Toenail Fungus

Brian Lee, DPM -  - Podiatrist

Southern Illinois Family Foot Care

Brian Lee, DPM

Podiatrist located in Mount Vernon, IL

Toenail fungus isn’t just unsightly — it can also cause your toenail to fall off if left untreated. To preserve your toenail health, caring podiatrist Brian Lee, DPM, of Southern Illinois Family Foot Care in Mount Vernon, Illinois, offers innovative solutions for toenail fungus. Book your visit through the online scheduler, or by calling the office before your condition worsens and causes your toenails to become cracked and brittle. Schedule an evaluation today to see what Dr. Lee can do for you.

Toenail Fungus Q & A

What is toenail fungus?

Generally, the infection begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail. If left untreated, it can make your toenail brittle and also spread to other toes.

You can generally tell that you have a toenail fungus infection if your toenails are:

  • Turning a yellowish color
  • Becoming abnormally thick
  • Distorted or uneven in shape
  • Crumbling or breaking easily
  • Starting to pull away from your nail bed

It’s also common to notice a dark color under your nails, which stems from debris buildup. You might even smell a foul odor.

It’s important to visit with Dr. Lee for treatment early on, even if it just seems like your case of toenail fungus is minor. Otherwise, if symptoms progress, you risk losing your toenail.

Why do I have toenail fungus?

Infections generally stem from either yeasts, fungi, or molds, although the dermatophyte fungus is a common cause. You’re more likely to develop toenail fungus due to:

  • Having a history of athlete’s foot
  • Wearing sweaty socks for extended periods
  • Having a chronic skin condition, like psoriasis
  • Living with a chronic health condition, such as diabetes

You can develop a fungal infection throughout any of your nails, though toenails are more common than fingernails because they’re often more exposed to moist environments. In some cases, you might be prone to developing toenail fungus if you frequently walk barefoot in communal locker rooms, or near swimming pools. Toenail fungus-causing organisms thrive in damp environments.

How is toenail fungus treated?

Your toenail fungus treatment plan depends on the severity of your symptoms. Because toenail fungus can quickly spread to the rest of your toes — or to others’ toes — Dr. Lee strives to find the best solution for your needs. He often starts out with prescription antifungal oral medications or topical solutions. Not all toenail fungus sufferers respond to medication though.

In these cases, you might need nail avulsion surgery. Dr. Lee performs this procedure right in the office, where he numbs the affected areas and removes part of your toenail. He uses specific chemicals to treat the fungal infection so that you can regrow healthy nails.

Book your toenail fungus evaluation at Southern Illinois Family Foot Care by using the online scheduling system, or by calling the clinic.