nails.
Lifestyle and Home Treatment
After laser treatment, use these measures to prevent reinfection.
- Before bed, thoroughly wash and dry your feet or hands and apply a topical antifungal, such as terbinafine (Lamisil cream) or ciclopirox (Penlac Rx), if these are unavailable use Lotrimin. Apply directly to nails and surrounding cuticle.
- Keep your feet and hands dry. Dry skin and nails are less likely to become infected. Apply powder to your dry feet or hands after you take a shower or bath.
- Daily application of tea tree or thymol oil directly to the nail has been shown to be effective.
- Experts suggest soaking your feet for 15 to 20 minutes in a mixture of 1 part vinegar (apple or white vinegar) to 2 parts warm water. Be sure to rinse well and pat your feet dry when you’re done. We recommend that you soak your feet 1-2 weekly. Wear dry cotton socks and change them 2 or 3 times a day if necessary.
- Wear sandals or dry roomy shoes made of materials that allow moisture to escape. Avoid tight, enclosed shoes. Let shoes dry for 24 hours before wearing them again.
- Spray inside of shoes weekly with Lotrimin AF Spray.
- Wear shower sandals or shower shoes when using a public pool or shower, and let them dry between uses.
- Don’t share shoes, socks, nail clippers, or nail files with others.
- Avoid injuring your nail. Cutting nails too short is a common cause of nail injury. If you decide to get artificial nails or have a manicure, go to a salon that uses sterile instruments. Nail manicure and certain nail products can damage the nail or cuticle, making the nail more susceptible to infection.
- Control chronic conditions such as diabetes.
- Stop smoking.
Onychomycosis, also known as nail fungus, is a common problem for both men and women and occurs when microscopic organisms attack the nails on your hands and feet. These organisms are most prevalent when the nail itself breaks or becomes weakened.