LOCATED IN HONOLULU, HI
Nail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis, is a common fungal infection that affects the nails, particularly the toenails. It is caused by various types of fungi, including dermatophytes, yeasts, and molds. Nail fungus can be a persistent and bothersome condition. Top-rated podiatrist Ken G Sakuda, DPM located in Honolulu, Hawaii specializes can help. To see how you can have fungal-free nails again, call the office or schedule an appointment online today.
What is nail fungus (onychomycosis)?
Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that primarily affects the toenails but can also occur in the fingernails. It begins as a small spot under the edge of the nail and gradually spreads, causing the nail to become thickened, discolored, brittle, and distorted in shape. As the infection progresses, it can lead to discomfort, pain, and difficulty in walking or using the affected finger. Dr. Sakuda's objective is to help manage, and ideally eliminate nail fungus.
What are the symptoms of nail fungus? They may appear as:
Thickened nails: The infected nails may become abnormally thick and difficult to trim.
Discoloration: The nails may develop a yellow, brown, or white discoloration.
Brittle and crumbly nails: The affected nails may become brittle, prone to breaking, and crumble easily.
Distorted nail shape: The nails can become misshapen, with irregularities in texture and form.
Foul odor: In some cases, a foul odor may accompany the infection.
Separation of the nail: The nail may separate from the nail bed, leading to pain and discomfort.
If you experience any of these symptoms, please contact Dr. Sakuda immediately for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Recognizing the early signs of nail fungus can help in prompt intervention and prevent it from spreading further.
What are the risk factors for nail fungus?
Several factors can increase the risk of developing nail fungus, including:
Age: The risk of nail fungus increases with age.
Poor circulation: Conditions like diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or other circulatory disorders can decrease blood flow to the extremities, making nails more susceptible to fungal infections.
Damaged nails: Injuries to the nails, nail bed, or surrounding skin can create an entry point for fungi.
Warm and humid environments: Prolonged exposure to warm and moist conditions, such as public swimming pools, communal showers, and saunas, can promote fungal growth.
Weakened immune system: People with weakened immune systems, such as those undergoing chemotherapy, are more prone to nail fungus infections.
Nail salon exposure: Certain nail salon practices, such as shared nail clippers or contaminated nail care instruments, may increase the risk of infection.
Understanding and addressing these risk factors can significantly reduce the likelihood of developing nail fungus.
How is nail fungus diagnosed?
To diagnose nail fungus, Dr. Sakuda will typically perform a thorough examination of the affected nail(s) and ask about the symptoms experienced. In some cases, Dr. Sakuda may take a small sample of the nail or the surrounding skin for laboratory analysis. This sample can be examined under a microscope or sent to a laboratory for a fungal culture, which helps identify the specific fungus causing the infection.
How is nail fungus treated?
Treating nail fungus can be challenging, and it often requires patience and persistence. The treatment options include:
a) Oral antifungal medications: These prescription medications are taken for several weeks or months and work systemically to eliminate the fungus. They are generally more effective for severe cases of nail fungus.
b) Topical antifungal treatments: Over-the-counter or prescription-strength
Identifying and treating nail fungus early is critical in preventing complications or further spread, and maintaining overall foot health. Call the office or schedule an appointment online today to have Dr. Sakuda develop a custom foot care plan for you.