Foot and Ankle Excellence
Bruni Leka, DPM
Podiatrist & Foot and Ankle Specialist located in Philadelphia, PA
Toenail fungus is a common problem that can be challenging to get rid of without professional care. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania-based podiatrist Bruni Leka, DPM, diagnoses and treats toenail fungus in patients of all ages at her practice, Foot and Ankle Excellence. If you think you have a fungal infection in your toenail, call or book an appointment online today.
What is toenail fungus?
Fungal infections are common in any of your nails, but they most often affect the toenails. This condition may begin as a small white or yellow spot beneath your toenail. If left untreated, the fungal infection spreads and may cause the entire nail to grow discolored, thickened, and brittle.
Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, can affect several nails at once. If the fungal infection spreads to the skin between your toes or on other parts of your foot, it’s called athlete’s foot.
What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?
Common symptoms of toenail fungus include:
- Thickened nails
- Nails that are distorted in shape
- Brittle, ragged, or crumbling nails
- White, yellow, or brown discolored toenails
- Debris buildup beneath the nail that may look like a dark spot
- Foul-smelling nails
Mild cases of toenail fungus may improve with self-care measures like over-the-counter medication. If your symptoms persist despite attempts at treatment, call Foot and Ankle Excellence for professional care.
If you have diabetes, schedule an appointment at Foot and Ankle Excellence at the first sign of toenail fungus. Diabetic feet require specialized care to prevent serious complications like infection.
What causes toenail fungus?
Many types of fungi in the environment can enter a small crack in your nail or skin and cause an infection. Walking barefoot in damp, warm places where fungi thrive, like gyms, around pools, and locker rooms may increase your risk of developing this condition.
You may be at greater risk for toenail fungus if you have one of the following conditions:
- Nail injury
- Athlete’s foot
- Poor blood circulation
You can reduce your risk for toenail fungus by keeping your feet clean and dry and wearing sandals in public areas like showers and locker rooms.
How is toenail fungus diagnosed and treated?
Dr. Leka can diagnose toenail fungus by examining your foot and reviewing your symptoms and medical history. She may take a clipping of the infected toenail to send to a lab for testing.
Toenail fungus usually doesn’t go away without antifungal treatment. Dr. Leka may prescribe oral or topical antifungal medication for you to take home. Severe infections may require surgery.
If you think you have toenail fungus, call Foot and Ankle Excellence or book an appointment online today.