Myths of Toenail Fungus in Minnesota

Myth #1: Poor hygiene is the cause of nail fungus.

Not true. Soap will get rid of the bacteria on your skin but no matter how hard you scrub with soap, you will not get rid of the fungus. This myth may have started because many times nail and skin problems start from a bacterial infection in which there is a wound or opening in the nail or skin.

Myth #2: Toenail fungus infections are rare.

False. Studies have shown that about 60% of all of us will contract a fungus infection sometime in our life. 60% is not by any means rare, so next time your friends gawk at something you didn’t ask for, remember that there’s a good chance they’ll get it someday too.

Myth #3: You can cure a toenail infection with a topical solution.

Not true. What is true is that the cure rate of topical agent is less than 5-10%, probably for some superficial infection because the fungal infection you’re fighting usually lives under the nail and a topical solution must penetrate the nail to be effective. Topical solutions do not have the capability to penetrate that deep into the nail bed –doing so it time consuming and almost impossible.

Myth #4: Toenail fungus can’t be cured.

Not true. Your infection most definitely can be cured, but it depends on the methods you choose to employ. It takes only 10 minutes for the laser treatment over a period of 2-3 treatments to cure the nail fungus. If you choose to take oral medication, it will take a commitment for at least 3 months plus liver function tests.

Myth #5: In order to cure a toenail infection, the nail must be removed.

Not true. Most patients with nail fungus can be treated medically without any surgery, either with laser treatments or oral medications. A few patients may need to have nails removed if they develop severe nail thickness and deformity or have significant pain due to the ingrown toenail.

Signs and Symptoms of Nail Fungus for Minnesotans

Fungal nail infections are most often seen in adults, affecting up to 20 percent of American adults in Minnesota. Infections occur more often in toenails than in fingernails in Minneapolis. The most common symptom of a fungal nail infection (onychomycosis) is the nail becoming thickened and discolored: white, black, yellow or green. As the infection progresses the nail can become brittle, with pieces breaking off or coming away from the toe or finger completely. If left untreated, the skin can become inflamed and painful underneath and around the nail. There may also be white or yellow patches on the nail bed or scaly skin next to the nail. There is usually no pain or other bodily symptoms, unless the disease is severe or develop ingrown toenail. Nail fungus symptoms may or may not include: brittleness, change in nail shape, crumbling of the outside edges of the nail, debris trapped under the nail, loosening or lifting up of the nail, loss of luster and shine, thickening of the nail, white or yellow streaks on the side of the nail, and in some cases, loss of the toenail itself.

People with onychomycosis in St. Paul may experience significant psychosocial problems due to the appearance of the nail, particularly when fingers, which are always visible, rather than toenails are affected. Fingernail infections are often followed by fungal infections of the feet. Nail fungus infections often start out through trauma. It can spread through poor hygiene, walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces and more. People who often go to public swimming pools, gyms, shower rooms, and/or people who sweat a lot often have these infections. Nail fungus thrives best in dark, warm, moist environments. You are at higher risk of getting a fungal nail infection if you get manicures or pedicures with tools that have been used on other people, have minor skin or nail injuries, have deformed nail or nail disease, have moist skin for a long time, have immune system problems, and or wear closed-toed footwear.

Nail Anatomy | Minnesota

This blog talks about nail anatomy for the people in the Minneapolis and St. Paul areas who are interested in learning the nail anatomy and the nail diseases.

A nail is a horn-like envelope covering the dorsal aspect of fingers and toes in humans.  Fingernails and toenails are made of a tough protein called keratin. Along with hair, they are an appendage of the skin.  The nail consists of a nail plate, a nail matrix, a nail bed, and the grooves surrounding the nail.

