If your toenails are thick, crumbly, or ragged, it’s vital to get screened for toenail fungus. Without treatment, the infection can spread, increasing the risk of complications. At Alpine Foot & Ankle, double board-certified podiatrist and foot and ankle surgeon Scott Shelton, DPM, provides effective treatment options for toenail fungus, including prescription-strength Tolcylen™. To make an appointment, call the office in Highland, Utah, or book online today.

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What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a fungal infection of your nails. Toenail fungus begins as a small white spot. As the fungi infiltrate your nail tissue, it spreads to multiple toes, causing your nails to change color and appearance.

Toenail fungus isn’t a major concern, but if you have diabetes or another health problem that affects blood flow to your feet, it may increase your risk of infection.

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

A fungal infection causes your toenails to appear:

  • Thick
  • Yellow
  • Crumbly
  • Ragged
  • Dark

As the fungus spreads, you might also notice a foul odor when you take your shoes or socks off.

When should I see a foot and ankle specialist about toenail fungus?

Make an appointment at Alpine Foot & Ankle if your toenails change color, thicken, or start crumbling. That’s especially true if you have diabetes or another medical condition that affects your circulation.

Who is at risk of experiencing toenail fungus?

Several factors may increase your risk of toenail fungus, including:

  • Being 65 or older
  • Having poor circulation
  • Sweating heavily
  • A history of athlete’s foot
  • Experiencing a minor nail injury

You’re also more likely to experience toenail fungus if you walk barefoot in public facilities, like locker rooms, saunas, or swimming pools.

How is toenail fungus diagnosed?

At Alpine Foot & Ankle, Dr. Shelton diagnoses toenail fungus during an in-office visit.

He reviews your medical records and asks about your symptoms, including when you first noticed your nails changing color and if you’ve tried over-the-counter treatments. Next, he examines your toes and toenails, looking for discoloration and crumbling.

Dr. Shelton also collects a sample of nail clippings and sends them to a laboratory to determine the type of fungus causing your infection.

How is toenail fungus treated?

Treatment of toenail fungus depends on several factors, including the severity of the infection and its effect on your nail tissue. Dr. Shelton might recommend oral antifungal drugs or medicated nail polish. Dr. Shelton also offers Tolcylen, a prescription-strength antifungal medication.

How can I reduce my risk of toenail fungus?

There are several things you can do to reduce the risk of toenail fungus, including:

  • Wearing shoes and socks in public areas
  • Washing your feet regularly
  • Trimming your nails straight across
  • Avoiding nail polish

You can also reduce your risk of toenail fungus by wearing shoes that allow your toes to breathe.

To receive treatment for toenail fungus, make an appointment at Alpine Foot & Ankle by calling the office or booking online today.