Toenail Fungus Specialist

Woodlake Podiatry, LLC

Sheryl Hanawalt, DPM

Podiatrist located in Chesterfield, MO

Nail fungus may seem like a minor complaint, but it can be persistent, and you may need the help of a podiatrist to get rid of it once and for all. At Woodlake Podiatry, LLC, in Chesterfield, Missouri, board-certified podiatrist Sheryl Hanawalt, DPM, treats nail fungus using topical treatments, laser procedures, and more. To schedule an appointment, call or use the online booking tool.

Toenail Fungus Q & A

What is nail fungus?

Toenail fungus infects the area under your nails. At first, the infection is usually limited to a single small area under the tip of your nail but then spreads deeper into your skin.

Toenail fungus is the same species of fungus as athlete’s foot. However, athlete’s foot affects the skin between your toes and on your feet. If you have athlete’s foot, the fungus may spread to your toes.

Eventually, toenail fungus damages your nails. If left untreated, the infection easily spreads to other nails, and may even lead to nail loss.

What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

Nail fungus can cause a number of visible changes to your nails, including:

  • White, yellow, or brown discoloration spots, which start at the tip of the nail and spread throughout
  • Thickened nails
  • Nails turning white and feeling powdery to the touch
  • A buildup of debris under your nails
  • Detachment of nails from the nailbed
  • Ragged toenail edges
  • Split or crumbling nails
  • Odor emanating from your nails

If you notice any of these symptoms, schedule an appointment at Woodlake Podiatry right away. Though the changes may be only minor at first, and you may not be experiencing any pain, the infection can spread quickly and become painful.

How is toenail fungus treated?

If you have toenail fungus, Dr. Hanawalt first prescribes antifungal medication, including oral medication, topical creams, or ointments. She may prescribe both an oral and a topical medication for you to take together.

If a course of antifungal medication doesn’t clear the infection, Dr. Hanawalt may recommend laser treatment to destroy the fungus. She offers the HyperBlue™ laser system, which effectively destroys nail fungus without affecting the surrounding area.

Your podiatrist can remove the toenail surgically, if necessary, but that's usually reserved for toenail fungus that doesn't respond to nonsurgical treatments.

How can I prevent nail fungus?

You can avoid becoming infected with nail fungus if you follow good foot care and hygiene habits, including:

  • Thoroughly wash and dry your feet every day, including between your toes
  • Don’t go barefoot in public, and wear shower shoes in damp, warm, shared environments like locker rooms
  • Wear clean socks every day and rotate pairs of shoes
  • Remove your shoes and socks as soon as possible if you’ve been sweating
  • Trim your nails straight across
  • Never share footwear or nail clippers

If you do notice any signs of a fungal infection, be sure to schedule an appointment at Woodlake Podiatry right away by calling or using the online booking tool.