The nail matrix is the tissue upon which the nail rests on and the part of the nail bed that extends beneath the nail root and contains nerves, lymph, and blood vessels.  The matrix is responsible for the production of the cells that become the nail plate (body of the nail).  The width and thickness of the nail plate is determined by the size, length, and thickness of the matrix.  The shape of the fingertip itself determines if the nail plate is flat, arched, or hooked.  The matrix will continue to grow as long as it receives nutrition and remains in a healthy condition.   As new nail plate cells are incubated, they emerge from the matrix round and white to push older nail plate cells forward; and in this way yet older cells become compressed, flat, and translucent, making the pink color of the capillaries in the nail bed below visible.  The lunula, is the visible part of the matrix, the whitish crescent-shaped base of the visible nail.

The nail bed is the skin beneath the nail plate.  Like all skin, it is composed of two types of tissues: the deeper dermis, the living tissue fixed to the bone which contains capillaries and glands, and the superficial epidermis, the layer just beneath the nail plate which moves forward with the plate. The epidermis is attached to the dermis by tiny longitudinal “grooves” known as the matrix crests.  As we age, the plate grows thinner and these ridges become evident in the plate itself.  The nail sinus is the deep furrow into which the nail root is inserted.

The nail plate or body of nail is the actual nail.  It is made of translucent keratin protein and amino acids.  The plate appears pink because of the underlying capillaries.  Its shape is determined by the form of the underlying bone.  The hyponychium is located beneath the nail plate at the junction between the free edge and the skin of the fingertip. It forms a seal that protects the nail bed.  The eponychium, is the small band of epithelium that extends from the nail wall onto the base of the nail.  The layer of non-living, almost invisible skin is the cuticle that “rides out” on the surface of the nail plate. Together, the eponychium and the cuticle form a protective seal.  Lastly, the nail wall is the cutaneous fold overlapping the sides and proximal end on the base of the nail.

Causes and Subtypes of Nail Fungus in Minnesota

Onychomycosis is caused by three main classes of fungal organisms: dermatophytes, yeasts, and nondermatophyte molds. All three classes cause the very similar symptoms or appearances in nails. Dermatophytes are, by far, the most common causes of nail fungus in Minnesota. Yeasts cause 8% of cases, and nondermatophyte molds cause 2% of onychomycosis cases.

There are many subtypes of nail fungus in Minneapolis and St. Paul. These subtypes of onychomycosis can be identified based on where the infection appears to be located relative to the structure of the nail.

  • In distal lateral subungual subtype, both the nail plate and nail bed thicken and hardens, and the nail separates from the bed underneath. The nail can be discolored.  The edge of the nail becomes severely eroded.
  • Endonyx subtype has a milky white discoloration in the nail plate, but no nail separation or thickening and hardening.
  • White superficial subtype shows small white speckled or powdery-looking patches in the toenails.
  • Proximal subungual subtype develops white spotting, streaking, or discoloration near the nail fold.
  • In total dystrophic subtype, the entire nail plate and matrix are affected.
  • Yeast infection can occur in both nails and the tissue that surrounds the nail. The nail fold becomes inflamed , or the nail plate separates from its bed. The nail bed thickens and hardens.

Laser Treatment of Nail Fungus in Minneapolis

A growing number of doctors in Minnesota are offering a new laser treatment that cures the fungal infection that causes ugly, discolored nails. Research results suggested that the laser treatment is a better option for people in Minnesota who don’t want the side effects and lower efficacy of oral medications. Oral medications carry a risk of liver damage.

Almost all cosmetic lasers for skin rejuvenation in the Minneapolis and St Paul areas can be used to treat nail fungus. The fast pulse laser causes less pain. We are not sure how the lasers work on nail fungus in all cases. It could be either laser kills fungus or inhibits fungal growth, paving the way for the body’s own defenses to clear fungus. Recent clinical studies showed about 87% effective rate with laser treatment of the nail fungus.

Treatments typically take 15 to 30 minutes for up to 10 toes. Depending on the severity of the problem and the laser used, most patients usually need three treatments. There is no down time, the patients can go back to work or normal activities right away. The cost of zapping nail fungus with a laser in Minnesota can range $1000 to $1,200 for a treatment course. It isn’t generally covered by insurance.

