If you have a fungal nail infection, you know it can cause embarrassing symptoms. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists in Huntley, IL, we provide exceptional, personalized care for patients with fungal infections in their toenails. We offer a wide range of treatment options, so you can choose the one that is correct for you.
What is debridement?
Debridement is one of the most often used methods for ridding infected toenails of unsightly debris. Debridement can improve the efficacy of topical antifungal treatments by helping them penetrate the nail more easily. Nail debridement can be done by your podiatrist and will involve the removal of diseased portions of the nail plate or toenail bed. The method of debridement used by your foot doctor may depend on the severity of your condition. Debridement can be performed by hand, with the aid of an electric grinding tool, or with specialized chemical substances that will break down infected material. At Advanced Foot and Ankle Specialists, we can help you understand your debridement procedure.
What treatments are available?
It is important not to ignore your fungal infection symptoms. If you avoid speaking with a specialist about your condition, it could worsen as it remains untreated. Minor fungal infections may be treatable with non-prescription topical ointments. However, more often, prescription medications that are taken orally or applied topically may be suggested by your doctor. More recently, laser technology has been used to effectively target and destroy fungus and bacteria beneath the nail. Each of these treatments may have its own advantages and potential side effects. It is important to speak with your doctor and listen to their recommendations regarding your condition, so you enjoy the best possible benefit from an effective treatment plan.
Will I require surgery?
For some patients with very severe fungal nail infections, or if your infection is especially resistant to other available treatments, your doctor may suggest surgical removal of the toenail. Your surgery will be performed under a local anesthetic, so you do not have to worry about feeling the procedure. During your surgery, your podiatrist will remove the infected toenail, so that healthy tissue can more easily grow back in its place. However, if you have previously had a nail surgically removed, or if you are especially susceptible to fungal infections in the same nail, your doctor may suggest disrupting the nail bed and matrix, which will prevent a nail from growing in the future. It is important to remember that this is only suggested in especially severe cases because of the invasive nature of the procedure. Following your surgery, your doctor will likely use an antibacterial ointment to prevent infection. Most patients’ nailbeds will heal within 2-3 weeks, though full growth of a new nail will likely take 12-18 months. Your doctor will provide you with post-surgical care options and tell you keep off your feet as much as possible while you recover to ensure you heal fully.
If you live in the Chicago area and have a fungal nail infection, you deserve an experienced podiatrist who will help you understand your treatment options while providing you with the best possible care. We have 4 convenient locations, including an office in Huntley, IL. Call us today to schedule your appointment.