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Pleasanton 830-569-FEET (3338)
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Next Step Foot & Ankle Clinic

How to Get Rid of Ugly Toenails

"Hi, this is Dr. Silvester and I’m going to talk to you a little bit today about ugly toenails. It’s a very common problem that we get in our practice, it’s usually a more serious problem for our female patients, because they like to wear sandals in the summer. Most people make the mistake of assuming that all ugly toenails are related to a fungus. They immediately get over-the-counter fungal medications, they even go to their doctor and their doctor assumes it’s a fungus and they take oral medications or they have other home remedies that they use.

Most of the time, they find that those are relatively ineffective. The reason that I think most nail treatments are ineffective and difficult is first of all, the right diagnosis has to be established before you begin a treatment plan. I don't remember the last time I saw a patient who came to see me who had seen someone else, who’d actually had a biopsy of the nail plate, to see if it was truly a fungus.

So you need to establish whether or not it’s a fungus or what kind of organism it is, in order – if it is an organism, to establish the correct treatment. Once that has been established, we use a lot of different treatment techniques for nail fungus, that includes oral medication, topical medication, mechanical removal of the nails, lasers can be very effective if applied correctly. The problem, if you read on the Internet about laser therapy, a lot  of people say it doesn’t work. In fact, it does work, if you use the right laser and it’s at the right intensity.

Same thing with medication. The problem I see with most people when they use medication either topical or oral, is they don’t use it for  a long enough period, so it doesn’t have enough time to work or they use it until they start to get some clearing and they think, “Oh, the disease is gone.” Then a few months later, it’s starting to come back.

So, ugly toenails can be successfully treated, but be aware that it’s going to be a long term treatment, it’s going to be something you’ll have to be diligent about, but with a motivated patient and a good diagnosis, you can usually get your nails in great shape within a few months and start feeling better about your feet when you’re walking around in sandals.

Thanks for listening!"