Nail fungus (onychomycosis) is a common fungal infection that occurs beneath the surface of the nail. Since fungi are tiny mold organisms, nail fungus can grow and spread to other toenails or fingernails, and can also spread to the skin next to the affected area, the groin, or the scalp. Left untreated, nail fungus can lead to other medical problems, so individuals experiencing nail fungus should seek medical treatment. Dr. Brian Ting at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center in Moline, IL is a qualified, expert podiatrist who has vast experience treating nail fungus and other related podiatry ailments.
Causes of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is extremely contagious and can be transmitted through direct contact or by touching an infected surface. Nail fungus frequently occurs on the toes, and can be acquired in individuals who walk barefoot in damp areas such as public showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools. Individuals who have diabetes, athlete’s foot, a nail injury, psoriasis, hyperhidrosis, or a weakened immune system may be at higher risk for nail fungus. Individuals over age 60 also have a greater tendency to acquire nail fungus.
Symptoms of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus often causes the nail to turn darker or yellow and emits a foul odor, with white marks or streaks frequently occurring on the nail. Nail fungus causes the nail to thicken and separate from the bed of the nail, and debris may accumulate under the nail. If left untreated, nail fungus can also evolve into a secondary yeast or bacterial infection in or around the nail. Many individuals ignore nail fungus because the symptoms are not painful, however, left untreated the nail will progressively change and worsen in color and quality, and may continue to discolor and grow deformed. The earlier one seeks medical treatment, the greater the chance for the nail to clear and heal. If you live in Moline, IL, contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Center to get a medical diagnosis for nail fungus.
Treatments for Nail Fungus
Nail fungus can be difficult to treat and completely eliminate. Once acquired, nail fungus often reemerges over time. Treatment options can include prescribed oral antifungal medication, topical medications, or laser treatments. In some cases, surgical treatment may be required to remove the infected nail. Upon your first visit, Dr. Ting will conduct a close examination of the affected area and may recommend lab tests to confirm the presence of a fungal infection.
While nail fungus is not painful, left untreated over time it can cause other medical issues. Contact Dr. Ting at Advanced Foot & Ankle Center to get an expert assessment and begin treatments. To make an appointment, please call (309) 762-5655.