Toenail Fungus

Causes and Treatment Options

Nail fungus is a common condition that many people suffer from.

While this condition is relatively common, it is painful -and in some cases, severe. Nail fungus can be mild or severe, and depending on the severity, the treatment options will vary as well.

Causes of Nail Fungus

Nail fungus can be caused by a number of different things. It can also be transferred from one person to another. Nail fungus is most commonly is often caused when a skin infection, such as athlete’s foot, spreads to the toenail. It can also be caused by broken nails, or infections of the nail bed.

Symptoms of Nail Fungus

Nail fungus infections often start out painless, the nail may look thick and discolored. In some cases, the infection becomes worse. The nail may pull away from the nail bed, and white or yellow patches may appear underneath. Sometimes, the nail, or pieces of the nail may fall off. If left untreated, the infection may become worse; eventually destroying the nail and the nail bed. This will likely cause pain, and walking may become uncomfortable.


Depending on the severity, the treatment options can vary. If your nail fungus is not responding to over-the-counter treatments, your doctor may suggest medication, or recommend surgery in severe cases.

  • Medical Treatment Medical treatments often include medicated creams and polishes that can be applied directly to the toenails that are infected. You may also be prescribed oral antifungal drugs.
  • Surgical Treatment Surgical procedures are for the more advanced stages of toenail fungus and are generally considered after all medical options have been tried. If your nail is severely infected, or extremely painful your doctor may suggest removing the toenail completely. Oftentimes, surgery will be performed on the nail bed as well to prevent future fungus from re-growing.

Nail Fungus Prevention

Take measures to prevent nail fungus infections, or reinfections by:

  • Washing your hands and feet regularly
  • Keeping your nails short
  • Avoid wearing old shoes
  • Don’t go barefoot in public places, wear water shoes in pools and locker rooms
  • Use antifungal sprays and powders inside your shoes
  • Wear absorbent socks
  • Avoid trimming the skin around your nails

Finally, if you suspect you may have toenail fungus that is not responding to treatment options at home, don’t delay seeing your Houston podiatrist. Addressing toenail fungus as soon as you notice it prevents the issue from becoming worse, and can help you to return your toenails to a healthy state once again.

For more information on toenail fungus treatment in Houston, contact Dr. Anthony Lamarra, Houston’s leading podiatrist today.