Toenail Fungus Is An Ugly Bother.
“Fungus can make the nails very thick and difficult to cut,” says Dr. Katherine Lai from The Center for Podiatric Care and Sports Medicine. “Yellow, thick, and crumbling nails can really limit your options come the summer time when it’s fashionable to wear sandals or open-toe shoes,” she explains. “Not only that, but you run the risk of having the toenail separate from the bed, causing the nail to fall off completely.” Usually by this stage, the inflammation and pain are pretty severe. The toes may look and feel so deformed that it becomes difficult to wear regular shoes or walk normally. Sadly, it isn’t until this stage that many patients seek the advice of a podiatrist.
Toenail Fungus Can Spread.
We have seen a handful of very serious cases of untreated toenail fungus over the years. “Toenail fungus can spread to your skin, to the other nails, and possibly to your hands, although that is very rare,” cautions Dr. Nadia Levy. Fungus migrates in about one out of every 24 cases, she adds, with older people on medication, corticosteroid users, and chemotherapy patients comprising the most likely candidates. It’s not at all uncommon for patients with toenail fungus to also succumb to athlete’s foot, jock itch, and ringworm. “If your immune system isn’t functioning at its very strongest, the fungus will work against you to open the body up to other attacks,” Dr. Levy explains.
Toenail Fungus Opens The Body To Infection.
Lastly, it is important to remember that the nails are there to protect you from further injury and infection. “In some patients, there may be an increased risk of cutting the skin and developing a bacterial infection on top of the already existing fungal infection,” Dr. Lai adds. This worry is especially real for diabetics and immuno-compromised patients. According to the SteriShoe Blog, bacterial infections — that get into the body through infected nails — may lead to foot ulcers and gangrene.