Treating Nail Fungus

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Nail fungus is a common yet embarrassing problem many people experience.

“Nail fungus is caused by dermatophytes. Those are fungi that affect the skin and nail. And fungi are found everywhere. It’s ubiquitous means it’s everywhere in the environment,” said Dr. Dane Ulett, a podiatric surgeon.

Nail fungus is contagious and causes visual changes in the nail.

“You’ll see thicken of the nails, the nail will discolor it’ll be yellow or black. Sometimes the nail will loosen, it lifts up from the nail bed,” said Dr. Ulett. “Sometimes they’ll have pain because the nail thickens and discolors.”

Even though anyone can get a nail fungus, Dr. Ulett says athletes, elderly patients, and diabetics are at higher risk.

But the good news is it’s treatable.

“Option number one, which I typically tell patients, is topical anti-fungi and they have to do that daily for a year. The second option is oral medicine. The patient will take that daily for three months and you’ll see changes 60 percent of the time. And one of the new treatments which is the most effective one is the laser treatment and that we see effective changes about 85-87 percent of the time,” said Dr. Ulett. 

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