Have a Question About Foot Pain or Treatment? Find the Answer Here

We get asked a lot of questions about foot and ankle pain. In fact, we’ve compiled a list of frequently-asked questions (and their answers) to give our patients fast access to common podiatry issues. Use the search bar on this page or browse through our list of frequent questions for solutions to your problem.

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  • What are the side effects of pills for toenail fungus?

    Oral antifungal pills, an older and still-common treatment protocol for eradicating toenail fungus, unfortunately can have some problematic side effects. For some people these are quite mild, but in others they can cause nausea, indigestion, diarrhea, headaches, rashes, and in some cases even liver damage. For these reasons, oral antifungals are usually not recommended for people with existing liver problems, congestive heart failure, or who are taking certain medications.

    Fortunately, a new treatment option exists with no known side effects: laser therapy. Our office’s PinPointe FootLaser is a non-invasive option that features none of the medical downsides of oral antifungals and has a much higher success rate as well. If you just want your toenails fixed with the minimum amount of risk and hassle, laser therapy is absolutely the choice you want.

    To set up an appointment in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV for your consultation, please contact Sierra Foot & Ankle at 775-783-8037. 

  • Do I have to treat nail fungus?

    Nail fungus is a common ailment, particularly with athletes and those who utilize public facilities like swimming pools and gyms. For some, these infections pose a purely cosmetic problem: discoloration or darkening of the area, and hardened nails. In these instances, it is solely at your discretion to decide if you want to treat nail fungus. However, keep in mind that if left untreated, the condition can spread and become worse.

    Additionally, as with other mild infections, fungus could pose more serious health concerns down the road. If you feel that it has become unruly or out of control, it may be wise to seek professional advice. This is particularly important if you experience any symptoms of pain or discomfort.

    Lastly, if you have diabetes, or if your immune system is impaired, any issues with your feet, however mild, can have a significant effect on your overall health. For those to whom this applies, medical attention is always recommended.

    If you have questions regarding the health of your feet, visit Sierra Foot and Ankle in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, or call (775) 783 – 8037 to make an appointment with Dr. Victoria Melhuish today.

  • What are the symptoms of nail fungus?

    While attempting to identify a fungal nail problem can be made difficult by the variation in types of conditions, there are a few key factors to look for to make it easier. As many of these symptoms may occur without pain, it is essential that you inspect your feet on a daily basis to ensure the condition does not persist. When scanning over a possible toenail fungus condition you should look for the following:

    • The nails becoming brittle or crumbly
    • Thickening of the nail
    • The shape of the nail becoming distorted
    • A lack of sheen or luster / the nail becoming more dull
    • Darkening of the nail
    • The presence of a foul odor

    In some cases patients may also experience pain or a condition known as onycholysis, where the nail separates from the nail bed. Nail conditions will initially be seen as a small white or yellow spot beneath the tip of the nail.

    As these conditions are particularly resistant to healing if left untreated, medical attention should be sought at the first sign of trouble. Be sure to contact our Carson City or Gardnerville, NV office before your fungal infection develops any further.

  • Is toenail fungus contagious?

    You've most likely seen unsightly, yellow toenails at the beach, around the public swimming pool, or in public showers, and you’ve probably questioned "Is toenail fungus contagious?" Well, the answer is yes!

    If you've developed fungus, it has probably come from one of the areas described above. In order to protect your feet from this bacteria, it is essential to avoid public places while barefoot. If unavoidable, wear protective footwear or socks. Never share shoes and keep your feet as dry as possible. Nail fungus spreads through direct contact, much like the flu. It has a long incubation period, which means that by the time you notice symptoms, it may have been developing for weeks.

    If you're worried that you may have toenail fungus, contact Sierra Foot and Ankle in either Carson City or Gardnerville, NV for more information about nail health. Schedule your appointment today by calling (775) 783-8037 or by submitting an online contact form.

  • Is laser treatment for nail fungus painful?

    No, laser treatment for nail fungus is not painful, though some people report a warming sensation in the toes during the procedure. Laser therapy employs a highly focused, intense light that passes painlessly through your hard nail tissue to the infected area underneath. The light destroys the microorganisms that are festering out of reach of normal topical medications. The healthy tissues in the nail bed and around the hard keratin remain unaffected. It does take a few months for the healthy tissue to regrow, but the procedure itself is over quickly and has no known side effects—painful or otherwise.

    If you’re struggling with stubborn nail fungus, don’t let fear of discomfort keep you from seeking the treatment you need. Contact the experts here at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City and Gardnerville, NV, for an appointment or more information to explore your options for remedies. Fill out the website contact form or call (775) 783-8037 to reach us.

  • Does laser therapy for nail fungus hurt?

    Most people say that laser therapy for fungal nails is painless. You may feel some warming in the toes from the laser, but the treatment uses an intense light without UV radiation or harmful X-rays. You shouldn’t have any discomfort either during the procedure or after it’s completed. You should also be able to return to your regular activities right away. It may take a few treatments to completely eliminate the infection, but once the fungus is destroyed, healthy nail tissue can grow in.

    You shouldn’t put off treating the fungus—the longer it festers, the harder it is to eradicate, and it won’t clear up on its own. Don’t let the fear of pain from laser therapy for fungal nails keep you from dealing with the infection. Contact Dr. Victoria Melhuish at Sierra Foot & Ankle in Carson City and Gardnerville for more information or an appointment by calling (775) 783-8037 or visiting the online contact page.

  • How does laser therapy for nail fungus work?

    Nail fungus laser therapy uses intense light to penetrate the hard keratin tissue and vaporize the infection festering underneath. This laser light breaks down the fungal cells that are multiplying in the nail bed, leaving your hard tissue and nail matrix intact. The whole procedure is relatively painless and has no known side effects. Many times the nail infection is eradicated after just one or two treatments, but serious conditions may need a few more. Once the fungus is eliminated, new healthy tissue is able to grow in and push out the damaged nail.

    If you’re struggling with fungal toenails and want to eliminate the source quickly, laser therapy may be an option for you. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle for an appointment or more information to see if this treatment could help your toes. Fill out the form on our online contact page or call our Carson City or Gardnerville office at (775) 783-8037 to reach us.

  • What’s the difference between black toenails and toenail fungus?

    There is a difference between black toenails and toenail fungus. One is an injury to the affected digit, while the other is a type of infection. Black toenails are typically caused by trauma to the end of the toe, whether a repetitive bump over time or a sudden injury. The damage causes blood to leak from the nail bed and pool under the hard tissue, darkening it. Toenail fungus is an infection by microscopic fungi festering in the nail bed. The pathogen damages your keratin and causes discoloration, thickening, and brittleness. Your nails may still appear dark, though, especially if you have a build-up of debris from the infection.

    Whether or not a nail change is caused by an injury or an infection, have it investigated and cared for to protect your toes. Contact Sierra Foot & Ankle here in Carson City or Gardnerville, NV, for an appointment or to find out more information about nail health. You can reach us by calling (775) 783-8037 or by submitting our online contact form.