Toenail Fungus Treatment


Fungal toenails aren’t just unappealing; they’re also dangerous to your foot health and function. Gilbert Huang, DPM, is an expert podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon who can diagnose, treat, and prevent toenail fungus at West America Foot and Ankle in San Mateo, California. Dr. Huang can evaluate your fungal nails and issue the appropriate treatment. Call the podiatry clinic today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Toenail Fungus Q&A

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is an infection that can eat away at your healthy nails. While it can affect fingernails, this type of fungus is far more common in your toenails. Toenail fungus typically begins as a small yellow or white spot that develops in your nail. Over time, it grows and spreads, causing your nails to crumble and become yellow or brown.

While you can’t always avoid toenail fungus, Dr. Huang can help you lower your risk of getting it and provide treatment when you need it.

What are the signs of toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus may not be obvious at first, especially if you paint your nails. However, understanding the early warning signs encourages you to seek treatment at the first sign of trouble. If you have toenail fungus, your nails may appear:

  • Yellow, brown, or discolored
  • Crumbly
  • Thick
  • Misshapen

As fungus progresses, your nail may separate from the nail bed. The nail may also start to smell and ooze pus.

What causes toenail fungus?

Dermatophyte is the most common organism that causes toenail fungus. While anybody can develop fungal toenails, certain factors can increase your risk, including:

  • Having athlete’s foot
  • Wearing sweaty socks and shoes
  • Wearing shoes without socks
  • Walking barefoot through damp common areas
  • Having a skin infection, such as psoriasis
  • Being older
  • Having a minor skin injury

Certain underlying medical conditions can also raise your risk of developing toenail fungus. These infections are especially dangerous for individuals with diabetes, a chronic disease that can prevent healthy blood circulation.

What are the treatments for toenail fungus?

If you have toenail fungus, contact Dr. Huang for advice on your next steps. Sometimes, nail fungus responds well to at-home remedies and over-the-counter products. If those don’t clear your infection, Dr. Huang may recommend:

  • Medicated nail polish
  • Antifungal medications
  • Antifungal creams
  • Surgery

In severe cases where the fungus doesn’t respond to nonsurgical treatments, Dr. Huang may temporarily remove the nail and apply the medication directly to the nail bed to treat the infection.

How can I prevent toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus isn’t always preventable, but there are steps you can take to reduce your risk. To prevent toenail fungus, you should:

  • Wear clean, dry socks
  • Wear shoes in common areas
  • Avoid walking around barefoot in damp spaces
  • Wash your feet regularly

If you have an underlying condition like diabetes, Dr. Huang may encourage you to take extra precautions to protect your feet.

Call West America Foot and Ankle today or schedule an appointment online to learn more about toenail fungus.