How Dangerous Is Toenail Fungus?

toenail fungusToenail fungus is a very common condition. Research indicates that approximately one out of every two individuals deal with it, by the time they reach the age of 70.

A severe fungal nail infection doesn’t just appear overnight. It takes time to progress to that stage. Unfortunately, because of the slow progression rate, many people ignore the problem until it gets to the point of interfering with daily activities.

Certain groups of people are more susceptible to the dangers of toenail fungus. These groups include:

  • Smokers
  • Diabetics
  • Individuals who have a compromised immune system

If you fall into one of these categories, you need to take extra care of your feet. This is especially true, if and when you notice initial symptoms of nail fungus.  Watch for signs of:

  • Yellowing nails
  • Debris under a nail
  • Unpleasant odor
  • A nail that is pulling away from the nail bed underneath

The sooner you start to treat a fungal nail infection, the better off you’ll be. More importantly, it reduces the chance for it to turn into something serious. When this happens, you may face the following problems.

Infection Spreading to Other Parts of the Body

In the majority of cases, this type of infection only spreads to other toes. However, it is capable of spreading to other parts of your body. This happens when fungal spores get into a cut or scrape on your infected toe.

A cut on your foot or toe can lead to a bacterial infection. In rare cases, especially for susceptible individuals who fall into the categories listed above,  both of these infections together can lead to foot ulcers or even gangrene.

Passing the Fungus on to Someone Else

It is possible to pass toenail fungus onto someone else. This generally happens when you go barefoot in a public facility such as a spa or pool. It also happens if someone else uses your nail clippers or towel or borrows your shoes.

Difficulty Walking

When a fungal nail infection accelerates to the severe stage, symptoms include pain, swelling and the probability of your nail separating from your toe. Obviously, this will make it difficult to wear socks and closed-toed footwear.

For more information on the dangers of this unsightly problem and the best way to treat it, please take a few minutes to contact our office. There’s absolutely no reason you have to deal with toenail fungus on your own.

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