Let's face it. Nail fungus is just plain gross. No one get excited when they discover they have it and everyone wants to get rid of it. But what exactly is nail fungus? For starters, it is an actual organism that lives in the nail and on the surrounding skin. Take a second and let that sunk in...a living organism is living in there. Nail Fungus, also called onychomycosis, causes a thickening and discoloration of the nail and can also start to cause some pain if left untreated. It usually begins as a small spot but can spread and eventually go to the surrounding nails. The nail may begin to thicken or become brittle while becoming distorted in shape. Another possible symptom of having nail fungus is that your nail may begin to separate from the nail bed and start to have a foul odor.
There are several ways to treat nail fungus. Let's start with the ever popular topical medications that you apply yourself. Those may or may not help subside some of your symptoms and eventually begin to treat the fungus. The downside? It can take an entire year or more to successfully treat the fungus and there is no guarantee that the fungus won't come back. Oral medications can also be used to get rid of nail fungus, but these oral medications can become toxic to your liver and you will need to follow up with having blood drawn monthly to monitor your liver function. A third option is the actual surgical removal of the nail. This will cure the nail of the fungus and get rid of the pain, but you will never be able to replace that nail. After the surgery, you will also have a wound that will require up to at least four weeks of treatment.
So what is the best option, you ask? At Emerald Coast Podiatry, we have been using laser treatments which have been highly successful and very popular. A beam of light is calibrated and then laser specifically targets the nail fungus and destroys it. It is painless and only requires three 20 minute treatments. You keep the nail, get rid of the fungus, no wounds, no surgery, no more pain, and no discoloration. It really is a win-win. This procedure is performed right in our office and there are no side effects. If you have any questions about nail fungus or laser treatments, please call our office and make an appointment!
Fort Walton Beach- 850-862-4119
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