Toenails are surprisingly important. They help protect the ends of our toes from injury. However, when they become infected or damaged, they can change and become unsightly and even painful. Without proper treatment, they can get worse. Treating them takes time and care; nails aren’t considered fully healed until they’ve had a chance to regrow. Fortunately, many different treatments for a whole range of toenail conditions exist.
Advanced Laser Therapy
Laser therapy for fungal toenail infections is changing and improving the way physicians are remedying fungal nails. Oral medications don’t work for everyone and often have serious side effects or interact negatively with other medicines you may be taking. Topical medications can kill the fungi on the surface of the skin and nails, but they can’t reach the stubborn microorganisms underneath. The laser uses high-powered, focused beams of light that pass through the nail tissue to eradicate the source of the infection. This method has no post-procedure recovery time to keep you from your activities and no nasty side effects. Also, unlike medications which need months to kill the fungus, the laser takes care of the organisms in just a few treatments, allowing the healthy nail to grow back more quickly.
Sometimes procedures to remove part or all of the toenail are necessary to remedy a condition. Partial or complete removal is an alternative to the laser procedure for fungal nails. It allows the doctor to clean out the damaged and infected tissue, then let the healthy nail grow back. For ingrown toenails, especially if they cause significant discomfort, the doctor may choose to excise the portion that is causing pain. In rarer cases when a tumor, bone spur, or other abnormality is found under the nail, the toenail may need to be removed so the problem can be better evaluated and treated. The surgery is performed in-office as an outpatient procedure. You are given the appropriate numbing medication, then the tissue being removed is loosened and cut away. After the procedure, you will need to have some post-op care to prevent infection and allow the area to heal.
Other Nail Treatments
How your nail is cared for depends on the condition. Some medications and simple treatments do exist. For nail fungus, if you choose not to have the laser therapy, you can use different anti-fungal medicines. They take time, but with careful monitoring and intentional care, they could still be effective. If you struggle with painful black toenails from an injury, the blood forming the bruise under the nails may need to be drained, which is a simple non-surgical procedure.
However you chose to remedy your nail damage or infection, the experts at Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona are available to provide the best service for you and your family. They understand the importance of restoring your nails and relieving discomfort. Don’t wait and hope your infection or injury gets better on its own and risk it getting worse or developing a complication. Contact Advanced Foot & Ankle Specialists of Arizona for an appointment or more information by calling or faxing one of our two convenient office locations—(480) 963-9000, (480) 963-0375 (fax) to reach the Chandler office and (480) 981-1800, (480) 981-0229 (fax) to reach the Gilbert location—or visit the online contact page.