We cannot be sure that the nail fungus will be gone forever after laser treatment, considering the fact that this is a contagious disease and that reoccurrence is a possibility unless you take proper preventative measures and maintain good hygiene.

Epidemiology of Fungal Nail Infection in Minnesota

People in Minnesota know about the nail fungus, but most people in Minnesota don’t the word Onychomycosis. Infections of the nail caused by fungi are generically called onychomycosis, a term derived from the Greek “Onychos” which means nail, and Mycosis an infection by fungi.

Onychomycosis causes the toenails or fingernails to discolor and disfigure. At first, onychomycosis appears to be only a cosmetic concern. Without treatment, however, fungal infection can significantly change the appearance of nail and surrounding tissue, the toenails can become so thick that they press against the inside of the shoes, causing pressure, irritation, and even pain (ingrown toenail).  The nail fungal infection also increases chance of the secondary bacterial infection in the toes, especially in the diabetes patients and immunosuppressed patients.

The incidence of onychomycosis has been reported to be 2-13% in North America. Studies in the Canada, United Kingdom, Spain, and Finland found prevalence rates of onychomycosis to be 3-8%. Onychomycosis affects persons of all races, and it affects males more commonly than females.

Onychomycosis is the most common nail disease in adults, and adults are 30 times more likely to have onychomycosis than children. Epidemiology study showed that 90% of elderly people have onychomycosis comparing only 2.6% of children. Toenails are much more likely to be infected by fungus than fingernails. The incidence of onychomycosis has been increasing over the years and is related to diabetes, a suppressed immune system, and aging.

Nail Diseases in Minnesota

Nail diseases are common in Minnesota. The following nail diseases cause discoloration and changes in the appearance of the nail.

Paronychia is an infection that affects the nail fold. If a tear or break occurs in the nail fold, the bacteria can enter and cause an infection which turns the nail a greenish color, sometimes mistaken for mold.

Onychomycosis or commonly known as nail fungus, appears as white or yellowish color in the nail. This can cause a separation of the nail bed and a thickening of the nails caused by debris from the fungus. This debris causes the yellowish discoloration.  Psoriasis of the nail can cause the nail to appear red, orange or brown. Physically the nail can look pitted, dry and brittle or crumbly.

Some nail diseases cause darkening of the nails. Melanonychia are pigmented areas that look like moles or pigmented bands on the nail. This disease can be serious as it could signify a malignant melanoma. Dark streaks in darker skinned individuals can be fairly common and normal. The physicians in Minneapolis and St Paul areas would be able to make it clear through the nail bed biopsy if the color is melanoma.

If you have ever shut your nail in a door or dropped something heavy on your toe, you would get a hematoma.  The trauma causes blood to get trapped between the nail bed and nail plate. It looks like a dark bruise beneath the nail. It is possible the nail plate can separate from the nail bed due to the trauma.  Hematomas are not always serious but they can cause an infection sometimes requiring the nail plate to be removed.

Nail diseases can also cause disfiguration of the nail. Onychatrophia causes the nail plate to waste away causing the nail to become dull and smaller sometimes to come off entirely. Another disease that affects the look of the nail is Onychogryposis which causes the nails to have a claw-like look. The nail plate curves inward and pinches the nail bed which can be very painful. This usually requires surgery to help alleviate the pain.

Nails and Cold Weather in Minnesota

Nail Anatomy

A nail covers the dorsal aspect of the distal parts of fingers and toes. The nails are made of a tough protein called keratin. The matrix is the tissue which the nail protects.  It is the part of the nail bed that contains nerves, lymph and blood vessels. The matrix is responsible for producing cells that become the nail plate. The width and thickness of the nail plate is determined by the size, length, and thickness of the matrix.  The paronychium is the border tissue around the nail and paronychia is an infection in this area.

Function

A nail has the function of protecting the distal phalanx from injuries. It also serves to enhance the sensitivity of the fingertip. Finally, the nail functions as a tool for the extended precision grip”.

