Nail Fungus

TRU Foot and Ankle

Jason Khadavi, DPM

Clinical Medicine and Podiatry Surgery & Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Encino, CA & Beverly Hills, CA

In half of all toenail problems, nail fungus is the culprit. If your nail is discolored, crumbling, thick, or cracking, it’s probably toenail fungus that requires professional treatment. Unfortunately, fungus is tremendously stubborn, which is why you need targeted antifungal treatment. At TRU Foot and Ankle, with two Los Angeles area locations in Beverly Hills and Encino, California, Jason Khadavi, DPM, offers the most proven treatments to end nail fungus and restore your nail. Call either office or use online scheduling for an appointment.

Nail Fungus Q & A

What is nail fungus?

Nail fungus (onychomycosis) is a fungal infection that affects the skin underneath your toenail. Nail fungus causes obvious changes in the nail, with common symptoms being: 

  • Brittle nails
  • Nail cracking 
  • Thick nails
  • Nail discoloration
  • Distorted nail plate

Although not usually painful, nail fungus is very embarrassing and hard-to-conceal. It's also quite persistent, which is why you need professional treatment at TRU Foot and Ankle. 

What causes nail fungus?

The most common cause of nail fungus is dermatophytes, such as a trichophyton rubrum, which are common fungi. Less often, candida and nondermatophyte molds can cause nail fungus. 

The fungi that cause nail fungus commonly occur in warm and humid areas such as public showers and pools. If you're in such areas without shoes on, it greatly increases your risk of getting foot fungus. 

Fungi can also thrive in damp shoes or socks, so if you're prone to excessive perspiration, you're more vulnerable to nail fungus. 

Decreased circulation and immune deficiency, whether related to aging or a systemic disease like diabetes, can increase your susceptibility to nail fungus, too. If you’re diabetic, remember to schedule regular diabetic foot care at TRU Foot and Ankle.

Athlete's foot is the same as nail fungus, but it occurs on the skin. If you have athlete's foot, you're more likely to also develop nail fungus.

How do you diagnose nail fungus?

Psoriasis, peripheral vascular disease, toenail trauma, and some types of drugs can cause misshapen and/or discolored (dystrophic) nails that look very similar to nail fungus. 

But, a fungal and non-fungal nail requires very different treatment approaches, so Dr. Khadavi starts with an accurate diagnosis. 

He examines your affected nail and may also take a small sample from the nail for testing. This can determine whether you have a fungal infection, and if so, what type. 

How is nail fungus treated?

There are a variety of options for fungal nail treatment: 

Oral medication

According to the American Podiatric Medical Association, oral antifungal medication may have the best efficacy rate among nail fungus treatments. You take the medication for three months at a time.

Topical solutions

Along with oral medication or as an individual treatment, Dr. Khadavi might prescribe a topical solution that you apply to the affected nail every day. 

Laser treatment

Laser treatment might be another option for destroying nail fungus with light energy. It leaves your toenail intact. 

Surgical nail removal 

Ultimately, the best way to completely destroy the nail fungus and minimize its chance of recurrence may be surgical toenail removal. After nail removal, a healthy nail can grow in. 

Dr. Khadavi can explain all the options to help you choose the right nail fungus solution.

To get rid of nail fungus for good, call TRU Foot and Ankle, or schedule an appointment online today.