Nail Fungus Facts

Dermatologists frequently see fungal infection in the nails, particularly the toenails. This can be one of the most difficult conditions to treat for a variety of reasons. The tiny microorganisms called fungi that are responsible for this infection love the dark, warm and moist environment that exists inside your shoes, and once they have found a place to live under your nails, they can be very difficult to eradicate. As the fungi spread, the nail will become thicker, yellowish, and brittle, frequently accompanied by an unpleasant odor.

Because of the difficulty in treating this condition, seeing an experienced dermatologist when you first suspect an infection is essential.

Some of the treatments for nail fungus include:

  • Laser therapy. A specially designed laser is used to penetrate the hard to reach areas under the nail and kill the fungi. While the procedure isn’t very complicated, it may take multiple treatments to completely clear up the condition.
  • Oral antifungal medications. These can be very effective at eliminating the fungal infection, and the prescription will usually be for several months.
  • Creams and ointments. A variety of over-the-counter topicals are available to be applied directly to the infected area. These can have unsatisfactory results since the creams don’t penetrate enough to fully remove the fungi.
  • If your nail infection is particularly severe, a partial or complete removal of the nail may be required in order for a new nail to form and grow, a process taking many months.

If you are experiencing a fungal infection in your nails, it is important to see a dermatologist for a complete diagnosis and adequate treatment to help prevent a recurrence.

Dr. Juan Vaillant of Old Bridge Dermatology has been treating patients for hair, skin, and nail problems for over 30 years, and has the experience necessary to address a wide variety of dermatological issues. Dr. Vaillant has successfully treated acne, eczema, dandruff, hair loss, skin cancer, psoriasis, and nail fungus. If you are looking for a friendly, highly skilled and respected dermatologist, call our office in Old Bridge, NJ at (732) 679-0222 and make an appointment.