A Foot to Stand On

Embarrassed By A Fungal Nail Infection? How Cosmetic Toe Surgeries Can Help

If your toenails have become discolored, brittle, distorted in shape, or foul in odor, you may be suffering from a fungal nail infection. Some people are able to clear up these infections with oral medications or over-the-counter options, but some people may not see good progress and need to seek out a podiatrist. Read on to learn more about this problem and how a podiatrist can help.

What Causes This Problem?

Similar to athlete's foot (a skin infection on your feet), fungal infections on the toes are often picked up from walking barefoot on dirty floors or gym locker room floors. These infections can also thrive if your socks don't wick away sweat and/or you wear tight-fitting shoes.

These infections are caused by dermatophytes, which is a type of fungus that requires keratin to grow. Keratin is the fibrous protein in your nails.

This condition can be a cause for a concern if you have a suppressed immune system or suffer from diabetes since the fungal infection could spread to areas beyond your feet. Even if you have a strong immune system, you shouldn't leave an infection unchecked since it can cause permanent cosmetic damage to your nails.

How Can a Podiatrist Help?

Cosmetic surgeries can be used to fix all sorts of foot issues, like congenital abnormalities and bunions. A podiatrist can perform a cosmetic surgery to correct fungal infections.

During surgery, your podiatrist may numb your toes with a local anesthetic. Then they can loosen the skin around the nail folds to debride or remove a portion or all of the nail depending on the extent of your infection.

If you have recurring fungal infections, your doctor may recommend that the nail matrix be removed permanently. This type of surgery is known as a matrixectomy or a full phenol avulsion.

If you don't want to temporarily or permanently have the nails removed, another surgical option is laser surgery. According to NCBI, laser therapy was beneficial for patients suffering from onychomycosis (a type of fungal infection) especially if they had contraindications involving other anti-fungal methods.

During this surgery, your podiatrist will use a laser to destroy the infection as your nail slowly grows out. Each individual session is short, but you will have to go in for multiple sessions instead of just one surgery to get the results you want.

Contact a podiatrist in your area today to learn more about cosmetic surgical options like cosmetic toe surgery.