Toenail fungus can be embarrassing and uncomfortable, but laser therapy at your North Shore podiatrist's office can easily treat it.
Toenail fungus is a common condition that Dr. Gary Rogers sees. It's estimated that 10% of the adult population has had toenail fungus at some point. Also known as "onychomycosis," it is a chronic condition that can sometimes affects fingernails as well. With laser therapy, however, toenail fungus is highly treatable at your podiatrist's office in Wilmette.
Signs, symptoms, and causes
Many times, the first symptom of toenail fungus is a gradual thickening of the toenail. It can also develop white, green, black or yellow discolorations. Eventually, the nail becomes very brittle and may break off. Toenail fungus typically does not cause pain unless the infection spreads outside the nail, which can cause skin inflammation.
Onychomycosis is caused by the accumulation of various yeasts and molds on the nails. It most commonly affects older people, partially due to the decrease of blood circulation and natural nail growth. It can also occur due to prolonged exposure to moisture, extreme sweating, or other skin problems such as athlete's foot or psoriasis.
Diagnosis and treatment
Dr. Rogers will run various tests, including biopsy and examination under a microscope, to confirm the presence of fungus. Although oral or topical antifungal medication can be helpful, many patients respond well to laser therapy. This treatment was approved by the FDA in 2010 and works by using the laser's heat to destroy fungus while avoiding the healthy tissues. It is minimally invasive, fast, and virtually painless. It is also performed in Dr. Rogers' podiatry office and the downtime afterward is minimal.
A licensed podiatrist like Dr. Gary Rogers should be your first line of defense in dealing with any foot problems. If you suspect you may have fungal toenails, call the Wilmette Foot and Ankle Clinic today for an evaluation.