Will Toenail Fungus Eventually Go Away on its Own?

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Will Toenail Fungus Eventually Go Away on its Own?

No one ever wants to think about toenail fungus, but it strikes more often than you might believe. According to the CDC, toenail fungus affects about 14% of people in the United States.

Although a fungal nail infection isn't serious and doesn't cause severe complications, it's an unsightly problem you want to eliminate fast – but do you need treatment?

If you need help with what to do about toenail fungus, Dr. Mark Sharobeem and the team at Manhattan Podiatry Group can help. Dr. Sharobeem is an experienced podiatrist who offers helpful treatments when you can't get rid of toenail fungus alone.

What is toenail fungus?

Onychomycosis, or toenail fungus, is a problem that can affect any nail but is prevalent in the toenails. A dermatophyte, a mold, is often the culprit behind the fungal infection.

The most prevalent form of fungus affecting the toenails is tinea unguium. You get toenail fungus when the fungus sneaks in between your toenail and the skin underneath.

Various symptoms point to a fungal infection. Although they vary, the most prevalent symptoms related to toenail fungus include:

  • Nail discoloration
  • Thickened nails
  • Misshapen nails
  • Breaks or cracks in the nail
  • Nail separation from the skin
  • Cloudy or chalky nails

The longer the fungus goes untreated, the worse the symptoms become. Anyone can get a fungal infection, but you're at an increased risk after a nail injury if you have certain medical conditions or a compromised immune system.

Treating toenail fungus at home

Unfortunately, fungal nail infections don't typically clear up by themselves. You usually require some treatment once the fungus takes hold of the nail.

You may not be bothered by the fungus, but you should still take steps to prevent it from causing more damage to the nail. Although home treatments may help somewhat, the only way to eliminate fungus for good is through antifungal medications.

The longer you allow the fungus to fester, the more difficult it is to treat. Early recognition and treatment of toenail fungus yields the best outcomes.

Do I need professional care?

Treatment by Dr. Sharobeem is necessary for toenail fungal infections to clear. The earlier he treats it, the sooner you can have your toenails back. We offer various treatments for active fungal nail infections. They include:

Oral medications

Oral antifungal medications are one of the treatments for toenail fungus. You must take them daily, sometimes for several months, to clear up the fungus. Examples of oral antifungal medications include Lamisil® and Diflucan®.

Topical treatments

If you're unable to take oral medications or they don't work, Dr. Sharobeem may suggest topical treatments instead. You apply the medication directly to the affected nail, but it also takes time to work.

The best and most effective way to use topical treatments is by also taking oral antifungals. Both together help to fight fungus off more efficiently.

Laser treatments

If oral and topical medications don't work to clear toenail fungus, Dr. Sharobeem offers laser treatments as an option. In the office, Dr. Sharobeem targets the fungal nail with concentrated laser beams, which destroys the fungus at the source.

You may require multiple laser treatments to clear the infection completely. Still, you should notice your nails growing clearer and healthier quickly.

Toenail fungus prevention

Even with the proper treatment, fungal nail infections can come back. The best way to ensure you don't have another toenail fungal infection is to practice the following prevention tips and tricks:

  • Trim toenails carefully straight across
  • Avoid walking barefoot around pools or locker rooms
  • Don't share shoes or towels with someone who has toenail fungus
  • Clean your toenail clipper before use
  • Keep your feet dry and clean
  • Follow diabetic foot care

Taking care of your feet and nails is essential in preventing fungal and other nail infections. Avoid walking barefoot in public whenever possible, and take care when cutting or trimming your nails.

People with diabetes also need to take extra care to avoid cuts or breaks in the skin. Due to nerve damage and decreased circulation, it's easier for a fungal infection to take hold in compromised skin.

To get expert treatment for toenail fungus, call us today to request an appointment at our convenient locations in and around New York City (Downtown Manhattan, Gramercy Park, and Staten Island) and Manalapan, New Jersey. You can also schedule a consultation using our online booking tool.