What is Onychomycosis or Toenail Fungus?

Onychomycosis or toenail fungus is an infection of the nails/toenails that is caused by a group of microscopic organisms called Dermatophytes (Derm=skin and nails Phytes =attracted to or grow within ).  These include the most common fungi that cause both athletes foot and nail fungus, and less common yeasts and molds. The fungus has enzymes that break down the nail plate and allow the strands ( hyphae) of the organism to penetrate the nail.

Where did it come from?

It is theorized that sometime in the late eighteen hundreds of these fungi were transported to the United States from Asia and Africa. The increase in the prevalence is related to our use of closed shoes, synthetic socks that retain moisture, diseases that decrease our immune system’s ability to fight infection, and our ever increasing aging populous.

How do you know if you have this difficult to pronounce disorder?

Look at your toenails. Are they discolored, brittle, unsightly, crumbly, or thick? If so you could have onychomycosis or toenail fungus.

To find out if you do, our Seattle Podiatrists have developed a Comprehensive Laser Toenail Program to eliminate your toenail fungus. Your first visit is complementary. Our doctors will not only evaluate your situation but also educate you about how to keep your feet healthy.

To make an appointment, call us at 206-368-7000 or request an appointment online.

 

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