The hands and feet are often visible. For this reason, a problem such as nail fungus or infection can be quite upsetting. At Alta Vista Dermatology, our team provides specialized care for issues related to the nails as well as the skin and the hair. We proudly offer these services to men and women living in Highlands Ranch, Denver, and the surrounding areas of Colorado.
Why Do Nail Infections Occur?
Fingernails and toenails consist of hardened keratin, a substance that is also present in hair and skin. When contact is made with fungus or bacteria, it is possible that the nail itself could become infected or that the skin beneath the nail will be affected. Most nail infections occur on the toenails due to the closed, moist environment when the feet are in shoes. Toes do not have the same amount of blood flow as the fingers, putting them at a greater risk for infection. Most often, nail infections can be treated with antibiotics or other medication, saving the natural nail from removal.
What Does Nail Disease Look Like?
Several symptoms may alert you to a problem with nail fungus or disease. These include:
- Streaks or white spots on the surface of a nail
- Discoloration of brown or gray on the nail
- “Crumbling” of a nail
- The nail becomes soft
If the nail and underlying skin are both affected by infection, symptoms may include brittleness or breaking, thickening of the nail, or yellow streaks underneath the nail.
What Treatments Are Available for Nail Fungus?
The team at Alta Vista Dermatology tailors treatment for nail disease to each individual. Due to the variety of conditions that may affect the nail, professional care is important. Your dermatologist can assess the type of infection and can determine how serious it is. To do this, a sample of the nail or tissue may be taken. Treatment can then be planned accordingly. Nail disease or fungal infection may respond well to over-the-counter medication, though a prescription topical or oral medication may be the best solution for prompt and lasting relief. Treatment can take up to a few months to eliminate the underlying cause. Commitment to the recommended treatment protocol is necessary to prevent the infection from returning.
If you are concerned that you are developing nail fungus, contact us today to get the professional care required for proper diagnosis and treatment. Alta Vista Dermatology welcomes patients from Highlands Ranch and Denver, Colorado.
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