Nail Fungus

Tri-County Foot Care

Podiatrists & Foot & Ankle Surgeons located in Brighton, MI; Livonia, MI; Sterling Heights, MI; Troy, MI; Taylor, MI; and Trenton, MI

Some cases of nail fungus respond to at-home treatment, but others are more persistent and require the help of a podiatrist. If you can’t seem to get rid of a fungal nail infection on your own, board-certified podiatrists Lee K. Gold, DPM, and Ignazio D. Perna, DPM, can treat it using prescription medication, laser treatment, and more. The doctors have six convenient locations throughout metropolitan Detroit, in Brighton, Livonia, Sterling Heights, Trenton, Taylor, and Troy, Michigan. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone.

Nail Fungus Q & A

What causes fungal nail infections?

Nail fungus infects the skin under your nails. The infection usually starts in a small area under the tip of one nail, but it can make its way deeper into your skin and spread to your other toenails.

Fungal nail infections are caused by the same kind of fungus as athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot often spreads to your toenails. However, you can get a fungal nail infection without already having athlete’s foot.

You’re at a higher risk of contracting a fungal nail infection if you:

  • Sweat a lot
  • Have a history of athlete's foot
  • Go barefoot around shared swimming pools, gyms, or locker rooms
  • Have diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system

Toenail fungus is contagious. It can easily spread from nail to nail and infect other people. If left untreated, nail infections can cause significant damage, including nail loss.

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

Nail fungus can have a number of visible signs, including:

  • White, yellow, or brown spots on nails
  • Thickened nails
  • Nails that feel powdery to the touch
  • Dark debris accumulating under the nail
  • Detachment of nails from the nail bed
  • Scaly skin under the nail
  • Brittle, crumbling, split, or ragged nails

These changes can affect part of a nail, an entire nail, or multiple nails. The area around a fungal nail infection may hurt and smell foul.

If you notice any signs or symptoms of nail fungus, be sure not to ignore them. Even if these changes are only minor, or you’re not in significant pain, the infection can spread and worsen quickly without treatment.

How is toenail fungus treated?

Some fungal nail infections respond to at-home treatment, including over-the-counter antifungal medication. However, you should schedule an appointment with Dr. Gold or Dr. Perna if self-care hasn’t helped and especially if your symptoms get worse. Also, you should always get medical attention for a fungal nail infection if you have diabetes because you’re at a higher risk of developing a serious infection.

The doctors first prescribe antifungal medication, which may include topical creams or ointments, oral medication, or a combination of both. If that doesn’t work, they may recommend laser treatment to destroy the fungus.

To prevent the infection from returning, it’s important to practice good foot hygiene, including:

  • Washing and drying your feet every day
  • Never going barefoot in public
  • Wearing clean socks every day
  • Removing your shoes and socks as soon as possible if your feet are sweaty

Don’t let a fungal nail infection get worse or spread to others. If you notice any changes to your nails, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gold or Dr. Perna online or over the phone.