Now accepting Telehealth appointments. Schedule a virtual visit.

Toenail Fungus Specialist

Andrew R. Harrison, DPM

Podiatrist located in San Jose, CA & Pacific Heights, San Francisco, CA

Over-the-counter antifungal products usually can’t touch entrenched toenail fungus — and that’s where Andrew R. Harrison, DPM, MS, comes in. At his state-of-the-art offices in the Lower Pacific Heights area of San Francisco and San Jose, California, Dr. Harrison offers two cutting-edge toenail fungus lasers: CoolBreeze™ and PinPointe™. Call either office or book an appointment online.

Toenail Fungus Q&A

What is toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that can cause severe damage to your toenails. When this fungus affects your skin, usually between your toes or on the sides of your feet, it's called athlete's foot.

What are the signs of toenail fungus? 

Toenail fungus varies in appearance, but it usually affects your nails in one or more of the following ways.

  • White or yellowish spots
  • Thickening
  • Crumbling
  • Cracking
  • Ridges 
  • Ragged edges
  • Color changes, from white to dark brown

As the fungal infection worsens, your nail may separate from its bed, lifting up partially. It may also smell bad. 

How do you get toenail fungus?

Toenail fungus gets into your body through even the smallest cracks or cuts in your skin or nails. Usually, this occurs if you're walking without shoes in a humid environment where the fungi thrive. 

Many children, teens, and adults experience toenail fungus, but it's especially common in people over the age of 60.

Conditions that increase your risk of toenail fungus include diabetes, hyperhidrosis (sweating disorder), athlete's foot, psoriasis, circulatory disorders, and autoimmune disorders. Serious nail damage, like stubbing your toe or an ingrown toenail, can also raise your risk of nail fungus.

What is the most effective nail fungus treatment?

There are a variety of options for nail fungus treatment. In some cases, topical treatments like antifungal nail polish or prescription cream may help. But those treatments can't really penetrate the nail effectively. 

Oral antifungal drugs can be quite effective in clearing toenail fungus — but you have to take them for several months, and they can have side effects, too. 

Because none of those treatment options offer the ideal balance of convenience and results, Dr. Harrison uses PinPointe and CoolBreeze, state-of-the-art toenail fungus lasers, instead. 

Toenail fungus lasers can target the fungus without burning or harming your nail and skin. The laser harmlessly penetrates the nail to heat and destroy the fungus. 

Treatments only take about half an hour, and you may need only one treatment to kill the fungus. Your nail then grows back clear, normal, and healthy.

To prevent toenail fungus from creeping in again, Dr. Harrison may recommend antifungal powder, spray, or cream on a daily basis.

Book your consultation by calling Andrew R. Harrison, DPM, MS, or booking an appointment online.