What happens if toenail fungus is not treated?

A severe case of nail fungus can be painful and cause permanent nail damage. And it can cause other serious infections that spread beyond your feet if you have a depressed immune system due to medicines, diabetes or other conditions.

What happens if toenail fungus is not treated?

A severe case of nail fungus can be painful and cause permanent nail damage. And it can cause other serious infections that spread beyond your feet if you have a depressed immune system due to medicines, diabetes or other conditions. 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. Therefore, it is not surprising that some people consider covering their feet and turning a blind eye to the problem. Most healthy young adults who ignore it probably won't notice any immediate problems. But over time, as the fungus progresses from the tip of the nail to the cuticle, it can cause the nail to become thick, discolored and brittle, and pain and inflammation become more likely.

These infections can persist for years without causing pain. The disease, characterized by a change in the color of the toenails, is often considered nothing more than a simple spot, but can present serious problems if left untreated. What happens to toenail fungus if left untreated? A fungal nail infection worsens over time. Toenail fungus could destroy the rest of the nail, infect nearby nails, damage the surrounding skin, cause skin conditions, and cause health problems.

Visible deformation will become more obvious, which can be embarrassing. Toenail fungus usually starts subtly, so you may not notice anything different on the nail immediately. Toenail fungus can also affect blood circulation in the area, especially among people with circulatory disorders or diabetes. In addition to pain and discomfort, it is crucial to treat nail fungus because they can spread and cause permanent damage to the nail bed.

It may take several months to remove toenail fungus, because even nails that grow at an average rate do not grow quickly. But if the fungus is not controlled or treated, it will progress to the cuticle, causing the toenail to thicken and discolor. Fortunately, the Easton Dermatology Associates team can address any nail fungus problem you may have with a diverse menu of treatment options. 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) is usually not painful, many people delay seeking treatment, says Peter Joseph, DPM, podiatrist at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh. With all the serious health hazards out there, such as cancer and diabetes, having a yellowish toenail from toenail fungus can seem quite negligible. The other problem with ignoring nail fungus is that the fungus creates cracks and openings in the skin where bacteria can sneak in and cause infections. Eichelsdorfer offers an effective high-tech treatment to eliminate toenail fungus and prevent them from reappearing.

From polishing your toenails to the sports you play, there are many factors that can increase your risk of fungal toenail infections. The doctor may take a small sample of your toenail and have it tested to confirm the presence of a fungus. Most young and healthy people who ignore toenail fungus may not have any immediate cause for concern. Patients who tend not to worry about the aesthetics of toenail fungus may think that getting treatment should not be a priority.

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Glenna Ellegood
Glenna Ellegood

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