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Toenail Fungus Specialist

Integrity Foot & Ankle Center, LLC

Patrick M. Qualtire, DPM

Podiatrist & Ankle and Foot Surgeon located in Cumming, GA

If your toenails are yellow, brown, thick, or brittle, you may have toenail fungus. Mild cases usually respond to over-the-counter treatments, but more serious cases may require the expertise of a podiatrist. At Integrity Foot & Ankle Center, LLC, in Cumming, Georgia, board-certified podiatrist Patrick Qualtire, DPM, provides diagnosis and treatment of toenail fungus. To schedule an appointment, call the office and speak with a friendly team member, or book a consultation online today.

Toenail Fungus Q & A

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is a fungal infection of one or several toenails. It usually begins as a small white spot. Over time, the fungus goes deeper, causing your nails to thicken, yellow, and crumble. 

Most of the time, toenail fungus resolves on its own with conservative, at-home treatments. However, if you have diabetes or another condition that negatively affects your circulation, it may increase your risk of infection or more serious complications.

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

Telltale symptoms of toenail fungus include:

  • Thickened nails
  • Nails with white or brown discoloration
  • Brittle, crumbly, or ragged nails
  • Nails that have a distorted shape

As the fungal infection progresses, you might also notice a foul odor emanating from your toes.

Is there any way to prevent toenail fungus?

There’s no way to prevent toenail fungus entirely, but there are steps you can take to significantly lower your risk. Dr. Qualtire recommends:

  • Washing your hands and feet regularly
  • Trimming your nails straight across
  • Wearing shoes that are made of breathable materials
  • Giving up nail polish and artificial nails

You can also lower your risk of toenail fungus by wearing shoes in public locker rooms and pool areas.

How is toenail fungus diagnosed?

To diagnose toenail fungus, Dr. Qualtire physically examines your toes and toenails. Afterward, he clips your nails and collects a sample. He sends your sample to a lab that identifies the type of fungus causing your infection.

Other skin-related conditions like psoriasis and eczema can present similar symptoms. By identifying the source of your infection, Dr. Qualtire can develop a treatment plan that provides quick and effective relief.

How is toenail fungus treated?

Dr. Qualtire uses conservative, preventive measures to treat toenail fungus. Depending on the severity of your infection, he might recommend prescription oral antifungal drugs, medicated nail polish, or medicated nail cream.

If these measures don’t ease your symptoms or your infection gets worse, surgical intervention may be necessary. 

During surgery for toenail fungus, Dr. Qualtire carefully removes your infected nail (or nails). Afterward, he applies an antifungal medication to the skin directly underneath the nail. The antifungal medication prevents the infection from spreading, encouraging your body’s natural healing process.

To explore your treatment options for toenail fungus, schedule an appointment at Integrity Foot & Ankle Center, LLC. Call the office to speak with a friendly staff member, or book a consultation online today.