Growth

The growing part of the nail is under the skin at the nail’s proximal end.  In humans, fingernails grow up to four times faster than toenails. In humans, nails grow at an average rate of 3 mm a month.  Fingernails require three to six months to regrow completely, and toenails require 12 to 18 months. Actual growth rate is dependent upon age, sex, season, exercise level, diet, and hereditary factors.

In contrast to the general believing that the nail is an impermeable barrier, it is much more permeable than the skin, and the composition of the nail includes 7-12% of water. This permeability has implications for penetration by harmful and medicinal substances.

Effect of nutrition

A lack of vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium can cause dryness and brittleness. Not enough B12 vitamin can lead to excessive dryness, darkened nails, and rounded or curved nail ends. Insufficient intake of both vitamin A and B results in fragile nails with horizontal and vertical ridges. Protein is a building material for new nails; therefore, low dietary protein intake may cause white nail beds. A lack of protein combined with deficiencies in folic acid and vitamin C produce hangnails. Essential fatty acids play a large role in healthy skin as well as nails. Splitting and flaking of nails may be due to a lack of linoleic acid. Iron-deficiency anemia can lead to a pale color along with a thin, brittle, ridged texture.

Nail and cold weather in Minnesota

If you live in Minneapolis and St Paul areas, you have more chance to develop the skin and nail problems in the winter time. Your nails are made of the same proteins as skin, which loses moisture during cold weather in Minnesota. Not only that, you’re probably drinking less water, and your hands are more likely to be exposed to wind and cold, and your oil glands aren’t secreting as much as they do in warmer seasons. Then you may over wash your hands more during cold and flu season. Experts recommends rubbing vitamin E oil or shea butter cream into your nails and cuticles once or twice a day , and making sure to drink enough water. Wash your hands with a nonsoap cleanser or a hydrating, and apply a rich cream before slipping on moisturizing gloves you wear to bed.

One Stop Medical Center Treats Nail Fungus For Minnesota Residents

Nail fungus in Minnesota is a very common problem. Nail fungus, which is also referred to as onychomyosis, can cause the nails to darken in color. The fungus can also cause the nails to develop a foul smell. Even though nail fungus in Minnespolis and St. Paul areas is very common, many people are embarrassed to seek treatment. However, if you have nail fungus, then you will need to get it treated as soon as possible.

If this condition is not treated, then the fungal infection can spread to the other nails. It can also spread to your skin. Furthermore, if the fungal infection is on your toenails, then you may begin to have trouble putting on your shoes and walking.

The good news is that there is laser treatment available to treat nail fungus. Laser treatment can be completed in 10 minutes. It does not cause any pain. There have been clinical studies done to confirm that laser treatment is about 87 percent effective at clearing up nail fungus. Furthermore, because laser treatment does not require the use of drugs, there are no long-term side effects associated with it.

If you are interested in getting nail fungus treatment in Minnesota, then you should contact our providers. Our office is open Monday, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

There are several things that you can do to avoid getting nail fungus in the future. After you wash your feet, you need to make sure that you dry them off thoroughly. Fungus infections can very easily spread in public places, so you should not walk around in any public place without wearing shoes. You will also need to change your socks once a day. Furthermore, you should wear shoes that fit properly.

The Easiest Way to Prevent Nail Fungus

Nail fungus is a growing problem for both men and women in Minneapolis and St Paul. It is important to know that it is not caused by poor hygiene. It takes just a small cut in the nail for a fungus to enter. It can easily be spread from person to person. Fungus occurs in toe nails more than fingernails. That is due to the fact that Toenails grow out slower and are usually in a warm moist environment in the shoes. The best way to prevent getting a fungus is to not walk barefoot in a public environment such as a locker room.  It’s suggested to not even walk barefoot in a hotel room or use a hotel shower without wearing flip flop sandals.

