Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Got funky looking toenails? Help is on the way! Got to www.nomoreuglytoenails.com. Listen in on the conversation between friends......

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Laser Therapy For Toenail Fungus

Dr. Dana Waters, a podiatrist at Family Foot & Ankle Specialists in Hillsborough and Piscataway, NJ describes how they use laser therapy for nail fungus. The painless procedure takes about 15 minutes in the office and does not have any side effects."Our patients love the laser because they don't have to do any prior testing of the liver, like other toenail fungus treatments," explains Dr. Waters. After just one visit, your toenails will look brand new, you will have beautiful and healthy looking toenails.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Toenail Fungus a Sign of Bad Health?

As the world watches the trial of Michael Jackson’s death, the intimate details of his health are being revealed. It was exposed to the public that among many problems, Michael Jackson had fungal infections and calluses on his feet so bad it made it difficult for him to perform. One testimony stated his toenail fungus was so bad that doctors thought his flesh was rotting. Do we care about the late Jackson’s feet? Is this any indicator of his health or were his feet no different than any other 50 year old man?

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is most commonly caused by the same fungus that causes athletes’s foot. Trichophyton rubrum is a fungus that is present throughout the world and is transmitted exclusively from human to human. Animal infections have only been rarely reported for this specific species. Though predominately a human infection, T. rubrum can survive 18 months without a human host. Thus, infections can be transmitted indirectly. Though fungus is a universally accepted cause of deformed and thickened nails, studies are revealing that only 50% of dystrophic nails have a fungal infection. Thus it is still necessary and recommended to have a laboratory or microscopic diagnosis.

In the US and UK, the incidence of toenail fungus is 3% of the population but increases to over 80% in persons over 70 years of age. Different subgroups have a higher incidence of onychomycosis. In communal shower environments injections are near 20%. Onychomycosis in persons with diabetes have been reported to be higher than the general populations with studies reporting 20-50% of diabetics having nail fungus. 13% of psoriasis patients have nail fungus. Patients with HIV, peripheral vascular disease, Down ’s syndrome, and leprosy also have higher incidence of fungal infections. Males are also more susceptible to infections most likely due to hormonal and hygiene differences. Children have a uniform low incidence of nail fungus with only 0.3% being infected. Research is now even showing a genetic component to fungal infections. Some people may have a genetic makeup that makes them more susceptible to fungal infections!

Since the general incidence of onychomycosis is relatively high, it is hard to use onychomycosis as an indicator as general health. Though many systemic and chronic diseases have a high incidence of nail fungus, many healthy individuals still get infected. Though nail fungus in adults is often overlooked or deemed insignificant, a child should bring suspicion of an underlying disease compromising the immune system due to the significantly lower incidence in this age group. Though his nail fungus was so bad doctors thought the feet were decaying sounds dramatic and significant, I can say with confidence that his nail fungus was not significant in the death of our late pop king.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stinky Feet Lead the Way in Mosquito Research

Summer is here! The blissful summer nights full of beaches, camp fires, smores, camping, and bugs!!! Nothing ruins a beautiful night better than a swarm of mosquitoes or the multitude of off smelling mosquito repellants. We have all been bitten by a mosquito in almost every place imaginable. Don’t you dare walk through long grass after dark in flip flops! Your feet will look like a teenage boy’s face before proactive! . Now the world of mosquito research is turning to feet to find the answers to keep these bugs away from our leisure activities. New research is developing and scientists are discovering that many mosquito species actually prefer the foot! Daniel Kline was one of the first to focus on the mosquito and feet and found that many females preferred dirty 3 day-old-socks!

There are a million mosquito tales we take to the outdoors with us. We know that they are heat seekers and the warmer we are the hotter the target. Don’t wear anything sweet smelling, don’t eat bananas, avoid lactic acid products, avoid beer and stinky cheese, spray doorways with Listerine, and now you should wash your feet and change your socks! There is a multitude of bacteria that live on the human body and produces odors. These odors are attractants or signals that help guide mosquitoes to their prey. The stinkier you are, the more you attract! For some of us, stinky feet are just a part of who we are. Your Hygiene may be pristine but for some reason you can’t knock that stink off your socks and shoes!!! For those of us with the stink on, is there anything we can do to curve the mosquitoes away?

The odor we all smell and dread is actually coming from bacteria. Bacteria love warm, moist, dark places. A sweaty shoe is paradise. The best way to fight the bacteria is to fight the sweat. There are a number of anti-perspirants available for the feet. Socks can also make a big difference in foot odor. 100% cotton is not recommended. You should look for a sock that has a combination of materials. Cotton absorbs sweat fast, but it also dries very slow and you will stay saturated and stinky longer.

