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Fungal Nails Specialist

Dr. Maurice W. Aiken, DPM -  - Podiatry

Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists

Dr. Maurice W. Aiken, DPM

Podiatry & Alternative Medicine located in Dunedin, FL

Researchers estimate about one in 10 Americans has fungal nails. Though they aren’t necessarily serious, fungal nails can result in embarrassing issues like smelly shoes or socks. At Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists, board-certified foot and ankle surgeon Maurice W. Aiken, DPM, offers both topical treatments and HyperBlue® laser therapy for fungal nails. To make an appointment at the practice in Dunedin, Florida, call the office today or schedule online.

Fungal Nails Q & A

What are fungal nails?

Fungal nails occur when a fungus called onychomycosis infiltrates your toenails, causing them to turn yellow, weaken, and crumble. Often, the condition is mild and responds to over-the-counter ointments. If your symptoms persist, or they cause your feet to burn or itch, make an appointment at Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists.

What are the symptoms of fungal nails?

You might have fungal nails if your toenails are:

  • Thick
  • Yellow or brown
  • Brittle, crumbly, or ragged
  • Distorted in shape

If you have fungal toenails, you might also experience a foul odor emanating from your shoes or socks.

When should I see a podiatrist about fungal nails?

If you experience any symptoms of fungal nails, like thick, brittle nails or nails that look distorted, contact Dr. Aiken. You should also visit Dr. Aiken if you’ve been diagnosed with diabetes or another underlying issue that affects the circulation to your feet.

Who is at risk of fungal nails?

Anyone can experience fungal nails, but several factors increase your risk, including:

  • Being middle-aged or older
  • Having sweaty feet
  • Having a history of athlete’s foot
  • Having diabetes or other circulatory issues
  • Experiencing a minor skin injury like a cut or scrape

You’re also more likely to develop fungal nails if you walk around barefoot in public facilities like locker rooms, gyms, or swimming pools.

How are fungal nails diagnosed?

To diagnose fungal nails, Dr. Aiken reviews your medical history and asks about your symptoms. Afterward, he examines your toes and toenails.

If Dr. Aiken suspects your symptoms are the result of an underlying issue like psoriasis or a bacterial infection, he can clip a sample of your toenail and send it to a laboratory for additional testing.

How are fungal nails treated?

At Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists, Dr. Aiken offers several treatments for fungal nails, including:

Topical treatments

Topical treatments like prescription-strength nail cream contain antifungal and antibacterial properties. Applying a topical solution to your nails several times a day can prevent the infection from spreading and relieve uncomfortable symptoms. 

HyperBlue® laser therapy

HyperBlue laser therapy uses targeted light energy to destroy the organism responsible for toenail fungus. A series of in-office treatments can eliminate the infection and restore your toenails to their healthy, near-original condition. 

If you have fungal nails, don’t wait to make an appointment at Bay Breeze Foot & Ankle Specialists by calling the office today or scheduling online.