Occasionally, a bacterial infection can occur in addition to a fungal nail infection and cause serious illness. This is more common in people with diabetes or other conditions that weaken the body's defenses against infections. In severe cases, the spread of bacteria caused by untreated toenail fungus can lead to cellulitis. Cellulitis is a condition in which the skin swells, reddens, and hurts to the touch due to a bacterial infection. If cellulitis isn't treated, the infection can spread to the bloodstream and become a life-threatening condition for many people.
This is the most serious outcome of an untreated toenail fungus, which can be prevented with treatment from a medical professional. You should pay special attention to treating toenail fungus if your immune system is compromised. If you have diabetes, it's essential not to ignore the fungus. Even a mild infection like this can develop into something more serious, such as cellulitis, a serious bacterial skin infection. A fungal nail infection is a common condition that can cause brittle and discolored toenails, usually on the toes.
For people with diabetes or a weakened immune system, nail fungus can increase the risk of an infection in the surrounding skin. Getting rid of toenail fungus can take several months, as even nails that grow at an average rate do not grow quickly. With all the serious health hazards out there, such as cancer and diabetes, having a yellowish toenail due to a fungus on your toenails may seem pretty insignificant. Because fungi grow in dark, warm places, toenails are more likely to be affected than fingernails. If toenail fungus isn't treated, it can spread to the surrounding skin of the foot and cause another condition known as athlete's foot.
While toenail fungus is common, with approximately 10% of Americans and 50% of people over 70 getting toenail fungus, it's still an unpleasant and embarrassing condition. Another problem is that untreated fungi can, over time, spread to neighboring nails or foot skin and cause athlete's foot. In addition to pain and discomfort, it's crucial to treat nail fungus, as it can spread and cause permanent damage to the nail bed of the feet. The American College of Osteopathy of Dermatology explains that toenails infected with fungus can separate from the nail bed, a condition known as onycholysis. The doctor may take a small sample from the toenail and have it tested to confirm the presence of a fungus. The experts at Easton Dermatology Associates offer personalized treatment for your specific situation, whether you've just noticed an irregularity on your toenail or if you've been fighting fungus for a while.
Toenail fungus usually starts subtly, so you might not notice anything different on your toenail right away. Even if the infected nail doesn't loosen, it may need to be removed if the fungus doesn't go away with traditional treatments. However, untreated toenail fungus can have some serious long-term effects, so seeking treatment is important for your overall health. Fortunately, the team at Easton Dermatology Associates can address any nail fungus problem you may have with a diverse menu of treatment options. Eichelsdorfer offers an effective high-tech treatment to eliminate toenail fungus and prevent it from coming back.