South Charlotte General and Vascular Surgery
Vascular Surgeon located in Charlotte, NC
If your nails are discolored and brittle, odds are that you probably have a fungal infection (onychomycosis). Nail fungus is a common infection that doesn’t usually cause serious harm, but it can be a frustrating condition to address. At South Charlotte General and Vascular Surgery, our vascular specialists offer the latest in laser technology to successfully combat the fungus once and for all, right here in South Charlotte. To learn more, call us now to schedule an appointment.
Nail Fungus Q & A
What is nail fungus?
Nail fungus is a very common condition characterized by:
- Whitening or yellowing of your nails (commonly toes but fingers as well)
- Thickening of your nails
- Weakening or crumbling of the nails
- Detachment of your nails from the nail bed
- A foul odor may develop
- The fungus typically starts off as a small spot and, if left untreated, can progress across your entire nail.
- When the fungal infection affects the areas between your toes and the skin of your feet, it is called athlete's foot (tinea pedis).
What causes nail fungus?
Fungal organisms cause nail fungus. These organisms typically thrive in damp, moist environments, such as wet grass or public showers. Several factors put you more at risk of developing a fungal infection, such as:
- Age: As you age, your nails dry out, leaving them open to infection
- Athlete’s foot: If you’re prone to athlete’s foot, you’re also susceptible to toenail fungus
- Poor circulation: Diabetes and peripheral artery disease decrease circulation to your feet
While these factors increase your chances of contracting a fungus, nail infections can occur in anyone who comes in contact with a fungal organism. Without treatment, fungal infections can spread or irreparably damage your nails.
How is nail fungus treated?
Nail fungal infections may pass away on their own if you take care to keep your feet clean and dry. However, If the condition persists our vascular specialists may recommend oral medications or topical creams, which may take weeks to resolve the infection.
When should I see a doctor?
You may want to see your doctor if self-care and steps you take at home are not helping and your nails are becoming increasingly discolored, thickened or deformed. If you are diabetic and think you are developing nail fungus, you should see your doctor or a foot specialist (podiatrist) to help you care for your diabetic feet and avoid any additional complications.
For immediate and effective relief, we offer Excel V™ laser therapy to clear up the infection, selectively destroying the fungus and allowing the healthy nail to grow in its wake. Full elimination of the fungus depends on the extent to which it has affected your toenails and how long it takes for the affected area to grow out. You may require several laser treatments, spaced a few weeks apart, for maximum results.
To bare your feet with pride, call us at South Charlotte General and Vascular Surgery or book an appointment online.