Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is a common infection, affecting up to 14% of people at some point. At The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center in Spring, Texas, experienced podiatrist Michael Frazier, DPM, provides high-quality care for toenail fungus and athlete’s foot. A combination of healthy lifestyle changes, routine inspections, and antifungal medication can stop the infection and prevent it from spreading. Call The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center today to receive treatment for toenail fungus or book online.

Are athlete’s foot and toenail fungus the same thing?

Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus are both fungal infections, but they aren’t the same thing:

Athlete’s foot
Athlete’s foot typically affects the skin on the bottom of the feet and between the toes. It causes the skin to become red, itchy, and peel away. Anyone can develop athlete’s foot, but it’s particularly common in runners and those who play sports.

Toenail fungus
Toenail fungus is a fungal infection that develops inside of one or more nails. It presents few symptoms at first. As the condition worsens, it causes your nails to become thick, brittle, discolored, and crumbly.

Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus usually aren’t serious. But if you have poor circulation due to diabetes or another medical condition, the infections can increase your risk of complications.

Is toenail fungus painful?

Toenail fungus is rarely painful, but there are telltale signs to look out for, including:

  • Yellow or brown discoloration
  • Misshapen nails
  • Nails that separate from the nailbed
  • Nails that crack or break easily

Don’t wait to seek treatment if you think you have toenail fungus. Treatment prevents the infection from spreading and reduces the risk of more serious issues.

How does a podiatrist diagnose toenail fungus?

Your Frazier Foot and Ankle Center provider reviews your medical records, asks about your symptoms, and examines your affected nail (or nails). They check for changes in the shape and color of your toenails and take a few nail clippings for further lab analysis.

Lab testing helps identify the type of fungus causing your infection and assists in guiding treatment.

How does a podiatrist treat toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus can be challenging to treat because it tends to return several weeks or months later. Depending on the severity of the fungal infection, your provider might suggest:

  • Oral antifungal medication
  • Topical antifungal medication
  • Laser treatment to destroy the toenail fungus
  • Partially or completely removing the nail

The Frazier Foot and Ankle Center providers might recommend healthy lifestyle changes if you have diabetes or another medical condition that affects circulation to your feet. For example, they might suggest inspecting and cleaning your toenails daily and wearing shoes that let your toes breathe.