Toenail FungusView More Before & Afters
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. Those little creatures are known as dermatophytes (fungus) and they love the keratin that makes up your nails. These critters are actually a fungus and they can cause your nails to become discolored, thick, and misshapen. It’s related to the fungus that causes athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm. While many people choose to live with fungus on their nails, it can be a problem later on in life and can even spread from the nails to the groin or other areas on the body, causing many issues. In severe cases, it can lead to poor circulation in the legs due to infection.
Toenails are more likely than fingernails to be affected by a fungus. This is due to being covered by shoes and moist throughout most of the day. The warm, sweaty environment is a breeding ground for fungus.
Dr. Joel Schlessinger, a board-certified dermatologist at Schlessinger MD in Omaha, Nebraska can assess your skincare 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. Dr. Schlessinger has been a clinical investigator for many toenail fungus drugs and has helped to develop most of the drugs on the market for toenail fungus, so he knows which ones will work best and which aren’t worth trying.
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.
“I was involved in the initial research of Lamisil and have continued to be interested in the options for treatment. Interestingly, though, laser doesn’t seem to be that effective in treating this, which is surprising.”
Are you eligible to participate in a clinical trial to test new toenail fungus treatment options?
At the Schlessinger MD Skin Research Center located with Schlessinger MD 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. Contact us today to learn more!See Current Studies
Innovative Solutions to Your Fungal Problems
Dr. Schlessinger has been at 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. Schlessinger MD is proud to use our innovative research to provide you with the latest, and most advanced anti-fungal treatment options available.