Dr. Steven Shu, of One Stop Medical Clinic in Edina, MN  says, “ You’re more likely to get fungus nail infection if you are over 60, have an injury like an ingrown toenail or a hangnail, live in a hot humid environment, wear shoes that make your feet feel moist and sweaty, and have a weak immune system or diabetes. .  Make sure your shoes are wide at the toes and give some room to breathe. Don’t wear shoes that cause your feet to get moist and sweaty.  Change into clean dry socks as needed.”

If your nails start to turn yellow or white in color, become thicker or start to get brittle and crumble, it’s a good time to see us to get treated. Don’t wait until it becomes advanced, it can lead to permanent nail damage.

Have Embarrassing Nail Fungus in Minneapolis Area? Come to Shu Procedure Clinic for Treatment!

Nail fungus can cause nails to become cracked, brittle and dry. The nail can become discolored with a yellow, brown or black coloring. Fungus of the nails is embarrassing, but that should not stop someone from being treated for it. Oftentimes, fungus can collect under the nail and you might notice a bad odor.

Many people try to self-diagnose nail fungus, but seeing a professional like Dr. Shu in Minneapolis at Shu Procedure Clinic for nail fungus treatment in is important. There are doctors available who treat nail fungus in Minneapolis, as well as doctors who treat nail fungus in St. Paul area. The doctor will inspect the nail, and if they feel there is an infection with fungus, tests are performed. The tests will show which fungus is present allowing the physician to treat it properly.

Oral medications are prescribed by your doctor, which are taken for approximately 12 weeks. Often, a patient who has nail fungus is also given a prescription of polish that is applied to the nail that is infected for approximately 50 weeks. Your physician will decide which prescriptions will work best for you.

There are also over-the-counter medications that are often used, but the effectiveness of those is not yet proven. You could end up spending too much time, effort and money on something that will not work in the long run, and in the end, you will end up calling your physician anyway.

There are also home remedies that can be tried as well. These vary all the way from Listerine to vinegar. Some people say they work wonders, and some do not have any positive results from these. Some of the remedies may work for one person, but not the next. Trying some of these is up to you.

One of the steps taken to prevent nail fungus is keeping the feet and hands dry. Fungus can get into your body through tiny openings or cuts near the nail. Always wear sandals or shoes around swimming pools, lockers or restrooms to avoid getting a fungal infection from someone else infected. Dry your feet often, because fungi is attracted to moist, wet areas as well as dark places. If you are someone who is susceptible to fungal infections, change your socks on a daily basis.

Nail Fungus Laser Treatment | Minneapolis

Onychomycosis, also known as fungal infection of nails (usually on the toes), is a common disease affecting about 12% of Americans according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Besides inherit proneness of nail fungus, more people can have a higher chance of getting it because they go barefoot in public areas or because their feet are often wet. Nail fungus is not only an appearance-related issue, but also a medical problem that causes pain.

New Toenail laser treatment gives you a new substitute to oral medication, which has a chance of liver damage, and a nail lacquer that will lack efficiency.

Treatments usually take 15-30 minutes for up to 10 toes. Depending on how severe the problem is and which laser is used, patients may need two to three treatments. The toenails grow very slowly; it may take a whole year to see the final result.

We don’t know exactly how the lasers work in treating the nail fungus. The research shows its laser kills fungus, although others believe its laser inhibits fungal growth, leading the way for the body’s own defenses to clear the nail.

To prevent fungus reoccurrence, you must follow a conscientious hygiene program, including not going barefoot, keeping feet clean and dry and changing socks every day. You may use anti-fungal spray for feet and shoes.

We cannot be sure that the nail fungus will be gone forever after laser treatment, considering the fact that this is a contagious disease and that reoccurrence is a possibility unless you take proper preventative measures and maintain good hygiene.

Prevent Fungus Re-infection with SteriShoe | Minnesota

You have been doing everything you can to get rid of you toenail fungus. Now the key is to prevent another fungal infection. Besides keeping your feet clean and dry you can also sanitize your shoes.  One Stop Medical Clinic, located in the Twin Cities of Minnesota, carries the Sterishoe which is a special UV sterilizer for your shoes. It uses germicidal ultraviolet light (UVC) to kill microorganisms that cause toe nail fungus, athletes foot and shoe odor. Dr. Steven Shu, of One Stop Medical Clinic, recommends the Sterishoe system to every patient who comes in for laser treatments for their toe nail fungus.

