Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa
Rudolph La Fontant, DPM
Podiatrist, Sports Medicine, and Podiatric Dermatology located in Beaverdale, Des Moines, IA
It’s estimated that about one in 10 Americans have toenail fungus. Though the condition usually isn’t serious, it can affect your ability to wear open-toed shoes like sandals or flip-flops. At the Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa, podiatrist Rudolph La Fontant, DPM, offers cutting-edge treatment for toenail fungus with the Lunula Laser®, a non-thermal laser that treats the whole foot and not just the nail. To make an appointment at the practice in Des Moines, Iowa, call the office today or click the online booking feature.
Toenail Fungus Q & A
What is toenail fungus?
Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, causes your toenails to turn yellow, thicken, and break down. Usually, the condition begins as a small white or yellow dot on the tip of a nail. Over time, the infection infiltrates your nail and spreads.
Mild cases of toenail fungus often respond to topical ointments and daily foot care. If your fungus is painful, or you have a medical condition that affects your circulation, it’s important to get professionally treated. Doing so can significantly reduce your risk of complications.
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
Telltale signs of toenail fungus include toenails that are:
- Yellow or brown
- Brittle, crumbly, or ragged
As the infection spreads and gets worse, you might also notice a foul odor when you take off your socks or shoes.
Who is at risk of toenail fungus?
Anyone can experience toenail fungus, but several factors increase your risk, including:
- Being middle-aged or older
- Sweating heavily
- Having athlete’s foot
- Walking barefoot in communal areas, like swimming pools or saunas
- Having an underlying skin condition like psoriasis
You’re also more likely to experience toenail fungus if you have diabetes, a weakened immune system, or circulatory issues.
How is toenail fungus diagnosed?
To diagnose toenail fungus, Dr. La Fontant examines your nails and asks about your symptoms. He might also take a clipping of your nails and send them to a laboratory to identify the type of fungus responsible for your infection.
A laboratory test can also rule out underlying conditions that present similar symptoms, like psoriasis or a bacterial infection.
How is toenail fungus treated?
Dr. La Fontant treats toenail fungus using the Lunula Laser®. The cutting-edge, non-thermal laser uses targeted light energy to destroy the fungus living in and under your toenail. The laser light passes through your nail but doesn’t cause any damage to the surrounding skin. Treatment is quick, pain-free, and presents none of the side effects often associated with antifungals.
Following treatment with the Lunula Laser, Dr. La Fontant explains how to keep your shoes, socks, and skin clean. By taking daily precautions, you can prevent bacterial or fungal infections from recurring.
To get treated for toenail fungus, make an appointment at the Foot and Ankle Institute of Iowa, by calling the office today or clicking the online scheduling feature.