Mamaroneck podiatrist
Mamaroneck foot doctor
    

Common Disorders

Fungal Toenails, Yellowed or Deformed Toenails

The most common cause of yellowed, thick and /or deformed toenails is a fungal infection of the toenail. The fungus that infects the nail, most commonly, is the same fungus that causes athletes foot. It tends to be slowly progressive, damaging the nail to a greater and greater degree over time. The infection usually starts at the tip of the nail and works its way back. It usually is not painful and often not noticed until it has gotten well established. A single toenail or any number of nails can be affected. It can also occur on just one foot. Over time, the nail becomes thickened, crumbly, and distorted in appearance. Sweaty feet contribute to the initial infection process and contribute to its spread. The fungus prefers an environment that is moist, dark, and warm, which is why it affects the toenails much more often than fingernails. It does not spread through the blood stream. The infection limits itself to the nails and skin. It is often found in association with areas of dry scaly skin on the bottom of the foot or between the toes. The dry scaling skin is frequently found to be chronic athletes' foot. It is not highly contagious, and family members are almost as likely to contract it from some other source as they are from the family member who has the infection. Keeping common showering areas clean is recommended, and sharing shoes should be avoided.

Diagnosis

Not all thicken or yellowed toenails are caused by a fungal infection. Injury to a toenail can cause the toenail to grow in a thickened or malformed fashion. This can be due to an established fungal infection or may be due to the damage caused to the nail root when it was injured. In these instances, treatment with anti-fungal medications will not correct the malformed nail. Other causes of thickened toenails are small bone spurs that can form under the toenail and psoriasis. Taking a scraping of the toenail and culturing it makes the diagnosis.

Treatment

It is best to treat the condition as soon as it is noticed. In early cases, over the counter medications may be sufficient. It is also important to treat any concomitant athlete’s foot that may be present. In more advanced cases, a prescription medication may be needed. There are effective topical and oral medications available for the treatment of fungal toenails. If sweating feet are a problem, changing shoes and socks during the day is recommended. There are some topical medications available that help to reduce the sweating of the feet. On occasion, your doctor may recommend removing the toenail.

NEW Treatment Available

Breakthrough Laser Cure For Fungus Nails

The patented laser is a specially designed laser beam that goes through the toenail and safely kills the organisms embedded in the nail bed that cause Onychomycosis - more commonly known as toenail fungus.

Fox Laser for Fungal ToenailsThe procedure requires one quick treatment with little or no discomfort and is performed as an outpatient service with no anesthesia. The gentle laser light beam has no effect on healthy tissue and treats only the infected area of the toe. No drugs or topical ointments are used, eliminating the total-body side effects of traditional oral medications.

Clinical studies show that laser kills toenail fungus and promotes clear nail growth with a single treatment in better than 88% of cases. The laser is safe and effective.

Before and After

Before
    After

Before
   
After

Before
   
After

Before
   
After

How does it work?
The laser kills the fungus that lives in and under the toenail. The laser light passes through the toenail without causing damage to the nail or the surrounding skin. At the time of the procedure, the toenail will not become instantly clear- it takes time to grow out.

What can your patients expect?
They can expect a consultation with you explaining the procedure to be performed and any follow-up visits you prescribe.

Can the patient expect more than one treatment?
One treatment kills the fungus for most patients. The doctor will determine if the patient needs follow-up care.

Is the procedure painful?
Most patients feel no pain. Some may feel a warming sensation and very few feel a pinprick.

Is there a recovery period?
No; just walk in and walk out.

How long does the procedure take?
The laser procedure takes less than 30 minutes.

Will the fungus grow back?
The fungus is killed after one treatment, and typically you can recommend care techniques to reduce a recurrence of the infection. There is a chance of reinfection because the fungus is present everywhere in the environment.

When can your patient paint their nails or have a pedicure?
They can apply polish immediately after the treatment. It is important to inform the patient that they should remove all nail polish and nail decorations the day before their treatment.

What kind of payments can I accept for the procedure?
Credit cards, cash, money orders can be accepted. The patient may also use their Medical IRA, Health Savings or Flexible Spending Accounts.

Can the procedure be covered by their insurance?
If they have a Health Savings Account or Medical IRA, 100% of cost can be covered. However, in most situations, this procedure is considered aesthetic, and therefore health insurance plans do not provide coverage.

How long have you been doing this?
Clinical studies began in November 2007 demonstrating over an 88% success rate.

Is it FDA approved?
Yes, it is 88% effective and approved by the FDA.

Who developed this laser procedure?
Leading scientists and medical professionals working together for 20 years with funding provided by the National Institutes of Health developed the technology in the patented laser.