Are your toenails discolored, thick, or unsightly? Nail fungus is common — affecting up to 10% of Americans — and the brittle, discolored nails it brings can make you embarrassed to wear open-toed shoes or go barefoot.

When the weather’s cold, it’s easy to hide embarrassing toenails with socks and boots. But warm weather brings days at the beach, shorts, and sandals. If you’re dreading sandal season because of toenail fungus, it’s time to learn about laser toenail treatment.

David B. Glover, DPM, FACFAS, and our team at Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute are here to give you confidence this summer. Start laser toenail treatment now, and you could be fungus-free before sandal season.

Signs of toenail fungus

Healthy toenails are smooth and evenly colored. They don’t have pits, ridges, or areas of discoloration. Fungus damages nails, making them weak and brittle.

A fungus can enter your body through a small cut or crack in your nail. You can develop nail fungus at any age, but it’s more common as you get older and your nails naturally become more brittle.

The condition often evidences itself as a small spot of discoloration on the nail. Over time, it spreads and affects the health and strength of your nail. You might have toenail fungus if your toenails are:

  • Thick
  • Brittle
  • Crumbling
  • Discolored
  • Foul-smelling

Toenail fungus looks unpleasant. Toenails might be white, yellow, or brown. In some cases, toenails can be distorted or misshapen.

The fungus that causes these changes in nails thrives in warm, damp conditions. You may be more likely to develop toenail fungus if you have sweaty feet, a history of athlete’s foot, or if you walk barefoot in public places, such as swimming pools.

Left untreated, the infection can spread to other nails, including your fingernails, and even to your skin.

Laser treatment eliminates toenail fungus

If you think you might have toenail fungus, visit Dr. Glover. At Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute, we offer laser treatment to eliminate toenail fungus.

Dr. Glover can determine if laser treatment is right for you with an examination of your nails and a review of your medical history. Many patients see great results with as little as one laser treatment.

While oral antifungal medications can improve symptoms, they can’t completely eradicate the fungus. Patients may see temporary improvements in nail health, but the fungus often returns.

Laser treatment, on the other hand, targets and destroys the fungus. Light energy from the laser penetrates the nail, killing the fungus without damaging the surrounding nail, skin, or tissue.

Each laser treatment takes just 30 minutes. Since treatment is completely noninvasive, there’s no downtime. You can go home and return to your normal activities immediately following your procedure.

Once the fungus is eliminated with laser treatment, your nails will get healthier. As time goes on, the brittle and discolored parts will go away as they’re pushed out by new, healthy nails. In general, nails can grow out in as little as six months.

Don’t ignore your toenail fungus. If you start laser treatment now, you could have beautiful nails by sandal season. To learn more, book an appointment online or over the phone with Mountain View Foot & Ankle Institute today.