Toenail Problems

Healing Nail Fungus

Onychomycosis, better known as nail fungus, causes thick, ugly, yellow toenails.

  • Do you avoid swimming, public showers?
  • Refrain from wearing open-toed shoes because your toenails are yellow and crusty?
  • Do you spend hundreds of dollars on pedicures to hide the condition?
  • Are you afraid to take Lamisil because of possible liver damage or because you can’t drink while using the medication?

North Austin, you aren’t alone and we can help you. Toenail fungus is an infection that affects nearly 23 million people in the US – about 10 percent of all adults. The rate of infection is even higher in Austin because of our hot, humid climate and our Texas love of cowboy boots. It may also be from an athlete’s foot infection that spread, or from spores you acquired while walking barefoot in a wet area.

There is no perfect cure for toenail fungus. Nail fungi are so hardy that oral medications (such as Lamisil) are successful only about 70 percent of the time. The best topical medications available work up to 40 percent of the time. At Arbor Foot Health Center, Dr. Prant combines comprehensive professional toenail care with topical toenail fungus treatment to maximize effect. For some patients, laser treatment may be an option.

Laser Fungus Toenails Treatment

Our newest treatment is with lasers. The lasers work by killing the fungi while leaving the nail and surrounding tissue unharmed. Like all other toenail fungus treatment, results are not instant. It takes six months for healthy, clear nails to grow out. We also offer KeryFlex®, an artificial medical-grade nail that can be applied the same day as laser treatment and allows medications to reach the nail bed.

Because the laser has no effect on normal, healthy tissue, there is no pain at all. In studies so far, there have been no side effects, complications or adverse reactions.

Fungal infection, like other infections, can return. You may have a lifestyle that encourages this growth. You may have contaminated shoes or surfaces in your home. You may be genetically prone to nail fungus. We provide our patients tips and medication to prevent re-infection, but we cannot guarantee a lifetime of perfect nails. One way to decontaminate your shoes is with the SteriShoe shoe sterilizer, which works without chemicals or sprays and removes 99.9 percent of problematic microorganisms.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are caused when a hard toenail grows into soft skin, usually at the sides of the nail. The most common causes of ingrown toenails are tight shoes, improper cutting of toenails, trauma to the toenail, pregnancy, and the natural shape of the toenail. If an ingrown toenail causes a break in the skin, bacteria may enter and cause an infection. Signs of infection include drainage, a foul odor, pain, swelling and redness.

Dr. Gary Prant is uniquely qualified to solve your ingrown toenail problem. In addition to being board-certified in foot surgery, he is one of the very few Austin podiatrists with extensive experience using the microscopic carbon dioxide laser for ingrown toenails. The laser prevents the spread of infection commonly caused by ingrown toenails and provides outstanding results. Abor Foot Health Center is preferred choice of pediatricians all over Austin; they frequently refer their pediatric patients to us for long-term treatment of recurring ingrown toenails.

We know this hurts badly and can worsen quickly. We offer same- or next-day appointments for all patients needing ingrown toenail care. We cure patients swiftly, often with a pain-free laser treatment that prevents the spread of infection and the return growth of the ingrown toenail.

Athlete’s Foot

Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection of the skin that causes scaling, flaking and itching of affected areas. It is typically transmitted in moist areas where people walk barefoot, such as showers or bathhouses. Although the condition typically affects the feet, it can spread to other areas of the body, including the groin.

Dr. Prant can diagnose athlete’s foot by visual inspection of the skin, but when the diagnosis is in doubt, direct microscopy of a potassium hydroxide preparation (known as a KOH test) may help rule out other possible causes, such as eczema or psoriasis. A KOH preparation is performed on skin scrapings from the affected area.

Treatment includes topical medication as well as good hygiene practices. Good hygiene practices include:

  • Wearing slippers when showering in public places
  • Wearing open-toed shoes to keep feet dry or changing shoes and socks frequently
  • Avoiding sharing of towels and shoes/socks
  • Avoiding certain types of shoe “liners” in athletic shoes
  • Drying feet well after showering

Don’t live with an uncomfortable foot or ankle condition. Get experienced, expert help from Austin’s most trusted podiatrist, Dr. Gary Prant. For more information or to make your appointment, please call us at 512.335.1800. We serve the communities of Austin, Cedar Park, Round Rock, Westlake and Jollyville.

“When I moved to Austin in 2005 I was recovering from a broken ankle. My primary care doctor recommended Dr. Prant as a podiatrist, & I’m so grateful! He oversaw the healing of that ankle & has helped me through several stress fractures & ankle sprains since then. He’s a fun, no-nonsense kind of guy with a lot of insights & helpful advice.”~AA  Read More >>