Podiatry Blog

Posts for tag: Toenail Fungus

By Ankle and Foot Institute
December 31, 2020
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is caused by a fungal infection. Some signs of toenail fungus include brittleness, yellowing, or thickening of the nails. Left untreated, the infection can spread to other areas and cause additional health concerns. A podiatrist can recommend several effective treatment options. Dr. Richard Wittock, the skilled podiatrist at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, can treat your toenail fungus and help prevent it from returning.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus
The fungal infection that causes toenail fungus can be the result of several factors, including an injury to the nail plate or a history of athlete’s foot. Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or circulatory problems, can also increase the possibility of developing a fungal infection on the toenails.

Several symptoms are associated with toenail fungus. See a podiatrist promptly for treatment if you develop any of the following signs of a possible fungal infection:

  • Thickening of the nails
  • Brittle nails that flake
  • Yellowing of the nails
  • White patches on the nails
  • Darkening of the skin beneath the nails
  • Loose toenails

There are some steps you can take to prevent toenail fungus, such as keeping the feet clean and dry. Another way to help prevent infection is by wearing shoes that fit properly and are not too tight. Other ways to prevent infection include wearing protective footwear at public pools and in shared locker rooms and showers. Disinfecting nail clippers and other pedicure instruments regularly is also helpful for avoiding infection.

Treatments for Toenail Fungus
Several methods are available for treating toenail fungus. Some common treatment options include topical ointments and creams, oral anti-fungal medications, and surgical removal of the affected toenails. However, we utilize a revolutionary new treatment method at our podiatry office in St. Louis.

Using our innovative treatment method, toenail fungus can be successfully eliminated in about three treatment sessions in nearly 90 percent of causes involving mild to moderate infection. More severe cases often require additional treatments. One of the reasons our revolutionary treatment approach is so effective is that it penetrates deep inside the nail and targets the source of the fungal infection rather than just treating the surface of the nail. Following treatment, the toenails will grow back healthy and free of infection. There will be no more unwanted symptoms, such as yellowing or discoloration.

If you have toenail fungus, our revolutionary treatment approach that gets to the root of the problem can restore the health of your toenails. Schedule an appointment with Dr. Wittock to learn more about our treatment for toenail fungus by calling Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis at (636) 717-1100.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
August 28, 2018
Category: Foot Conditions
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Toenail Fungus Laser TreatmentAs summer begins to wind down, it is important to keep the health of your feet in mind, even when they are cooped up in socks and boots throughout the winter. Toenail fungus can happen to anyone and is often nothing to worry about. However, some cases of toenail fungus are stubborn and hard to treat, meaning your podiatrist may suggest procedures like laser therapy for your condition. Find out more about laser toenail fungus treatment with Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO.

Do I have toenail fungus? 
Toenail fungus begins subtly and symptoms worsen over a long period of time. At first, the fungus appears on the toenail as a small yellow dot or spot. The discoloration progresses into a yellowed, thickened nail which may grow into a distorted shape. Eventually, the nail becomes brittle and begins to flake or crumble. The nail may also begin to separate from the bed. Your nail may also have a foul smell.

Where does toenail fungus come from? 
Toenail fungus comes from fungal spores entering into the skin and coming to a rest under the nail. Some contributing risk factors for toenail fungus include:

  • older age
  • sweating heavily
  • decreased blood flow
  • a family history of toenail fungus
  • tight shoes
  • frequenting locker rooms or public pools
  • athletic activity

You can prevent fungal toenail infections by keeping your feet clean and dry. Always wear shower shoes in areas like locker rooms or public pools and ensure that your feet are completely dry before putting on your socks and shoes. Additionally, always wear clean socks and ensure you change your socks immediately following activities which cause excessive sweating.

Laser Treatment for Toenail Fungus in Fenton, MO 
Toenail fungus is often a stubborn condition to treat. Your doctor may suggest over-the-counter or prescription antifungal medication, ointments, or lacquers. However, laser treatment can help you and your condition. Your doctor directs the laser at the fungus, allowing it to treat the fungus and infected areas without harming the tissue around or under the toenail.

For more information on laser toenail fungus treatments, please contact Dr. Richard Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in Fenton, MO. Call (636) 717-1100 to schedule your appointment with Dr. Wittock for a consultation today!

By Ankle and Foot Institute
January 11, 2017
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Don’t let unsightly toenail fungus ruin the appearance of your feet!

You may think a toenail fungal infection could never happen to you, but it certainly can. There are many things that can increase your toenail funguschances of developing a fungal infection such as walking barefoot at the local gym or pool. Luckily, if this does happen to you, our St. Louis, MO podiatrist Dr. Richard Wittock can help. Here are some common treatment options to consider when it comes to treating your fungal infection.

