Fungal Nails

Podiatry located in Fords, NJ

Fungal Nails

Fungal nails are more than cosmetic concerns; they can spread and foster fungal growth throughout the affected nails and surrounding areas. At Fords Foot and Ankle Care in Fords, New Jersey, experienced podiatrist Carl Ingrassia, DPM, has multiple solutions to treat nail fungus at the source and prevent it from returning. Call the office today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.

Fungal Nails Q & A

What are fungal nails?

Fungal nails, or onychomycosis, develop beneath the surface of toenails, sometimes originating from other foot fungal infections. While fungus can develop in the fingernails, it’s far more common in the feet because they’re more often exposed to warm, damp environments that breed fungus.

The fungus can deeply penetrate the nails, which regenerate more slowly than the skin. Without proper care, these infections can spread, affecting other toenails, fingernails, and even neighboring areas of the skin.

What do fungal nails look like?

Fungal nails can manifest in different ways. Signs of fungal nails typically include:


  • Yellow, brown, or green discoloration
  • Nail thickening
  • Crumbling
  • Distorted shape
  • Rough texture
  • Loosening from the nail bed
  • Patches of debris beneath the nail
  • Brittleness or splitting

Fungal nails can also give off a foul smell. White or yellow pus may develop beneath if the nail becomes infected.

What causes fungal nails?

Some people are more prone to fungal nails than others. Factors that can increase your risk of fungal nails include:

  • Age-related nail changes
  • Tight or nonbreathable footwear
  • Compromised immune system
  • Nail injuries or trauma
  • Warm and damp environments
  • Nail conditions like psoriasis
  • Genetic predisposition
  • Poor foot hygiene
  • Using shared facilities (public pools, gyms, locker rooms, etc.)

Understanding your risk factors can help minimize your chances of contracting fungal nail infections.

How do podiatrists treat fungal nails?

A visual exam may be enough to diagnose fungal nails. Still, Dr. Ingrassia may also recommend a nail culture or a microscopic evaluation to determine the specific type of fungus causing the infection. If he suspects the infection has spread deeper into the tissue and bone, he may recommend digital X-rays for a more thorough examination.

How can I prevent fungal nails?

Dr. Ingrassia has many tips to prevent fungal nails, including:

  • Thoroughly wash and dry your feet, including in between your toes
  • Use powder for dryness
  • Change your socks and shoes frequently
  • Opt for breathable footwear
  • Avoid sharing socks or shoes
  • Use protective shoes in public areas (not flip-flops)
  • Sanitize all nail tools and don't share them with others
  • Prevent toenail injuries and treat them quickly
  • Use podiatrist-prescribed oral or topical medications

In more severe cases, Dr. Ingrassia performs debridement (tissue removal) or toenail removal to effectively treat the infection at its source.

Call Fords Foot and Ankle Care today or schedule an appointment online to learn more.