Omaha Toenail Fungus Treatment
Find out more about toenail fungus symptoms, causes and treatments.
You've seen the TV commercial with the creatures having a party inside a toenail. It's not so funny if you're the one with the "creatures" in your toenails. But the bugs do have a name - dermatophytes. And they really do love the keratin that makes up your toenails.
These bugs are actually a fungus, and they can cause your toenails (and even fingernails) to become discolored, thick and misshapen.
This type of fungus is related to the fungi that cause athlete's foot, jock itch and ringworm.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist at Skin Specialists in Omaha, Nebraska can assess your skin care concerns and provide finger or toenail fungus treatment options. He has the medical background to look at all aspects of this condition and work for solutions that will result in improvement.
He sees more patients with toenail fungus than any physician in Nebraska and Iowa.
One in ten people who see a dermatologist like Dr. Schlessinger come for problems with toenails or fingernails. Fungal infections cause about half of those problems.
Don't ignore symptoms such as a change in the shape or color of a toenail or its thickness. You might see swelling around the nail, bleeding or pus, or have pain.
Toenails are more likely than fingernails to be affected by a fungus (the medical name for nail fungus is onychomycosis). Why are toenails so vulnerable? Because toes are often inside cozy socks and surrounded by a tight shoe. Warm, sweaty feet happily welcome the growth of fungus.
Fungus is everywhere, and it just needs a little invitation to invade unsuspecting feet. That's why wearing flip flops in swimming pools and in locker rooms and showers at your gym is always a good idea.
Nail problems can appear any time in life, but the risk for toenail fungus increases with age, and many seniors develop the problem.
What are your toenail fungus treatment options?
Treatment can help you cure or control your fungus, and Skin Specialists has many options because what works for one person may not help another. Many medications can cause side effects, and Dr. Schlessinger is sensitive to these concerns. He will work with you to find a good solution for your condition.
Prescription antifungal medications may be in the form of pills you take, a topical solution drizzled into the nail area or a cream you use on your feet - or combination treatment may be prescribed. Athlete's foot is usually caused by the same fungus, so topical medications can help treat the athlete's foot.
Fungus grows under the nail in the nail bed. Topical medications may not reach the infected area, which is why pills may help knock out the infection through the bloodstream. Sometimes, Dr. Schlessinger uses both to treat nails.
Newest medications available
Dr. Schlessinger has been on the forefront of research through his clinical research activities. His research clinic has studied and been able to offer the newest forms of treatment to his Omaha, Nebraska patients years before they were generally available.
His clinic was involved in drug trials to develop the most commonly used medications in the treatment of toenail fungus.
Medicines such as Lamisil, which is widely available now, were in Dr. Schlessinger's hands in clinical trials, and he now offers cutting edge medications to his patients, along with years of experience and judgment. Additionally, he has researched over 10 other medications for toenail fungus that are either in development or soon to be released.
One such toenail fungus treatment is a special topical medication that he makes that works on the outside of the nails in concert with oral pills to effectively treat the fungus from the inside, too. Dr. Schlessinger offers this potent medication to his patients and specially formulates it as well.
Questions & Answers About Toenail Fungus
Dr. Schlessinger will answer your questions on toenail fungus. If you have a question, he invites you to email him.
How is a toenail infection diagnosed?
We look at your nails for the usual signs and symptoms such as thickening or discoloration. The diagnosis can be confirmed when we take a small sample of the nail and look at it under a microscope. Samples may also be sent to a lab. Then we know which type of fungus you may have and can prescribe the most effective medications.
Can I get toenail fungus from a pedicure at a salon?
You can if the salon isn't careful about sanitizing the foot baths and sterilizing the equipment they use between customers.
Be sure to check out the cleanliness of the salon and make absolutely sure that they are cleaning in between customers. Also, make sure they are not reusing instruments and nail files/emery boards.
Insist your nail salon use only sanitized and sterilized equipment. Don't share any nail supplies, even polish. You may even want to bring your own polish or nail file to the salon.
Better yet, avoid this procedure as it is very difficult to predict whether the salons are using clean or not-so-clean techniques.
Avoid having a pedicure if you have nail fungus. The last thing you want to do is cover an infected nail with polish.
Are any home treatments effective for toenail fungus?
I see patients who have tried (and failed) any number of home treatments such as vinegar or tea tree oil. Over-the-counter products you can buy at the drug store generally never clear up an infection either. These remedies simply don't work and only delay your getting proper treatment.
Toenail infections are difficult to treat and take time to finally go away. Remember, nails, especially toenails, can take up to a year to fully grow out once the fungus has been eliminated.
What's the best way to prevent toenail fungus in the first place or prevent the infection from coming back?
Keep your feet clean and dry. That may mean choosing shoes that allow your feet to breathe or changing socks several times a day. Even people who go barefooted can develop toenail fungus, even though it seems that barefoot or open sandals would be ideal.
Wear water shoes, sandals or flip flops in public areas such as the gym or swimming pools. Avoid wearing cotton socks because they'll make your feet sweaty and create a perfect environment inside your shoes for fungus to grow.
People with diabetes may be more susceptible to nail infections, which is why they should have their feet checked by their doctors often.
Are you eligible to participate in a clinical trial to test new toenail fungus treatment options?
At the Advanced Skin Research Center located with Skin Specialists in Omaha, Nebraska, Dr. Schlessinger and his clinical staff conduct research studies to test new medications for skin conditions.
He has conducted clinical research involving medications and treatments for toenail fungus, and clinical studies are ongoing in the clinic on toenail fungus. These innovative treatments are only available in a select group of clinics in the U.S. and available at no cost to study participants.
If you are eligible to participate in a clinical trial of new medications, Dr. Schlessinger can advise you when he sees you during an appointment. Call us at 402-697-6599 or email
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Contact Skin Specialists in Omaha, Nebraska for an evaluation for treatment of your skin condition.