Yellowed, brittle toenails can be the first indication you have a fungal infection. To prevent the spread of infection and permanent damage to your toenails, Thomas LeBeau, DPM, FACCWS, offers on-site services that can effectively clear the infection. At St. Augustine Foot, Ankle & Vein in St. Augustine, Florida, Dr. LeBeau creates a custom treatment plan for fungal infections and offers the most innovative treatments, including the Cutera® Genesis® laser system. Don’t worry another minute about discolored, crumbling nails. Schedule a consultation for toenail fungus by calling the office or booking an appointment online today.

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What causes toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is a common condition that affects people of any age, especially older people who have dry, brittle nails due to aging.

Infection results when fungi enter cracks in a toenail and begin to spread. The most common fungus that affects toenail health is dermatophyte, but you can also develop an infection from molds and yeast.

If you have a foot fungus like athlete’s foot, it can spread to your toenails. This type of infection is common if you frequent public showers, swimming pools, or gym locker rooms.

You could be at increased risk of toenail fungus infections as you get older or due to underlying health issues that affect your blood circulation like diabetes or a weakened immune system.

When should I seek treatment for toenail fungus?

Most fungal infections in the nail start as a small yellow or white spot under the tip of your nail. When the fungus begins to spread, your nail becomes more discolored and begins to thicken.

Other symptoms of a toenail fungus infection that needs medical treatment include:

  • Brittle nails
  • Crumbling nails
  • Changes in the nail shape

You’ll also notice that your nail has a foul odor as the fungus continues to spread.

Dr. LeBeau can evaluate the severity of your fungal infection and determine the best course of treatment to clear the infection as quickly as possible. If left untreated, toenail fungus can result in persistent pain and permanent damage to your toenail.

If you have diabetes, it’s very important that you seek treatment as soon as possible to prevent more serious infections in your skin and other health complications.

How is toenail fungus treated?

For new infections that are mild, Dr. LeBeau might initially recommend a topical or oral antifungal medication to clear the infection. He can also provide you with resources for trimming and caring for your nails until the infection goes away.

Dr. LeBeau also relies on the technology of the Cutera Genesis laser system to treat fungal infections in the toenail. This technology directs pulsed laser energy on to the treatment area, which the fungus absorbs. The energy destroys the fungus and stimulates the growth of new, healthy nail cells.

If you have toenail fungus that keeps coming back and you want long-term solutions to improve the health of your toenails, schedule a consultation with Dr. LeBeau online or by phone to learn about your treatments.