Discolored, crumbling nails can be a sign of a fungal infection that could eventually cause the loss of your nail. If you've noticed this telltale sign of fungal nails, Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, can help. The team provides advanced treatments for fungal nails, including laser treatment, to kill the fungus. Call Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today.
Fungal nails are infected with nail fungus, or onychomycosis, which causes the nail to turn yellow or white, thicken, and become crumbly or brittle.
Nail fungus flourishes in dark, damp, and warm surroundings, so your toes provide the perfect breeding ground. The fungus grows under your toenails, starting off as a mark under your nail that you'd barely notice.
Over time, the discoloration spreads to cover the whole nail. In some cases, fungal nails turn black or green. They might start to come away from the nailbed or begin growing the wrong way.
In the earlier stages, fungal nails usually aren't painful. However, advanced cases can cause pain when you walk.
You can pick up the organism that causes fungal nails from contact with someone who already has the infection. Frequent washing and keeping your feet clean and dry helps prevent the fungus from taking hold.
The environment itself contains many fungus spores, most of which are harmless to human health. They can even live on your skin without causing any infection.
Problems typically arise when the fungus spores multiply out of control or when you have a condition that affects your immune system function.
The providers at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle have considerable experience in treating fungal nails and restoring affected nails to a healthy appearance. The first step is usually to apply an antifungal cream to the nail. You might need oral medication as well to tackle the infection from inside your body.
Your provider at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle can also use laser therapy to treat fungal nails. Laser therapy is a painless, noninvasive treatment that directs beams of light energy into the nail to kill the fungus.
If your fungal nails are particularly severe, you might need to undergo a procedure to remove the affected nail. A new, healthy nail should then grow in its place.
If you have signs of fungal nails, the sooner you seek treatment, the easier it is to resolve the problem. Call Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle or book an appointment online today.