The telltale signs of nail fungus (or onychomycosis as it’s known in medical speak) are thickened, crumbly nails that may appear discolored and dull. Sometimes you can see debris built up under the nail as well. In some cases, the toenail actually separates from the nail bed. Fungal toenails are a condition we see commonly at Paul S. DeMarco, DPM.
Dermatophyte fungi are the most common cause of nail infections. These microscopic organisms thrive in moist, warm environments and can enter your skin through cuts that are too small to see or through a tiny space between your nail and nail bed. If you meet any of the criteria below, you are more prone to fungal nail infections:
- Senior citizens
- Currently have athlete’s foot
- Perspire heavily
- Live with someone who currently has a nail fungus
- Work in an environment where your hands are often wet
- You walk barefoot in communal areas that tend to be damp, such as gyms, communal showers or changing rooms, public pools
- You have a weakened immune system, diabetes, or circulatory problems.
Once our board certified podiatrist, Dr. Paul S. DeMarco, confirms a diagnosis of fungal toenail infection, he will prescribe the appropriate treatment for you. Left untreated, fungal infections can spread from toenails to the skin on your foot and even to other parts of the body. Antifungal medications come in oral, cream and a nail polish form. If the fungal nail infection is very bad or causing you extreme pain, the foot doctor may remove all or part of your nail. At Paul S. DeMarco, DPM we also offer the latest treatment for fungal nails: laser therapy, which can be done right in our Somers Point office.
To learn more about laser treatment for fungal toenails and find out if it’s the right method for you to get rid of this unsightly infection, contact our Cape May county office for an appointment by calling: 609) 927-4894.