Nail fungus typically affects toenails, mainly because fungus thrives in the warm, moist areas often found inside shoes and socks. It’s easy to overlook ailments affecting your toenails or fingernails. Early signs of nail fungus – usually tiny white or yellow spots under the nail tips – hardly seem significant. However, it is important to consult a dermatologist. To receive prompt treatment, visit one of the offices of Central Dermatology Center including Chapel Hill, Sanford, Cary and Galloway Ridge.
It’s important to avoid complications associated with nail fungus, especially if you are diabetic or have a suppressed immune system. Request an appointment online to have one of our board-certified dermatologists or physician assistants examine you, or call us at (919) 401-1994 to schedule an appointment.
Discolored, thickened, dull, or cracked nails are often signs of nail fungus. Left untreated, the fungus can persist and lead to complications including severe pain or infection that spreads to other areas of your body. Prescription oral medications are the most effective treatment. Prescription and over-the-counter creams and ointments are available, but are less effective.
- Oral – The most common oral medications prescribed for nail fungus prevent the fungus from reproducing, and allow a healthy nail to grow. To treat toenails, the medication is usually taken for up to three months. Blood tests will be done to monitor any potential side effects.
- Topical – Nail fungus is notoriously difficult to treat with either over-the-counter or prescription topical medications. They are an alternative for patients who cannot tolerate the side effects of oral medications. A relatively new treatment is a lacquer, applied like nail polish daily for up to six months.