How can I treat toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus is a legendarily stubborn little infection. Because topical antifungals can’t penetrate through the nail to get at the fungi underneath, home care is almost always ineffective.

Following an evaluation, we will likely start you on a regiment of prescription oral antifungals for six to eight weeks. The drugs eliminate the infection, allowing health nail to grow and slowly replace the discolored portion over a period of months. Because these pills may come with side effects, we will make sure you are healthy enough to take them and check back periodically to make sure you’re doing well.

 Trimming Toenails

Alternatively, particularly severe or chronic cases may be treated by removing the nail entirely, treating the infection directly, and waiting for a healthy nail to grow back.

One thing is for sure—a case of toenail fungus will not get better on its own. If you’re looking to eliminate that embarrassing, yellow nail, call Dr. McSpadden today. To set up an appointment in Cedar Park or Round Rock, TX, give us a call at 512-593-2949.


Is there a proper way to trim toenails?

Yes! Although there’s no way to perfectly prevent problems such as ingrown toenails or fungal toenails, employing proper trimming tools and techniques is the best way to keep your nails looking and feeling great.

Before you begin, make sure your feet are clean and dry—this not only reduces the risk of spreading disease, but makes your nails softer and easier to cut. Use a large pair of clippers, too—the longer the lever, the easier it will be to cut.

Always cut your nails straight across, and never too short. Rounded edges that are cut too close to the skin may cause the nail to grow toward the skin, leading to an ingrown toenail, infection, and/or fungal problem.

If you’re experiencing problems with your toenails, call Keith McSPadden, DPM today. Ingrown toenails and fungal nails won’t go away on their own, but both are fixable with the right treatment. You can schedule an appointment at one of our two Austin-area locations by dialing 512-593-2949.


What causes ingrown toenails?

There is no one single cause of ingrown toenails. In fact, in many cases the fundamental cause may not be known. However, some of the known causes, as well as factors that might increase your risk, include:

  • Injury to the toenail, such as a stubbed toe or dropping an object on your foot
  • Wearing shoes that are too tight in the toe box
  • Poor trimming technique—don’t cut too short or curved in the corners, but leave a little length and cut straight across
  • Fungal toenail infections
  • Heredity—some people just have more naturally flat or curved nails, which can lead to higher ingrown toenail incidence rates.

Some of these causes, like toenail trimming or footwear choices, are controllable or preventable. Some, like heredity, are not. But no matter what may have caused your ingrown toenail, Dr. Keith McSpadden can provide same-day relief via a simple in-office procedure. So don’t continue suffering—if you have a painful toenail bothering you, please set up an appointment at our Cedar Park or Round Rock offices by calling 512-593-2949.


What are the signs of an ingrown toenail?

It’s important to know the signs of an ingrown toenail so you can treat the problem before it gets worse.

In the early stages, the tissue along the edges of the nail can become red, tender and painful under pressure. As the condition progresses, the nail can eventually puncture the skin and become infected. Bleeding, discharge and increased redness and swelling can occur. Don’t let it get this far!

As soon as you notice ingrown toenail trouble, make an appointment so we can help your nail grow above the skin, not into it! Depending on how far along the problem has progressed, we will lift the nail, partially remove the offending edge or, in severe cases, remove the nail completely.

If you have questions or would like to learn more about these treatment options, call us in Round Rock or Cedar Park, TX by dialing (512) 593-2949. In the meantime, be sure that you are trimming nails straight across without curving the corners, and that your shoes offer plenty of wiggle room for your toes. 


Why are my toenails turning black?

There could be several reasons for toenails turning black.

The most common reason, especially among those who are regularly running, hiking, or playing sports is repetitive trauma against the toe, often from shoes that are too tight. This can cause cuts or bruises under the nail, leading to a pooling of blood that causes the distinct discoloration. Black toenails may also be caused by a fungal infection, as well.

More rarely, a black toenail might be the result of a malignant melanoma, an aggressive form of skin cancer. Although the odds of this being the case are very low, you should definitely investigate if you have any concerns—diagnosing and treating melanoma as early as possible is critical to achieve a good outcome, so you’ll want a professional evaluation to either rule it out or begin countermeasures quickly.

If you have any concerns with the color or health of your toenails, please schedule an appointment with Dr. McSpadden at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute, in our Cedar Park or Round Rock offices. You can reach us online, or give us a call at 512-593-2949.