Dr. Jacoby explains the causes of toenail fungus.
Toenail fungus is caused by an organism. The most common organism is trichophyton rubrum; that’s a big word for a little animal type of organism that gets underneath the toenail bed. But there has to be a portal of entry for the organism to get underneath the toenail bed, and to me, there are two major causes for that entry. One is trauma. So people that are active, play tennis, runners–they are people that traumatize the toenails.
Number two is diabetes. Diabetes is probably the biggest cause of all the diseases in the Western world today, and we will talk about diabetes and neuropathy which is somewhat related to this disease as well.
In diabetes, the nail gets brittle. It gets brittle because of the diet that we eat in the Western world. For instance, I had a patient the other day who came in, and she was not diagnosed with diabetes, and the only symptom that she had was a yellow, brittle toenail.
Now she had been, since we live in Arizona, going down the Grand Canyon is a big activity, and she came back and she had this nail that was starting to lift off and turn yellow. And the initial thought was it was due to the trauma, but upon further questioning, it was really, she had early signs and symptoms of diabetes. So they are the two major causes, and she had both.
About Dr. Jacoby, D.P.M.:
Dr. Richard Jacoby, D.P.M., graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine. He completed his residency at Parkview Hospital, Philadelphia, specializing in foot and ankle surgery. Board certified by the American Board of Podiatric Foot and Ankle Surgeons, he is currently president of Valley Foot Surgeons in Scottsdale, Arizona. In addition, Dr. Jacoby is chairman of the board of Healthcare Networks of America.
Dr. Jacoby has been named the 2010 President of The Association of Extremity Nerve Surgeons.