Problems with Toenail Fungus?

The same type of fungus that causes athlete’s foot causes toenail fungus. It usually starts at the tip of your toenail, then spreads to the rest of your nail.
Fungus thickens, distorts, discolors and eventually makes your nail crumbly. You may not feel any pain in the beginning, but as the infection progresses, it can hurt.
This type of fungus limits itself to skin and nails, and doesn’t spread through your bloodstream. It thrives in moist, dark, warm environments, which is why you’re more apt to develop toenail than fingernail fungus.


Diagnosing Toenail Fungus

Not all thick, discolored and deformed nails occur because of toenail fungus. If you injure your nail at the root, it can become thick and deformed. Bone spurs or psoriasis under a toenail can also cause discoloration and deformed nails.
Dr. Sciortino can cure toenail fungus but there’s no way to cure a deformed nail caused by injury. Dr. Sciortino will¬† determine whether fungus is the cause of discolored or deformed nails during your office visit.


The best time to treat your nail is when you first notice the condition. During the early stages of toenail fungus development, over the counter medications may get rid of the fungus.
Athlete’s foot can spread to nails, so immediate treatment can prevent fungal growth in your nails. Unfortunately, because toenail fungus can be present for a long time and not cause any pain, people often ignore it until the fungus is in more advanced stages. Typically, the more advanced, the harder the condition is to treat.
In advanced cases, you may need prescription  oral or topical medication.
If your feet sweat a lot, you should change socks and shoes during the day. You can also get topical medications that reduce sweating.
When other types of treatment aren’t effective, Dr. Sciortino may suggest temporarily or permanently removing the toenail to treat the fungus.

Preventative Treatment

The American Podiatric Medical Association (APMA) recommends the following actions to prevent toenail fungus infections:
  • Wash your feet with soap and water, then dry thoroughly
  • Wear shower shoes in public areas
  • Change shoes, socks or stockings more than once daily
  • Clip toenails straight across so the nail doesn’t extend beyond the tip of your toe
  • Wear shoes that fit well and are made of material that breathes
  • To decrease moisture, avoid wearing excessively tight hose or socks
  • Wear socks made of synthetic fiber that wicks moisture away (dries faster than cotton or woolen socks do)
  • Disinfect instruments used to cut nails
  • Disinfect home pedicure tools
  • Don’t use nail polish on toenails that you suspect are infected (discolored nails, for example)

If you have problems with your toenails, discuss your condition with Dr. Sciortino.

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Get rid of unsightly and painful toenail fungus today.