Nail Fungus Specialist

Ankle & Foot Specialists

Podiatrists & Foot and Ankle Specialists located in Norwood Park, Chicago, IL

Nail fungus can persist for years without ever causing discomfort, but without proper medical treatment, serious problems can arise. If you have brittle, crumbly, discolored nails, contact James Elipas, DPM, and John Flanagan, DPM, at Ankle & Foot Specialists in Chicago, Illinois, for an evaluation. The dedicated podiatrists offer the latest and most advanced fungal nail treatments available. Click the online booking tool to schedule your nail fungus appointment or call the Norwood Park office to book by phone.

Nail Fungus

What are the causes of nail fungus?

Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, occurs when a group of fungi called dermatophytes attack your nail. Dermophytes thrive on keratin, the protein substance in your nails. Once a small amount of dermatophytes enters your nail, they start taking over your entire nail and can easily spread to other nails, including your fingernails if you pick at your toenails.

Fungal invaders hide in areas that are dark, warm, and have plenty of moisture. It’s possible that you came into contact with the fungi by being barefoot somewhere like a gym locker room or swimming pool deck.

However, just because you came into contact with fungal invaders doesn’t mean they’re going to attack your entire nail. If you’re healthy and have a strong immune system, you might fight off the fungal organisms before any infection occurs. But if you have poor circulation, a weakened immune system, or diabetes, among other issues, your risk of fungal nails is higher. 

When should I see a podiatrist for nail fungus?

Nail fungus can be very stubborn to treat, so the podiatrists at Ankle & Foot Specialists encourage you to get started on treatment at the very first sign of infection. A fungal nail infection can lead to any of the following problems:

  • Nail discoloration
  • Crumbly or very brittle nails 
  • Thickened nails
  • White streaks on your nails
  • Foul nail odor 

It’s also possible for debris to collect beneath your nail plate, which can lead to dark spots. 

Getting started on nail fungus treatment at Ankle & Foot Specialists as soon as possible is important if you have any of these nail issues. An untreated nail fungus infection can lead to severe nail pain or even cause your nail to fall off. 

How does a podiatrist treat nail fungus?

Treating nail fungus usually begins with a proper nail trim. Your dedicated podiatrist at Ankle & Foot Specialists carefully cuts your nails back to where the nail attaches to your toe. They can also scrape away fungus and debris under your nail.

After reshaping your nails, your podiatrist may prescribe medications. Antifungal treatments come in the form of oral tablets, ointments, or nail polish (or a combination of these). You need to use your medication as described to destroy fungal invaders and promote healthy nail growth. 

If you have nail fungus symptoms, contact Ankle & Foot Specialists for an evaluation today so you can get started on treatment quickly. Book your nail fungus exam online or by phone.