We tend to sweat in our shoes especially in the warmer months of Minnesota which creates the perfect breeding ground for toe nail fungus, athletes foot and shoe odor. The end of the day is the perfect time to insert the Sterishoes to kill any microorganisms that are living in your shoes. You can treat both shoes at once as the system comes as a set of two lights shaped like a shoe tree and two bags to keep it dark while the light is treating your shoes. Even open toed shoes and sandals can be treated. A treatment cycle lasts 45 minutes. All you have to do is turn them on and at the end of the cycle; the lights will shut off automatically. The treatment will kill 99.9% of the harmful microorganisms that cause toe nail fungus and athletes foot.

What Can Be Done About Nail Fungus | St. Paul & Minneapolis?

Nail fungus is a fungal infection that develops in the fingernails or toenails. Nail fungus is an extremely common problem. However, the fact that this problem is so prevalent does not make it any less embarrassing.

Nail fungus is typically caused by dermatophytes. However, molds and yeast can also cause fungal infections. Furthermore, there are a number of things that can make a person more susceptible to developing fungal infections.

A moist environment encourages the growth of fungus. That is why people who perspire heavily are at an increased risk for developing fungus. Fungus can easily be spread in public places, such as restrooms and swimming pools. Furthermore, fungal infections are common in people who have other health conditions, such as psoriasis, diabetes and circulation problems.

Thickened nails are one of the symptoms of nail fungus. A person who has nail fungus may also notice that his or her nails are brittle. Additionally, infected nails can potentially separate from the nail bed.

If you suspect that you have nail fungus, then you should get it treated as soon as possible. This problem will only continue to get worse. That is why you should not let the embarrassment stop you from getting the treatment that you need. You have the option of getting a 10 minute laser treatment that can clear up the fungus.

This laser treatment is safe and has been shown to be very effective. In fact, 87 percent of patients who get the laser treatment notice a major improvement. The effective rate for laser treatment is much higher than the effective rate for oral medication. Furthermore, laser treatment does not have any major risks.

Nail Fungus Laser Treatment | Minneapolis

Nail fungus has become such an issue that many people won’t wear sandals even in the hottest months.  The nails turn yellow and brittle and so people would rather hide them than expose them. In Minneapolis, MN we only have a short time frame to be able to wear sandals and it’s frustrating when you can’t get a pedicure or wear sandals due to a toenail fungus. It is mostly a cosmetic issue though the Nail fungus can cause pain in some people especially the elderly. The infection is actually a combination of fungi, yeast, mold and bacteria which is very hardy. Even the anti fungal pills which carry a risk of liver damage only have about a 50% success rate.

What people are turning to now is laser treatment for Nail fungus.  Dr. Steven Shu of Edina, MN, says, “We are seeing a higher success rate with laser treatments. The treatments are safe and have no side effects or risk to the patient.” The laser uses a specific wavelength of energy which is delivered to the sight of the infection. It is targeted towards the fungi to kill it but leaves the nail and surrounding tissue intact. Patients must make sure that they are taking very good care of their feet after the laser treatment series is over.

Learn More About Nail Fungus and Treatment Options in the Minneapolis Area at Shu Procedure Clinic

Nail fungus is a common toenail problem and a humiliating physical defect. People who are exposed to hazardous chemicals or extreme conditions may develop these problems. These problems could point to deep, underlying health issues. Sufferers tend to avoid social and intimate situations until they find the right solutions. Procedure Clinic has nail fungus Minneapolis medical professionals who are qualified to recommend the best solutions.

There is a process that all infected nails go through. First, the nail grows thicker and changes color. As the infected area worsens, the nail becomes more fragile and parts break off, or in extreme cases, the whole nail falls off. If the problem is not solved, pain and inflammation sets in. The toe looks more unattractive once scales and patches form.

