What is Distal subungual onychomycosis (DSO) nail fungus and how is it treated?
Distal subungual onychomycosis (DSO) is a common type of nail fungus that affects the toenails. It is caused by dermatophytes, particularly Trichophyton rubrum, which is a fungus that thrives on keratin, the protein found in nails.
Characteristics of Distal Subungual Onychomycosis (DSO) include:
1. Location: It typically starts at the tip (distal) of the nail and spreads towards the base.
2. Appearance: The nail may become discolored, usually turning yellow or brown. It can also become thickened and brittle. Over time, the infection may cause the nail to separate from the nail bed.
Treatment for DSO involves various approaches, and it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan. Common treatment options include:
1. Oral Antifungal Medications: Prescription medications such as terbinafine and itraconazole are commonly used to treat nail fungus. These medications work from within to target the fungal infection.
2. Topical Antifungal Medications: Antifungal nail lacquers or creams may be prescribed to apply directly to the affected nail. However, these are often less effective for DSO compared to oral medications.
3. Laser Therapy: Some individuals may opt for laser treatment, which uses focused laser light to target and destroy the fungus. However, the effectiveness of laser therapy is still under study, and results can vary.
4. Surgical Removal: In severe cases, surgical removal of the infected nail may be considered to allow for the application of topical or oral antifungal medications directly to the nail bed.
If you experience toenail fungus symptoms, consult with one of our providers at Dermatology Physicians of CT. We can provide valuable advice and prescribe appropriate medications to help alleviate the discomfort and improve your nail’s appearance.