How Ignoring Toenail Fungus Can Be Dangerous?

Toenail fungus also known as onychomycosis is a condition which begins as yellow or white discolored spots on the finger or the toenails. Sometimes the nail fungus does not give any discomfort which leads to us ignoring it to be treated. But it is important to understand about how ignoring toenail fungus can be dangerous?

How Ignoring Toenail Fungus Can Be Dangerous?

How Ignoring Toenail Fungus Can Be Dangerous?

A nail fungus can be unsightly, painful and can lead to permanent damage to the nail and the infected toe. Common places and activities which may lead to the development of a toenail fungus are nail salons, hotels, gym, pools, wherever you go bare feet. The fungus also spreads in between the family members if anyone has got the infection. Wearing ill-fitting shoes, suffering from diabetes, and any cause leading to poor circulation contributes to the risk factor for the development of nail fungus.

The symptoms such as thickening, brittle, distortion, and discoloration are shown by the nails infected by fungus. Plenty of remedies exist for the treatment of nail fungus and may be used. The unknown part of nail fungus is that if left untreated it can lead to serious health risks. As sometimes the symptoms may go unnoticed, there are greater chances that the toenail fungus is not known and can create more problems. Let us know how ignoring toe nail fungus can be dangerous.

There are some potential risks associated with the toenail fungus. Here are some of the ways in which ignoring toe nail fungus can be dangerous.

Foot Pain – Over a time, if left untreated the toenail fungus may thicken, altering the shape of the nail and making it painful. Often walking becomes difficult due to the foot pain caused by the spread of the fungus. Foot pain is one of the important ways in which ignoring toe nail fungus can be dangerous.

Athlete’s Foot – The fungus, if not treated might also spread to the surrounding skin, which may lead to an athlete’s foot. Athlete’s foot is a condition marked by itching, redness, and cracked skin. Wearing socks while suffering from a toenail fungus can make the environment viable for the spread. This is a classic example of how ignoring toenail fungus can be dangerous.

Jock Itch – One of the other ways how ignoring toenail fungus can be dangerous is that it can result in jock itch. From the whole of the foot, it may further spread to the genitals which may be termed as jock itch. This condition can affect both the male and the females.

Cellulitis – In people suffering from diabetes or the conditions which weaken the immune system, the infection spreads more easily and widely. In this way too ignoring toenail fungus can be dangerous. It may lead to cracks in the skin, which may cause bacteria to grow in it, which could lead to cellulitis a condition which produces swollen, red, and tender skin. This often needs antibiotic treatment.

Loss of Nail – A toenail infection may spread and lead to onycholysis, a condition in which the toe nail separates from the bed.

Even if the toenail doesn’t become loose, sometimes if the fungus is not responding to the treatment, the nail has to be removed. The procedure is known as avulsion. In some cases, the nail is removed permanently, by destroying the growing center of nail surgically or chemically. This is called matrixtomy.

The fungus is treated by using the oral and topical antifungal drugs. An advanced toenail infection may require a podiatrist intervention. If the common remedies do relieve the infection never ignore consulting a specialist. Extreme infections might require surgical removal of the nail. A new nail will grow from it.

But now that you know how ignoring toe nail fungus can be dangerous, it is important to treat it in time and prevent complications. Being cautious about the various risk factors associated with it can be of great help in preventing the occurrence of the toenail infection.

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Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 24, 2019

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