Toenail Fungus (onychomycosis)

A toenail fungus is an infection under the nail bed on one or more toes. A fungus can easily spread from one toe to another or from person to person. Because a fungus likes moist, warm environments, it can live under the nail for many years.

Overgrowth of fungi, which thrive in moist, warm environments, like shoes, causes toenail fungus. The fungus spreads rapidly in gyms, pools, and nail salons.

Anyone can get a toenail fungus, but some people are more likely to contract it. If any of the following apply to you, be aware of preventive measures and signs and symptoms so you can catch it early.

  • Visit nail salons regularly
  • Nail trauma
  • Have diabetes
  • Routinely have moist shoes or socks
  • Occupational reason: where people need to wear leather shoes for a long time


A fungal nail condition may be present if your nails are:

  • Thickening
  • Yellowish
  • Crumbly-looking
  • Flaking
  • Smelling bad
  • Lifting off your nail bed


Our clinic works to eradicate your toenail fungus and may use any one of numerous treatment modalities, including:

  • Topical medication (prescription medication is much stronger than over the counter medication)
  • Oral fungal-killing medication
  • Laser treatments
    • Laser devices emit pulses of energy that impart heat to tissues that it contacts. The laser is theorized to exert antifungal activity when the mold or fungal cells absorb this heat, which kills the microbe. There may be other, yet to be identified factors at play which cause nail clearing.
    • The laser energy penetrates through the toenail, to the nail bed beneath where the fungus is likely also present. This ability to penetrate the full thickness of the toenail is probably what leads to the promising results seen thus far with laser treatment.
    • Each brand of laser differs in the method used for treating nails, but in general, the result is to utilize heat energy to eliminate the infection. Pulsing the laser or using specific wavelengths helps to minimize heating of the patient’s skin, usually making the procedure pain-free. Patient information provided by some laser companies will state that a slight heating sensation will often be felt.
  • Surgery: total nail rejuvenation

Toenail fungus can result in very unsightly nails or may even cause you to lose them to the infection or surgical treatment.

Toenail fungus can be distinguished in different stages for a different treatment option.