Dermatophytids are lesions that develop because of fungal infections in other areas. The lesions are usually allergic responses. In any case, if the right Nail Fungus MN professional is not found quickly, the appearance of the skin and nails only worsens.

Common causes, apart from disease, include heavy perspiration or excessive moisture, extreme temperatures, chemical exposure, athlete’s foot, trauma, poor blood circulation and weakened immunity to infection. To diagnose the problem effectively, lab tests can be made. Treatment is problematic if the infection is deeply rooted and hard to access. For some people, removing all of the symptoms is a slow process that takes up to one year.

Nail fungus could cause extreme pain and serious damage. If left untreated for months, more severe infections occur, especially if severe medical conditions are involved. People with cancer, diabetes or AIDS have the greatest difficulties in eradicating the problem. Diabetics have various impairments that lead to easy infections and complications.

It is possible to wear open-toed shoes or lie in bed without feeling embarrassed that someone could walk into the room and gawk. More importantly, people with medical conditions should maintain the health of their hands or feet. Regardless of how unsightly the nail becomes, it is necessary to see a nail fungus St. Paul expert as soon as possible.

Home Remedies for Nail Fungus | Minneapolis

One Stop Medical Center in Edina and Shoreview, MN has been treating nail fungus for 3 years now. Nail fungus is a source of embarrassment to many of the people who have it. Some patients have tried many home remedies before they come into our clinic. I’ve heard of people soaking their feet in bleach, some have used tea tree oil, vinegar and even Vic’s Vapor Rub. On mild cases these home remedies my work but if the fungal infection is very advanced, they won’t touch the fungus. For the dry skin on the toes, heels and bottom of the feet an over the counter medicated lotion, such as Lotromin, is recommended as that could be athletes foot. Usually if there is a nail fungus, there is athletes foot fungus as well. Laser is still one of the best ways to treat the nail fungus.

Some things you can do at home are using a Sterishoe UV light  to sterilize your shoes. The light will kill the fungus and bacteria in the shoes. That helps prevent re-infection and you don’t have to go out and buy all new shoes if you don’t want to.  You can get your Sterishoe Light from One Stop Medical Center or any clinic that treats nail fungus in your area. Clean your sheets in hot water and dry them on high heat. Wear socks that are made of natural fibers and not synthetic material. That will allow the feet to breath and help with moisture. Make sure your feet are dry and not in a warm and moist environment which allows fungus to thrive.  Don’t use a nail polish or gel or acrylic nails until the fungus has completely cleared up. When the nail can’t breath the fungus will keep growing.  Don’t walk barefoot in public places. There are people who even wear flip flop style sandals in a hotel room and even in the hotel shower because they don’t want to catch anything. If you suspect a nail fungus the best thing to do is get it checked out right away by a physician who specializes in treating it. The earlier you start your treatments, the better your results will be. You will feel so much happier when you can show your toes and fingers again.

Nail Fungus Complications | Minneapolis & St Paul

It is important to treat your nail fungus as quickly as possible as it may cause permanent damage to the nail.  The deformities could be in the form of ridges in the nail as it grows out or a bend in the middle of the nail that is not going away.

If you have a suppressed immune system due to medications, diabetes or other conditions such as, AIDS, leukemia or have had an organ transplant, you are at more serious risk for an infection that can spread beyond your toe nails.

A person with diabetes can have issues with their blood circulation and nerve supply to their feet. They are also at greater risk for getting a bacterial skin infection called cellulitis. With diabetes any minor injury to the feet or a fungal infection, can be serious and potentially lead to major health issues and extensive medical treatment. If you suspect a fungal infection, please come to see us, the laser treatment is new effective way to treat nail fungus.

Treating Nail Fungus and Maintaining Healthy Nails | Minneapolis & St Paul

Nail fungus can be treated many ways but if you don’t maintain the health of your nails, you could get a repeat infection. Your physician will give you instructions on how to take care of your nails to keep them free of fungal infection after treatment. Keeping your feet clean and dry is one of the best ways to prevent another infection. Below is information on treatment options for nail fungus.

