When toenails become discolored or start crumbling near the edge of your nail, it’s a sign of nail fungus. Kenneth J. D’Ortone, DPM, at the Center for Foot and Ankle Excellence in Philadelphia can help. Nail fungus usually affects more than one toe and can be painful if left untreated, so call the office or use online booking to request the next available appointment.
Nail fungus causes discoloration and the crumbling of your toenails. Fingernails can also be affected, but usually, nail fungus is associated with toenails only.
While it doesn’t always require medical treatment right away, you should consider scheduling an appointment with Dr. D’Ortone if you’ve had nail fungus before or are unfamiliar with how to treat nail fungus on your own.
Nail fungus usually starts out as a white or yellow spot on the tip of your nail. The nail becomes thickened and can flake or crumble off.
The jagged edge of your nail may catch on your sock and cause the nail to painfully rip from the toe. Your toe may also develop a peculiar smell from the crumbling nail building up under the nail. Discuss your symptoms with Dr. D’Ortone for professional help treating the nail fungus.
As stated in the name, nail fungus is caused by a fungal organism. The fungus may infect the foot initially, then infect the toe. Yeast and molds can also cause nail fungus.
The warmth of your foot and the moisture of sweat trapped in your sock can accelerate the growth of nail fungus, and it can spread to adjacent toes. Dr. D’Ortone examines your foot and determines which toes are infected or at risk of infection.
You can prevent nail fungus by avoiding walking barefoot in areas such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and gyms. As you age, your nails tend to dry and crack. The cracks allow the fungus to enter your nail bed.
Proper foot care and hygiene reduce your risk of nail fungus infection. If you have diabetes or a weakened immune system, you should be especially mindful or proper foot health.
If nail fungus is left untreated, it can become painful and cause permanent damage to your nails. Dr. D’Ortone recommends scheduling an appointment when you first notice nail fungus for prompt treatment. If you have a weakened immune system, the nail fungus could spread to other parts of your body and cause cellulitis in your skin.
Dr. D’Ortone may prescribe an antifungal cream or medication to destroy the nail fungus, in addition to foot washes and scrubs.
While nail fungus may not be painful, getting help in treatment right away can save you pain and aggravation later on. To schedule an appointment with Dr. D’Ortone, call the Center for Foot and Ankle Excellence in Philadelphia today or use the online booking feature.