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Toenail Fungus

Center for Podiatric Medicine

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Surgeons located in Chicago, Schaumburg, Elmhurst, Lombard, IL & Highland, IN

Toenail fungus is more than just a nuisance; it can cause serious infections and lead to permanent nail damage. At the Center for Podiatric Medicine in Chicagoland, the board-certified podiatrists use the PinPointe™ laser as a noninvasive way to kill toenail fungus and promote clear nail growth. Schedule an appointment at one of the three convenient Illinois locations in the River North neighborhood of Chicago, Schaumburg, and Lombard. Call or book an appointment online today.

Toenail Fungus

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that grows beneath one or more of your toenails. Symptoms of this common condition include:

  • White or yellow spots or streaks beneath toenails
  • Discolored or thick toenails
  • Toenails with crumbled or ragged edges
  • Painful toenails
  • Distorted toenail shapes
  • Toenails that smell foul
  • Brittle toenails
  • Toenails with debris trapped under them
  • Lifted or loose toenails
  • Toenails that lack luster and shine

Toenail fungus sometimes goes away with at-home self-care, but medical treatment is often necessary, as over-the-counter ointments, creams and polishes might not work.

What are the risk factors for toenail fungus?

Fungal toenail infections are caused by fungal organisms, such as yeasts, molds, and a fungus called a dermatophyte. Anybody can develop toenail fungus, but numerous factors increase your risk, such as:

  • Older age
  • Having brittle, dry toenails
  • Reduced blood circulation
  • A weak immune system
  • Having athlete’s foot
  • Minor nail or skin injuries
  • Having moist skin for long time periods
  • Poor footwear
  • Deformed toenails
  • Certain nail diseases

Ways you can help prevent toenail fungus include:

  • Washing your feet regularly
  • Keeping your toenails properly trimmed
  • Wearing sweat-absorbing socks
  • Choosing shoes that breathe
  • Treating shoes with antifungal powders
  • Wearing footwear in locker rooms and pool areas

If you get pedicures, choose nail salons with good sterilization procedures.

What is the treatment for toenail fungus?

The podiatrists at the Center for Podiatric Medicine use the innovative PinPointe™ laser and several other treatments to help you get rid of toenail fungus:

PinPointe laser

The PinPointe laser emits a laser light beam through your toenail to safely kill organisms in and under the nail bed. It’s a safe, noninvasive procedure with little to no discomfort, and no anesthesia required. You may notice clear nail growth after just 1-3 treatments.

Oral antifungal medications

In some cases, your doctor may prescribe antifungal medications you can take by mouth to clear a toenail infection.

Medicated nail polishes

You can apply medicated antifungal nail polishes directly to your nail and surrounding skin after soaking your feet.

When you’re ready to get rid of embarrassing toenail fungus once and for all, call the Center for Podiatric Medicine today, or book an appointment online.


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