Oral Medications

Your physician may prescribe an oral antifungal medication. Some of the most effective oral medications are Lamisil and Sporanox. You would be likely to be prescribed this is if you have diabetes or risk factors for cellulitis or are having pain from the nail infection. These medications will help the nail grow out into a new healthy nail. It is a long process for the nail to grow out so patience is required. It could take up to 12 months. The down side of oral medications is that they can cause liver damage. Skin rashes are also a possible side effect. People with liver disease or heart failure should not take these medications. You need to do lab tests to monitor the liver function during the treatment. The efficacy of oral medications is lower than the laser treatments.

Surgery

In some cases the nail infection is very advance and painful. The physician would then recommend removing the nail so that a new healthy nail will grow in its place. It could take up to 12 months for the nail to regrow. Again patience is required.

Laser treatments

Using a laser to treat nail fungus is very popular now. Many people are coming to their physicians to learn more about this process. It can be a little uncomfortable for some people but the results are amazing. Laser is able to treat the existing nail and the nail matrix. Laser treatments require more 2-3 treatments to get the best results. It could take up to 12 months for the new healthy nail to grow.

Topical treatments

Along with laser treatments you physician many recommend over the counter topical ointments such as Lamisil and Lotrimin to help with the surrounding skin tissue as many times there is also athletes foot as well as the nail fungus. Penlac may be prescribed to help with the effectiveness of the nail treatment. It is brushed on like a clear nail polish every day for a week and then taken off with alcohol on the 7th day. It is then repeated for up to 6 months.

Nail Fungus – What is it? | Minneapolis & St Paul

Have you ever been told during a pedicure that you may have nail fungus? Maybe the nail tech notices some discoloration and they ask you to monitor it. If that discoloration doesn’t grow out with the nail and it gets worse you may have a nail fungus. I have been in the situation where a nail tech mentioned something she saw on my toe nails. It is a little alarming to be told you may have a nail fungus. The nail tech asked me if I had had recently stubbed my toe. In that case I had stubbed my toe and the trauma to my nail had left a mark. I would notice that as the nail grew, the spot on my nail would go away. If this is not the case, have the nails checked out right away. The longer you let nail fungus go, the harder it will be to cure.

There are actually for classic types of nail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis. The most common form is distal subungual onychomycosis which invades the nail bed and the underside of the nail plate. The next type is called white superficial onychomycosis (WSO) is caused by a fungal invasion of the superficial layers of the nail plate and forms “white islands” on the plate. It accounts for only 10% of the onychomycosis cases. Sometimes keratin granulations, which are a reaction to nail polish, can cause the nails to turn a chalky white. WSO can be a misdiagnosis of keratin granulations. A lab test should be performed to confirm.

The third type is proximal subungual onychomycosis which is a fungal penetration of the newly formed nail plate through the proximal nail fold. It is least common in healthy people, but is found more commonly when the person is immunocompromised. Last but not least is candidal onychomycosis. This is a species invasion of the fingernails which usually occurs in persons who frequently immerse their hands in water. It normally requires prior damage of the nail by infection or trauma. I know hair stylists and nail techs that have been diagnosed with this type of fungus.

You are probably asking the question, what am I looking for? A nail fungus infection may begin as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your fingernail or toenail. As it spreads deeper into your nail, it may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and develop crumbling edges. It is usually not painful, just unsightly. Once a nail fungal infection begins, if not treated, it can persist indefinitely.

Fungus lives in warm, moist environments which include swimming pools and showers. It can invade your skin through tiny cuts both visible and invisible or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed. When your nails are continually exposed to warmth and moisture it is the perfect condition for fungi to grow and spread. nail fungus occurs more in toenails than fingernails because the toenails are often confined in a dark, warm moist environment where fungus can thrive. Next we will focus on treatments for nail fungus and how to maintain healthy nails.

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