Toenail Fungus

Toenail Disorders May Be More Serious Than Many People Realize

Posted by on Nov 18, 2015 in Toenail Fungus |

When Americans think of toenail disorders, cancer is typically the last thing that comes to their minds. However, it is not uncommon for cancer to show up on the feet and underneath of a person’s toenails. Unfortunately, many people often mistake the signs of toenail bed cancer as blood blisters from impact injuries or other toenail disorders. Toenail disorders that tend to mimic the outward signs of subungual melanomas include, but are not confined to the following: Longitudinal Linear Lesions Splinter Hemorrhages Melanonychia Striata Fungal Infections They typically involve a black or brown discoloration that forms underneath of the toenail. Cancer presents itself the same way with a few key, and often subtle, differences. It too will show up underneath the toenail as a discolored spot or line. The spot or line will usually have an irregular border, asymmetrical shape and variations in shading or coloration. As time goes on, the spot or line may change shape, spread throughout the nail bed and possibly to the surrounding soft tissue. If it spreads too much, surgical amputation will most likely be ordered, as well as chemotherapy and skin grafting. Therefore, Largo podiatrists typically order biopsies to determine whether or not a patient has cancer, or one of the other toenail disorders mentioned earlier. The biopsy generally involves removing the toenail so a proper tissue sample may be obtained. If the discolored area is rather large, the podiatrist or attending physician may need to repair the hole made by the tissue sampling process with sutures and order post-opt wound care. The length of healing time involved will vary based on how well the patient follows the podiatrist’s wound care recommendations, the wound’s initial size, and the patient’s overall health. After the biopsy procedure is complete, the tissue sample is usually tested in-house or at a local lab. If cancerous cells are detected, additional treatment, as mentioned above, may be needed. To speak with a podiatrist about this and other serious toenail disorders, please call our office...

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Toenail Disorders: 3 Good Reasons to Schedule a Podiatry Visit

Posted by on Jul 20, 2015 in General Foot Care, Toenail Fungus |

As any professional Largo podiatrist can attest, there are many different types of toenail disorders that can befall a person over the course of his or her lifetime. Fungal infections, which we’ve touched upon previously, are one of them. Here’s a look at three more that warrant a visit to the podiatrist: Periungual Warts Periungual Warts are the first toenail disorder that we wanted to address. Typically forming around the toenail or underneath it, they tend to be very contagious and arise due to the presence of the human papillomavirus. Once a periungual wart diagnosis is made, the podiatrist may recommend one of several treatment options. Those options include laser treatments, salicylic treatments, topical creams and cryotherapy. It should also be mentioned that because the warts have a tendency to spread quickly and reoccur, it is not uncommon for treatment regimes to be repeated. Koilonychia Koilonychia is another toenail disorder that may occur in a person’s lifetime. It is easily recognizable because as the disorder advances, the person’s toenails curl into a spoon-like shape. The toenails may also split in the middle, thin out and become dry. This disorder is common among people who suffer from Celiac Disease, chronic anemia and other nutritional related problems. Furthermore, it can be hereditary or brought about by additional health problems too (i.e. heart disease and cancer). Clearly, the reason why a person develops koilonychia must be considered when a podiatrist chooses a treatment method. Options that have been used in the past include the adoption of a special diet, nutritional supplement regimen, anti-fungal creams and moisturizing emollients. Onycholysis Finally, we wanted to mention onycholysis. It is a painless nail disorder with many origins, some of which can be quite unsettling. When a person has the disorder, all or part of his or her toenails may fall off. The toenail may also develop a white, gray, brown, yellow or green color. Some of the many things that may cause the disorder to occur are hypothyroidism, fungal or bacterial infections, Raynaud’s disease, severe sunburns and psoriasis. When a person presents with a case of onycholysis, the podiatrist must address the symptoms as well as the underlying cause. Otherwise, the condition is likely to continue or reappear. In most instances, the partially unattached toenail will need to be removed. Afterward, the podiatrist may apply anti-fungal creams, drying agents or other topical treatments to clear up any infection. To learn more about these toenail disorders and others, please reach out to our Largo podiatry clinic. We can professionally assess your situation, make a diagnosis and offer appropriate treatment...

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Types of Toenail Fungus Treatment

Posted by on Jun 19, 2015 in Toenail Fungus |

Toenail fungus is a common problem that can turn into a painful situation. Once the fungus is contracted it develops and grows underneath the toenail. This can cause the toenail to become discolored, thick and have an unnatural appearance. The good news is that there are a variety of toenail fungus treatments available. Symptoms Initially toenail fungus can appear as a white or yellow spot located underneath the tip of the nail. Over time the toenail becomes thick and distorted as the infection grows and spreads. Eventually the infected toenail can separate from the toe. It can cause pain on the tips of the toes and even provide a horrible odor. Contracting Toenail Fungus Toenail fungus, or Onychomycosis, is found most often in dark, heated and moist environments. This means people can get the fungus from showers, gym locker rooms, swimming pools and more. People who have diabetes, previous cases of athlete’s foot, or auto-immune deficiencies have a greater chance of being infected. Toenail fungus will usually enter the body through a cut in the skin or an opening in the toenail. Non-Surgical Treatments There are anti-fungal creams people can obtain over the counter. Their effectiveness has always been uncertain. A Largo foot doctor could provide oral anti-fungal medications. They come with a minor risk of side effects that range from skin rashes to liver damage. They are more effective than creams, but usually must be taken for several weeks. Another way to handle toenail fungus is with nail lacquer. It is painted directly onto the nail each day for a week. Then the layers are wiped off with alcohol and the process is repeated. This can be done for twelve months but has a very low success rate. The newest form of non-surgical treatment is laser treatment for toenail fungus. This involves targeting a laser beam on the affected nails. The laser beam generates heat to vaporize the fungus without causing damage to the nail or underlying nail bed. The results aren’t instantaneous, the new healthy nail grows back normally only after the fungus is destroyed. Unlike some medications the laser treatment for nail fungus does not have any of the undesirable side effects. Surgical Treatments In severe situations the infected toenail may need to be completely removed. In a non-surgical procedure, urea ointment is applied to the nail to make it soft and causing it to dissolve. In a surgical procedure, the toenail and a small amount of tissue is removed. Surgical procedures are seldom necessary. If you have toenail fungus and want to have it examined by our Largo podiatrists, contact our office today. Largo Foot & Ankle Center is a Largo podiatry office that specializes in the treatment of toenail...

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