Nail & Toenail Fungus
Treatment in Miami
Nail Diseases and Fungal Infections
Here at the Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center, we provide the ultimate diagnosis and treatments for patients with nail diseases and fungal infections. Dr. Zaias is a leading authority who is recognized worldwide for his expertise in nail conditions.
Symptoms of Nail Disease
The skin around our nails and the nail bed are susceptible to many diseases. If allowed to progress, nail diseases can be challenging to treat, therefore early diagnosis and proper treatment are your best options. Promptly see a dermatologist if you notice:
- Dark Streaks: Nail streaks are common in people of color. While many nail streaks are harmless, if your nail has a dark streak or spot; is getting darker or wider; which was not caused by an injury promptly see a dermatologist. These dark spots may be an indicator of melanoma, and when caught early can be cured.
- Growth: Many different types of skin cancers, including Melanoma and Squamous Cell Carcinoma, can form under or around a nail. If you have a growth or ulcer under or around your nail, promptly see a dermatologist.
- Warts: When warts develop near or grow under the nail they should be treated. Treatment can prevent the wart from restricting a person’s ability to use a finger or toe.
- Pits, Ridges or Discoloration: Psoriasis is a skin condition that can affect the nails. Common signs are pits and nail bed discoloration. The skin beneath the nail bed can turn reddish brown, reddish lines may appear, the nail can separate from the nail bed, crumble, and split. These changes can occur in people with all types of Psoriasis. Sometimes, nail changes are the first sign of Psoriatic Arthritis, a type of arthritis that can develop in some Psoriasis sufferers. Nail Psoriasis can affect one or several nails and be painful.
- Transparent or Jelly-like Cyst: A cyst that appears on the skin above the cuticle is called a Mucinous Cyst. These cysts can be painful and, if left untreated, they can grow damage or temporarily deform the nail. A dermatologist can remove this type of cyst.
- Nail Plate Separation from the Nail Bed: This is always a result of trauma to the fingernail or toenail. It is not an indication of fungus. The nail separation creates a space that is habited by bacteria. The most common type of bacteria is waterborne pseudomonas which paints the nail green.
- Redness, Swelling and/or Pain: These signs appear on the skin around the nail, they often signal a bacterial nail infection. The nail can develop a greenish color and pus can accumulate in the skin that surrounds the nail. A bacterial nail infection most commonly forms after the nail or surrounding skin is injured.
- Nail Curves into Skin: When the corner of nail curves down into the skin, it causes an ingrown nail. Ingrown nails are most common on the big toe. An ingrown nail may be caused by not cutting the nail straight across, tight shoes, injury, and even a genetic predisposition may also cause ingrown nails. An ingrown toenail can be painful and may sometimes cause inflammation.
- Reddish Line: A fine red to a reddish-brown vertical line that looks like a splinter under your nail is called a Splinter Hemorrhage and it often means that you injured a blood vessel beneath your nail. Some medicines and medical conditions also cause this, so be sure to see your dermatologist if one of your nails has a reddish line.
- White Spots: Small white spots can be a sign that there has been an injury to the nail like manicuring. These white spots are very common, and usually, do not require treatment. You should, however, see your dermatologist if you suddenly see many white spots and do not remember injuring your nail.
Treatment for Nail Fungus
If your physician does not do a fungal culture test to confirm the presence of toenail fungus, you may likely not have toenail fungus at all! Up to 70% of what appears to be toenail fungus is actually nail trauma caused by a combination of uneven flat feet that can lead to an uneven walking gait and is caused by close-toed shoes.
Commonly prescribed treatments such as lasers, medications, creams, and ointments will not work to cure the conditions of a considerable number of patients since they are not suffering from a fungal infection at all. Fortunately, uneven gait is easily correctable by our dermatologists with orthotics tailored to each patient’s needs can provide relief in as little as a few weeks.
Is Nail Disease Hereditary?
The common fungus disease of skin is hereditary. You inherit the susceptibility to acquire it, and it is not a catchy disease.
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Greater Miami Skin & Laser Center’s own Dr. Nardo Zaias has decisively concluded that up to 73% of patients are misdiagnosed with fungal infections when, in reality, that was not the cause of their symptoms. Their conditions greatly improved or were “cured” by simply correcting the asymmetric walking gait and the associated trauma of close-toed shoes.