Toenail Fungus Specialist

Lincoln Park Podiatry

Foot and Ankle Surgeon located in Lincoln Park | Lakeview, Chicago, IL

There’s not much to love about nail fungus, but advances in treatment make it possible to finally resolve the infection causing the issue. Dr. Williams of Lincoln Park Podiatry, with locations in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview communities of Chicago, achieve great results with the advanced PinPointe™ FootLaser™. Call today to make an appointment or use their patient-friendly online scheduling service.

Toenail Fungus Q & A

What causes toenail fungus?

Fungal nail infections occur when organisms (fungi) enter your toenails through small cracks and other vulnerable areas of the nail or nail bed. The fungi take up residence in and under the nail and create the brittleness and discoloration associated with fungal nails as they multiply.

Dermatophyte is the most common type of fungus infecting nails, but yeast and molds can also cause infections. Once you’ve developed a toenail fungal infection, it can spread from one nail to another.

How do you get a fungal nail infection?

Fungi are common in our environment, and anyone can develop fungal nails as a result, but certain factors can increase your risk of infection. These include:

  • Sweating heavily in your shoes
  • A history of athlete's foot
  • Walking barefoot in around swimming pools or in gyms and shower rooms
  • A nail injury or skin condition such as psoriasis which can lift your nail away from the nailbed
  • Circulation problems or weakened immune system caused by diabetes

What is the treatment for toenail fungus?

In the past, treatments for fungal nails offered poor results because the topical medicines used to kill the fungus couldn’t penetrate the toenail and reach the nail bed where much of the fungi live. Newer treatments combine effective antifungal medicines with carrier oils that enhance penetration of the medication through the nail. 

The most successful advance in fungal nail treatment is laser therapy delivered by the PinPointe™ FootLaser™ system. Dr. Williams heartily endorses this FDA-approved system because they find it much more successful than topical therapies and more effective and safer than oral medications. Each treatment takes about 30 minutes, is essentially painless, and causes no harmful side effects.

The laser light passes through the toenail and kills the fungus without causing damage to the nail or the surrounding skin. You may feel mild warmth or a slight prickling sensation during the treatment, but most patients report no discomfort at all.

You won’t notice results instantly because it takes time for your new toenails to grow in and replace your discolored nails. But for most patients, three treatment is typically enough to eradicate the fungal infection completely.