Fungal Nails

 

Diagnosis:

Toenail fungus (onychomycosis) can be a distressing problem for patients. It can also be very difficult to diagnose and treat, adding to the problem. Usually a person first notices a change in the appearance of the nail that often includes whitish/yellowish discoloration and thickening of the nail towards the outer tip and sides. Not every nail change is fungus, so it is important to see the doctor to get an expert opinion. Sometimes culture or pathology are used to make a diagnosis. But usually history and physical exam are enough to make a clinical diagnosis.

 

Treatment:

The only FDA approved treatments for fungal nails are oral antifungal agents. Topical nail treatments, including over the counter (OTC) solutions and creams need no FDA approval, however are rarely effective except in the earliest of cases.

 

Laser Treatments:

 

See Dr. Passeri's explanation and opinions on Laser Nail care in the Practice News section of this site. This is a recent area of interest in foot care with a lot of new and changing information. Dr. Passeri gives a good overview of the topic there and this may help you in your search for answers as to whether or not this treatment method is right for you. In summary here, Dr. Passeri does not perform or recommend the treatment as it is not FDA approved, but more importantly he has not seen any clinical evidence of it's effectiveness.