Toenail Fungus

Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists

Podiatric Medicine and Surgery located in Goodyear, AZ

If your toenail appears discolored and thicker than usual, a fungal infection may be the cause. Experienced podiatrist Samuel W. Cox Jr., DPM, treats toenail fungus at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists, LLC in Goodyear, Arizona. To get rid of toenail fungus and keep it from coming back, call the office or book an appointment online today.

Toenail Fungus Q & A

What is toenail fungus?

Ingrown Toe Nail

A fungal nail infection, or onychomycosis, is a common condition that’s more likely to affect your toenails than your fingernails. The infection typically begins as a small white or yellow spot beneath your nail and continues to cause the entire nail to become discolored. Toenail fungus may also cause your nail to thicken and crumble at the edge.

Toenail fungus can affect one nail, or several at once. The infection can spread from one nail to another and to surrounding skin. When a fungal infection affects the skin between your toes, it’s called athlete’s foot. 

What causes toenail fungus?

Many types of fungi that exist in the environment can infect your toenails. The fungi can enter your body through tiny cracks in your nail or the surrounding skin.

People of all ages can get toenail fungus, but this condition is more common in older adults. This is because nails become more brittle and dry with age, which leads to more cracks for fungi to enter. 

Other factors that may increase your risk of getting toenail fungus include:

  • Poor circulation or reduced blood flow to your feet
  • Personal history of athlete’s foot
  • Having sweaty feet that don’t dry out
  • Walking barefoot in damp areas, such as a public pool
  • Minor skin or nail injuries
  • Diabetes

The fungi that cause nail infections live in moist, warm environments, such as gym locker rooms, public showers, and swimming pools.

How is toenail fungus treated?

First, your provider at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists examines your foot. They may take a small nail clipping for lab testing to determine the exact type of fungus that’s infecting your nail. 

Then, they recommend the best treatment for your toenail fungus. Depending on the type and severity of your infection, treatment may include:

  • Topical or oral antifungal medication
  • Laser therapy
  • Surgical toenail removal

After the infection clears up, your provider at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists teaches you how to prevent toenail fungus from returning. Steps you can take to prevent toenail fungus include keeping your feet clean and dry and wearing sandals at public pools and showers. 

To find out how you can get rid of stubborn toenail fungus and prevent it from returning, call Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists or book an appointment online today.