Stinky feet are just another attractant to those vampire bugs and I am beginning to think they are attracted to EVERYTHING! If you do venture out, the best way to stay bitten free and feet happy is too stay covered. As much as we want to show off our sassy toes, it is best to cover the feet up on the cool nights and avoid the mosquito bite. Diabetics should be extra careful because a bite leads to scratching, scratching leads to abrasions, and abrasions lead to sites at risk for an infection. If you do get bit, use anti-itch cream or topical steroids to help you avoid the itch to scratch!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Laser Treatment for Fungal Toenails: Treat the Entire Infection!

Laser Treatment for Fungus- Calling All Toenails!!!

I have been lasering toenails for quite some time now and only recently have come across more and more people wondering “Why not just laser the affected toenails? It would, after all, come out cheaper that way wouldn’t it?”

The simple answer is “No, not really.” But let me back this up so you can take my word for it.

Fungus is visible when the nail is grossly infected. What many do not realize, is that the process started long before you could see it with the naked eye. This alone is enough reason for the need to laser all ten toenails.

All too often I see patients who tell me that their nail fungus was only on one nail for the longest time. Then, all of a sudden, it has spread to others. Fungus is contagious! It does not just sit in one place. It gets in in your carpet, your bath mats, your shower tile. And worst of all, if you do have fungus, even in just one toenail, that fungus has already grossly contaminated your shoes! For your other nails there is no escape!

Think about how lasering only those affected nails singularly, ignoring all the others which are surely contaminated. How secure do you feel about that? If you had a bad cough and shortness of breath, how secure would you feel about going to a doctor who gave you cough medicine, but didn’t bother to listen to the pneumonia brewing in your lungs? Only treating the “visible” symptom, but not the underlying problem is a problem, whether it is lungs, nails or any other condition. Fungus brews until it has a large enough colony to “visibly” affect other nails or even a previously treated nail! What does that mean to the patient? It means more frequent trips to the podiatrist for yet another “spot” treatment. You will find, is that in the end, you will have coughed up (no pun intended!) what you should have to have all nails treated in the first place! Worse yet, the cycle may continue since only the nails with visible fungus are treated again! Who knows when it might end for you and how much time you will need to devote to these types of visits? Why take that chance?

What I do strongly believe, as do all the physicians at Foot and Ankle Associates of North Texas (FAANT), is that if you are going to spend your valuable time and finances to have this procedure preformed, the least we can do is treat all your toenails at once. This will greatly increase the odds of success! One very effective treatment in one visit!

Another thing to consider is FDA approval. Only one type of fungus-treating laser in the U.S. is FDA approved. Fortunately, we have this laser at FAANT!! This is something that should give you extra piece of mind! You are getting what we know is safe and effective! All ten toenails and FDA approval is money well spent!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

New Treatment for Fungal Toenails

Yellow, thick, crumbly, and ugly toenails are hiding behind shoes. They smell a little funky, they look a little funny, and they drive your significant other into frenzy! Toenail fungus is extremely common. As a foot doctor, I see it every day. Over the last several years, treatment for nail fungus has been getting a lot of attention. There are topical options and oral options for treating the ugly toenails. In addition, there are newer treatments that are non-harmful and very effective. My patients are always very concerned about the treatments and how they will affect their body. So let us discuss the pros and cons of the popular oral treatment, Lamisil as well as the new treatments.

Why take a pill? There are many medications that can be applied directly to the nail but they are not always effective. If the fungus is only at the tip of the nail or less than half of the nail is infected, the topical treatments can work to eliminate the fungus. This can take up to 10 months and there is a high risk of recurrence. Once the fungus has infected the entire nail the topical agents are not strong enough to kill the fungus. The nail is too thick for the medication to penetrate to under the nail, where the fungus calls home. Taking oral medication works from the inside of your body to fight the fungus and research, and in my personal experiences, has proven the pills to be more effective.

How long until the fungus is gone? The oral medications, such as Lamisil, are taken for three months. It takes a nail ten to twelve months to grow out. Thus, after three months of treatment, your nail may still look a little funny. When the fungus lives under your nail, it causes damage to the nail and will make it turn yellow and thick. As new, healthy, and uninfected nail growth takes place the ugly portion with grow out and eventually be replaced. Many of my patients get nervous after three months of treatment when their nail doesn’t look normal yet. If the part of the nail that is closest to your body looks normal, then the treatment worked and the nail will start appearing more normal over the next several months.

