HOW TO TREAT FOOT FUNGUS
By Dr. Christopher Milkie of Milwaukee Foot & Ankle Specialists of Milwaukee, WI
Uh oh! Your feet have been itching for days, and recently your skin has been flaking off. Now you even notice that your nails have become extremely brittle. Sounds like a classic case of athletes foot. You called your local Milwaukee, WI podiatrist to set up an appointment. You even read last weeks blog so you have a pretty good idea of what exactly is going on down there. The question is: what will the podiatrist be able to do to help diagnose and address your problem?
For starters, most podiatrists have a keen eye for fungus. They can distinguish a fungal infection by the pattern of spread, the color, and sometimes even the smell of the fungus. That’s not all! Some podiatrists also will use a device known as a “Wood’s Lamp”. This device is an ultraviolet light that gives off a specific type of light. It is a completely non-invasive and painless procedure that simply involves shining the light on the infection to see if the fungus fluoresces, or gives off light. Different species of fungus will shine in different colors, allowing for your doctor to have more clues into exactly what type of fungal infection you have!
Once a diagnosis is made, treatment plans can be set in motion. There are a variety of topical creams that help attack fungus. As mentioned in last weeks blog, this is a tricky business. The drugs typically used are known as “azole derivatives” which attack the fungi’s ability to synthesize ergosterol. Ergosterol is a molecule similar to cholesterol. Both are used in a related manner in their respective cells (ergosterol in fungal cells, cholesterol in human cells). Due to the similar nature of these molecules, and the similar nature of human cells to fungal cells; azole derivatives must be used carefully. The use of these drugs must be monitored to limit their potentially dangerous side effects.
Laser treatments are a newer approach used in many podiatrists offices. This treatment is currently being used in our office on fungal nails and has had great success. Our treatment program requires multiple visits for the laser treatment, to ensure thorough treatment. This has been the most successful way for many people to get their healthy nails back.
There are many other treatment options available for those battling with fungus – and the first step is getting an accurate diagnosis. If you find yourself in the battle with fungus set up an appointment with a Milwaukee, WI podiatrist as soon as possible. They will help you find which treatment option is best for you and your feet.
At Milwaukee Foot and Ankle Specialists, we have the most cutting edge and innovative technology available. By having digital scanning technology for orthotics, digital X-rays, digital diagnostic ultrasound, laser for removal of toenail fungus & more all in office and available in a moments notice allows you to save time and money.
We look forward to helping you!