Our Services / Toenail Fungus

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Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, affects about 1 in 10 Americans. The condition usually isn’t severe, but if you have diabetes or another condition that affects your circulation, it can increase your risk of infection. At Lake Washington Foot and Ankle Clinic, board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Vinai Prakash, DPM, provides comprehensive care for several toe-related conditions, including toenail fungus and ingrown nails. To make an appointment in Kenmore, Washington, call the office or book online today.

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is a fungal infection of your nail tissue. Often, a fungal infection starts out as a small white dot. As the infection spreads to your other toes, your nails change colors and break down.  

Mild cases of toenail fungus usually respond to at-home treatments, like over-the-counter ointments or lotions. If your symptoms persist or affect your quality of life, contact Dr. Prakash immediately.

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

Make an appointment at Lake Washington Foot and Ankle Clinic if your toenails are:

  • Thick
  • Yellow or brown
  • Crumbly or ragged
  • Distorted

You should also make an appointment with Dr. Prakash if you notice dark debris beneath your toenails or a foul odor when you take your socks off.

What is an ingrown toenail?

An ingrown toenail occurs when your nail grows into the skin surrounding your nail bed instead of out and away from your toe. Like toenail fungus, an ingrown toenail may increase your risk of infection or gangrene. As a result, it’s important to get treated.

Who is at risk of experiencing toenail fungus?

Anyone can develop toenail fungus, but several factors may increase your risk, including:

  • Sweating heavily
  • A history of athlete’s foot
  • Having a medical condition that affects your circulation
  • Having a weakened immune system

You’re also more likely to experience toenail fungus if you walk around barefoot in public areas like locker rooms, swimming pools, or gyms.

How is toenail fungus diagnosed?

Dr. Prakash reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms to diagnose toenail fungus. Then, he has you take off your shoes and socks and examines your toes. Most fungal infections are visible to the eye, but Dr. Prakash might take a few clippings and send them to a lab to determine the type of infection you have.

After identifying the type of fungus causing your infection, Dr. Prakash develops a custom treatment plan.

How is toenail fungus treated?

Treatment of toenail fungus depends on various factors, including the type of fungus causing the infection and the severity of your symptoms. Dr. Prakash might recommend:

  • Oral antifungal drugs
  • Medicated nail polish
  • Medicated nail cream
  • Laser fungus treatment

If you have a recurring fungal infection, Dr. Prakash might recommend surgery. During surgery, he removes your nail and applies an antifungal medication directly to your nail bed.

Toenail fungus is annoying, but it’s possible to treat. Make an appointment at Lake Washington Foot and Ankle Clinic by calling the office or scheduling online today.