Is Lamisil hard on my body? Lamisil, much like Tylenol and alcohol can cause damage to the liver. Luckily, the liver unlike most organs in our body can quickly and easily repair itself form minor damage. To ensure the medication is safe for the patient, blood work is done to check the patients liver function. If the patients liver enzymes do not come back normal, then the patient is never started on the medication. If the liver is healthy, as it is in most people, the patient is started on the oral medication and blood work is repeated again after six weeks of taking the medication. If there liver enzymes are still at normal levels, then no damage to the liver is taking place. If the enzymes levels are abnormal then the patient is taken off the medications. At this time, the damage is so minor that the liver easily repairs itself after the medication is discontinued. If the drug is managed correctly by your doctor, Lamisil can be safer than Tylenol on your liver!


If you suffer from these ugly looking nails, then our new combination of Keryflex/Laser treatment can be effective. Keryflex is a resin that has an anti-fungal in it. Our laser is the K-laser. This is a cost effective, safe and painless procedure. We perform the laser treatment for seven minutes per foot and then apply the Keryflex resin. We use one or two laser treatments and apply the resin once a month for five months. Your nails will look better immediately.
Lamisil works about 80 percent of the time which is the same efficacy as the Keryflex/Laser. Due to the lack of any side effects, I prefer to recommend the application of the resin and use of the laser over the Lamisil.

So, it is time to show your feet at the beaches and no more wearing socks to bed. Besides, your feet will love you for it.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Toenail Fungus: The Getting, Going and Staying Gone.

Onychomycosis is the medical term for nail fungus and yes, you are not the only one hiding your ugly toenails. Over 6 million Americans suffer from toenail fungus and the number continues to grow more every year. Every day, I am faced with questions regarding oral treatment for toenail fungus, and there seems to be a lot of misunderstandings and myths. Do you know the truth about oral fungal treatments?
Truth or Myth? Oral treatments such as Lamisil damage your liver.
This can be true and false. Oral fungal medication does put your liver at an increase risk of damage, but when used properly the risk is minimal. For this reason, activities like consuming alcohol are prohibited while taking the medication because it intensifies the risk of liver damage. To prevent any damage from occurring, doctors will take blood work to determine your liver function before and during the course of your treatment. If any signs of risk are present, the treatment is discontinued and there are often no consequences once the treatment is halted.

Truth or Myth? You can NEVER have toenail fungus and athletes foot at the same time.
Myth. Toenail fungus and athlete’s foot are caused by the same fungus, thus it is very common to see both at the same time. Often, one will experience athlete’s foot first and then the fungus migrates to the toenails. It is thus very important to treat athlete’s foot aggressively and to use preventative medicine to keep the fungi off of your feet. I often suggest patients to use over the counter antifungal cream a couple times a week on their feet if they are prone to getting fungal infections.

Truth or Myth? Sweaty feet can cause toenail fungus.
True! Fungus loves warm moist environments. You’re gym sneakers are a 5 star resort for the family fungi vacation. If you have sweaty feet, you are creating a haven in your shoes and socks for fungus to multiply. A podiatrist can offer several treatments for excessive foot sweating and will help decrease the nasty growth from spreading. It is also suggested to change your socks twice a day and to alternate shoes so as to not wear the same pair two days in a row and thus allowing them to dry and air out.

Truth or Myth? If I take oral medication for toenail fungus, I’ll never have to worry about fungus again!
Myth. The fungus that grows under our toenails also grows in our shoes, showers, floors, soil, and almost everywhere you walk. Thus, reoccurrence after the oral medication can be very common. It is important to take preventative measures to keep fungus out of your toenails! There are a number of products that kill fungus in your shoes and on your feet. Using these products weekly after your toenail fungus is gone can help decrease the risk of seeing those ugly toenails.

Truth or Myth? Oral treatment is the only way to get rid of Toenail fungus?
Myth? If the entire nail is infected, there are very few treatment options and oral medication has the most documented success. But recently, there have been some breakthrough treatments that have become very popular. There are several types of lasers that are on the market that are showing good signs to eliminate the fungus. In addition, there is a product called Keryflex that not only improves the aesthetics immediately but has been to cure it as well. This product is a topical that is applied by your podiatrist and requires 4-5 treatments every 6-8 weeks. Keryflex is a simple procedure that is painless and about a tenth of the cost of most laser treatments. See a video on how Keryflex is applied.