Fungal Toenails

fungal toenails

Experience expert care for your fungal toenails with Dr. Alan J. Rosen, located in New York City.

The yellowing and thick, crumbly texture of a toenail with active fungus is usually more unsightly than harmful, but in extreme cases, pain may be a factor. Dr. Alan J. Rosen, a podiatrist on New York City’s Upper East Side, can help with fungus control through several therapies including laser treatments. Call the office or book an appointment online to restore a normal appearance to your toes.

Fungal Toenails FAQ

Also called onychomycosis, toenail fungus is called athlete’s foot when it affects the skin of your feet. It’s a common condition that typically begins as white or yellow spots at the tip of a toenail. It may affect a single toe or several. As the fungus penetrates deeper, the nail thickens, changes color and starts crumbling along the top edge of the nail.

Cases range from mild to severe, and if it doesn’t bother you, treatment may not be needed. However, advanced cases can become painful, and there are treatments that may improve the condition. Even after a treatment is successful, fungus can recur at a later time. Untreated, severe fungal infections may permanently damage your nail or spread infections to other parts of the body.

The most common nail fungus is called dermatophyte, but other fungi, yeasts, and molds can cause nail infections. Nails change as you get older, becoming dry and brittle, with small cracks and cavities. These weak spots give fungal infections a place to take hold. While a fungal infection may spread from one of your toes to a neighboring toe, it’s not commonly spread between people.

There are other factors besides age that may increase your risk of developing toenail fungus. These include:

  • A history of athlete’s foot
  • Damp, sweaty feet
  • Nail or skin injuries or conditions, such as psoriasis
  • Exposing your bare feet to damp areas shared by many people, such as showers and locker rooms

Topical Solutions.  Topical solutions would seem suited for toenail application, but the fungal infection often penetrates more deeply than the solutions can. Still, you may be one of the lucky ones on whom over-the-counter treatments work.

Oral Medication. Dr. Rosen may prescribe oral antifungal medications. While these options are generally more effective than topical treatments. Oral treatments are generally 3 month duration and require a blood test to check liver function levels prior to receiving the prescription.  These medications also interact with many other prescribed medications and this would have to be evaluated prior to taking the medication.  Women who are planning on getting pregnant should not use these medications. 

Laser. Dr. Rosen also uses the PinPointe™ FootLaser™ for treating nail fungus. Since the fungus itself is hard to reach, the penetrating nature of laser light targets the fungus without harming the skin, nails and other tissues of your foot. Fungal spores are neutralized during the short treatment. The procedure is pain-free and requires no time for recovery, so you can return to your daily life immediately after treatment.