Fungal toenails are often seen as little more than an embarrassing problem caused by unsightly discolored nails. But untreated fungal infections are more than an aesthetic concern: They can spread and cause athlete’s foot or cellulitis. The board-certified podiatrists at FOOTDRx offer effective treatment for fungal nails using the advanced GenesisPlus™ laser. If you have a nail infection, schedule an appointment online or call one of the New York City locations in Union Square, Midtown East in Manhattan, or Bushwick, Brooklyn; or the New Jersey location in Englewood.
Fungal nail infections, called onychomycosis, develop when fungi get underneath your nail. Everyone comes into contact with these microorganisms because they thrive in the soil and in moist places, such as swimming pools, gym showers, and the inside of your shoes. But a fungal infection only develops when the microorganisms can get into your nail through a cut or crack.
You’re more likely to develop a fungal nail infection if you:
Your age is another risk factor for fungal nail infections. Because toenails tend to become brittle as you get older, they can crack and create an opening for fungi.
Fungal nails cause symptoms such as:
The fungal infection may also spread and cause athlete’s foot.
There are three possible treatments for fungal nails:
You apply topical medications to your nail every day for up to 12 months. These medications aren’t always effective, however, because they have a hard time getting through the nail to reach the infection.
A course of oral antifungal medication lasts 6-12 weeks, and then you start to see results as a new nail that’s clear of the infection slowly grows in and replaces the fungal nail.
The GenesisPlus laser sends out pulses of light that safely pass through your nail to reach the fungal infection. Heat from the laser destroys the fungus and infected nail cells without harming any of the healthy nail or surrounding skin.
Treatment with the laser is comfortable, and one session takes about 20 minutes. The infection improves after one session, but most patients need a series of laser treatments to eliminate the fungus. The number of treatments you need depends on the severity of your infection.
If you have a fungal nail, call FOOTDRx or schedule an appointment online.