Most people’s first course of action when they find out that they have a fungal infection is to head to their local pharmacy or drugstore and pick out an over-the-counter medication. This can certainly be helpful for some people but not everyone. If you've tried to treat the issue yourself but have found no relief with over the counter solutions, you'll want to turn to our St. Louis foot doctor for treatment.

There are laser therapies that can be used to treat more serious and stubborn infections. Since some topical medications cannot easily penetrate through the nail to target the fungus, this treatment option is more effective. When the laser is directed at the infected nail, it can safely penetrate through the nail to break up and kill the fungus living underneath. Laser fungal treatment is completely safe and won’t affect healthy skin or nails. Laser therapy will require up to three treatment sessions. After treatment, you won’t actually see results until the infection has grown out completely. It can take several months to see a clearer nail, so patience is key to successful treatment of fungal infections.

If you’ve been unsuccessful in treating your toenail fungal infection, then turn to Dr. Wittock at Ankle and Foot Institute in St. Louis, MO, to get the proper, effective care you need to say goodbye to fungus infected nails and say hello to beautiful clear nails again.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
June 19, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

The pool may be a great place to relax and enjoy the summer with friends and family, but unfortunately, pools are also frequently a breeding ground for toenail fungus as well. This summer, avoid the embarrassment and the extra trip to your podiatrist at Ankle and Toenail FungusFoot Institute in St. Louis, MO for treatment. These tips, when used regularly, will help keep toenail fungus at bay.

1. Wear Shoes in Public Areas

The warm, damp area around a swimming pool is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. Keep your feet out of danger by wearing shoes any time you are around a pool. Both water shoes and flip flops are excellent choices to keep your feet protected.

2. Wash Regularly

Of course, there is no way you can keep pool bacteria and fungus off of your feet altogether. That is why washing your feet regularly is an excellent idea, especially in the summer. Shower after visiting the pool, making sure to wash in-between your toes and around your toenails.

3. Keep Your Feet Dry

Discourage bacterial and fungal growth by keeping your feet dry anytime you aren't in the water. Dry in-between your toes and around your nails as soon as you get out of the pool, change your socks when they get sweaty, and avoid wearing shoes that are still wet from the day before.

4. Choose the Right Footwear

Not only should your shoes be dry, but they should also fit properly as well. Shoes that are too tight can weaken nail beds, leaving them susceptible to fungal growth. Choose shoes with plenty of room and a wide toe box to keep your feet as clean and healthy as possible. If you aren't sure if your shoes are roomy enough, your St. Louis, MO podiatrist can let you know.

If, despite using all four of these tips, you still find yourself with a bad case of toenail fungus this summer, call your St. Louis, MO podiatrist at Ankle and Foot Institute to schedule an appointment if you have any concerns.

By Ankle and Foot Institute
January 15, 2015
Category: Foot Care
Tags: Toenail Fungus  

Find out if your foot symptoms could be caused by fungus.

Toenail fungus is actually more common than you may realize. In fact, fungal infections are the cause of about half of all nail disorders. This means that about 35 million people have experienced nail fungal infections in their lifetime. Her are the most common ToenailFungussigns of a toenail fungus and how to best treat the infection from your St. Louis, MO podiatrist.

About Toenail Fungus

The two most common fungi that infect the toenails are distal subungual onychomycosis, which is found under the nail, and white superficial onychomycosis, which affects the surface of the nail. However, keep in mind that not all infections of the toenail are fungal, so it’s important to see your St. Louis, MO podiatrist for a proper diagnosis.

The progress of your fungal infection will depend on how healthy you are, which nail is infected (toenail fungal infections tend to spread more quickly than in fingernails) and the type of environment you are in (fungus thrives in hot humid conditions). If you leave a toenail fungus untreated the condition can get worse. Therefore it’s important to see your St. Louis, MO podiatrist for treatment to preserve the integrity of the nail.

Toenail Fungus Symptoms

Are you noticing thick or discolored toenails? Do you see yellow or white streaks in your nail? Are your toenails more brittle or breaking off more easily? Are your nails brown or gray? If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then you could be dealing with a toenail fungus. Your symptoms will vary depending on the type of fungal infection.

Toenail Fungus Risk Factors

Some people are more prone to developing toenail fungus than others. If you are over the age of 60 you are more susceptible. If you have diabetes or a condition that weakens your immune system, you are also more likely to develop a toenail fungus. Furthermore, living in a hot and humid location, as well as wearing shoes that can cause feet to sweat will put you at risk. Those who have had toenail fungal infections in the past may also have recurrent infections even after treatment.

If you think you have a fungal infection, call Richard F. Wittock, D.P.M., your St. Louis podiatrist, to schedule an appointment. We can examine your nail, provide a proper diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.