What is Toenail Fungus Treatment?

Does it seem as if no matter what you do, your toenail fungus just won’t go away? Dr. Shanahan, Dr. Popofski and Dr. Petronella, your Oakland County, MI podiatrists at Lakes Foot and Ankle Associates, share information about toenail fungus and treatment options.

Why do I have toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus grows in warm, dark, moist environments. You may have picked up the fungus at a swimming pool or in public showers or locker rooms. You’re more likely to develop the problem if your feet tend to sweat because your shoes and socks provide the perfect place for the fungus to flourish. If someone in your family has toenail fungus, you can catch it if you share shoes, socks or towels.

Why doesn’t the product I bought at the drugstore work?

Over-the counter toenail fungus treatments only penetrate the top layers of your nails and they halt fungal growth but don’t kill fungus. Unfortunately, fungus can grow under your nails if you have a severe infection. No matter how often you apply the medication to your nails, it won’t help if it can’t reach the source of the problem. Over-the-counter medication is rarely helpful and tends to be a waste of money.

How can a foot doctor help me?

Your Oakland County podiatrist can provide prescription-strength topical medications that are far more effective in penetrating the nail than over-the-counter treatments. Prescription oral anti-fungal medications can clear up fungal infections in just a few months, however you will need to undergo blood tests during the treatment, as the medication can affect the liver in some people. Additionally, the prescription medications are very expensive.

Laser treatment is the safest and most aggressive fungus treatment method available today. During a treatment session, your doctor aims a light beam at your nail, which heats up the the fungus to kill it. Laser treatment isn’t painful, has NO side effects, and is 100% safe. At most, you’ll feel a slight warming or pinprick sensation in your toe. Most people engage in a comprehensive laser treatment program guided by the physicians that will involve a 1 year commitment by the patient to improve the health of their nails. There IS NOT an overnight cure for fungal toenails. It takes a coordinated effort by the patient and physician to eradicate this tenacious infection.

You don’t have to live with toenail fungus. Call Dr. Shanahan, Dr. Popofski, and Dr. Petronella, your Oakland County, MI podiatrists at Lakes Foot and Ankle Associates, at (248) 360-3888 to schedule an appointment to discuss your options.