Fungal toenail infections are common, affecting about 20% of Americans. Once a fungus invades, it’s often hard to eliminate and frequently returns, unless you get treated with the Q-Clear™ laser available from Eric Abrams, DPM, at Foot & Ankle Affiliates in Eatontown and Toms River, New Jersey. This innovative laser treatment is fast, painless, and more importantly, very effective. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking feature.
You can develop a fungal infection in your toenail, a condition called onychomycosis, when your foot comes into contact with a fungal organism, such as yeast or mold. Chances are you’re frequently exposed to these organisms, because they thrive in dark, moist places such as inside your shoes. However, an infection only occurs if you have a cut or cracked nail that gives organisms a way to get into the tissues.
Your risk of a fungal infection increases if you:
A toenail infection can start as athlete’s foot, another fungal condition. Fungal infections are also more common as you get older because as your nails age, they become brittle and crack, creating an entry for fungi.
At first, you’ll see white or yellow spots under the tip of your toenail, marking the area where the organisms entered. As the infection spreads, your toenails become thick and discolored, often taking on a yellowish color. Eventually, the infection affects the shape of the nail and makes the edges of the nail crumble.
After examining your toenail, Dr. Abrams may take a tissue sample and send it to a lab to identify the fungus. While topical medications are often the first line of treatment, they don’t penetrate the nail very well. As a result, Dr. Abrams may prescribe an oral antifungal medication or recommend thinning or surgically removing the nail to get better results with a topical medication.
If your toenail fungus is severe or resists medication, you have another option at Foot & Ankle Affiliates: the Q-Clear™ laser.
What happens during a laser toenail fungus treatment?
The Q-Clear™ laser uses gentle energy, operating on a wavelength that safely penetrates the nail and eliminates the fungus. Your laser treatment takes about 15 minutes and will be repeated every 4 months until the nail clears. During the procedure, you won’t feel any pain, though you may feel warmth from the laser.
It takes about six to twelve months for a new nail to grow. Your nails may not look the best until they finish growing out, but the fungus is gone.
If you wonder whether your yellow toenail may be due to a fungal infection, call Foot & Ankle Affiliates or request an appointment online.