Toenail Fungus

Podiatry located in Enid, OK

Toenail fungus tends to creep into your nails slowly and can be difficult to treat once it takes root. At Total Foot and Ankle in Enid, Oklahoma, board-certified podiatrist Scott Shields, DPM, understands the challenges of treating toenail fungus. With his expertise and advanced treatments, he aims to eliminate toenail fungus and restore your nail's appearance and your confidence. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Toenail Fungus QA

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus occurs when fungi called dermatophytes grow and fester in one or more toenails. Also known as onychomycosis, fungal nails are notoriously difficult to treat. They can affect the fingernails but are far more common in toenails.

While toenail fungus is unappealing, uncomfortable, and a threat to nail health, early intervention can help clear the infection and prevent it from returning. Dr. Shields invests in the latest technology to treat bacterial and fungal nail infections at Total Foot and Ankle.

What are the warning signs of toenail fungus?

Fungal nails tend to develop slowly, but eventually, the signs are difficult to ignore. Telltale signs of toenail fungus include:

  • Yellow or brown nails
  • Crumbling nails
  • Thick, broken nails
  • Foul-smelling nails
  • Nails separating from the nail bed
  • Distorted nail shape
  • White spots or streaks on the nail surface
  • Pain or discomfort around the nail
  • Difficulty trimming the nail

If you notice any warning signs of toenail fungus, Dr. Shields can identify the underlying cause and clear the infection.

What causes toenail fungus?

Your immune system — the body’s natural defense mechanism — is constantly fighting off infections and other foreign invaders. However, fungi can take advantage of cuts, injuries, or other entry points in the nail bed to take root and infect the nail.

Risk factors for fungal toenails include:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Older age
  • A history of athlete’s foot
  • Diabetes or a weakened immune system
  • Poor foot circulation
  • Injury or trauma

Damp public areas, such as swimming pools or locker rooms, provide a breeding ground for toenail fungus that can cause the infection to spread.

Will toenail fungus go away on its own?

Toenail fungus rarely resolves on its own. Professional treatment is crucial to address the infection and prevent it from spreading to your other nails. Without intervention, the condition can worsen over time, leading to more discomfort and complications.

Is toenail fungus treatable?

Dr. Shields offers many treatments to get rid of toenail fungus and improve the appearance of your nails. Effective treatments for toenail fungus include:

  • Topical antibiotic ointment
  • Oral antifungal pills
  • Nail removal (in severe cases)
  • Lifestyle modifications

With fungal toenail treatment, Dr. Shields can help your toes look sandal-ready. Call Total Foot and Ankle today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.