Can Toenail Fungus Spread to the Brain?

Fungal meningitis can develop after a fungal infection spreads from somewhere else in the body to the brain or spinal cord. Fungal meningitis occurs when a fungal infection in one part of the body spreads to the brain or spinal cord.

Can Toenail Fungus Spread to the Brain?

Fungal meningitis can develop after a fungal infection spreads from somewhere else in the body to the brain or spinal cord. Fungal meningitis occurs when a fungal infection in one part of the body spreads to the brain or spinal cord. Different types of fungi can cause fungal meningitis. Rarely, the fungus can reach the brain through other routes, for example, after being injected into the bloodstream with intravenous drugs.

Sometimes, untreated toenail fungus can spread to the surrounding skin of the foot. This can lead to athlete's foot, a condition characterized by itching, redness, and cracking of the skin. The fungus can also spread to the genitals, where it becomes inguinal itch, a condition that can affect both men and women, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology. Fungal toenail infection can begin in athlete's foot (foot fungus) and can spread from one nail to another.

However, it is rare to get an infection from another person. Nail fungus is a common condition that starts as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the fingernail or toenail. While many people are otherwise healthy and may think it's a cosmetic problem, ignoring a toenail infected with fungus could have health consequences beyond appearances. Fungal meningitis can develop after a fungus spreads through the bloodstream from somewhere else in the body, as a result of the introduction of the fungus directly into the central nervous system or from an infection of the infected body site next to the central nervous system.

From polishing your toenails to the sports you play, there are many factors that can increase your risk of fungal toenail infections. If Coccidioides fungus is responsible for the condition, people may need lifelong treatment with antifungal drugs. With all the serious health hazards out there, such as cancer and diabetes, having a yellowish toenail fungus on your toenails can seem pretty negligible. The American Osteopathic College of Dermatology explains that fungus-infected toenails can separate from the nail bed, a condition known as onycholysis.

Your doctor may take a small sample of your toenail and have it tested to confirm the presence of a fungus. Even if an infected nail doesn't loosen, it may need to be removed if the fungus doesn't go away with traditional treatments. Because toenail fungus (onychomycosis) isn't usually painful, many people put off seeking treatment, says Peter Joseph, DPM, a podiatrist at the Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh. The duration of treatment depends on the state of the immune system and the type of fungus that caused the infection.

Glenna Ellegood
Glenna Ellegood

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