What happens if you have toenail fungus for years?

Infection and other conditions 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. Athlete's foot is a condition that causes itchy, red, and cracked skin, which can be very uncomfortable. This complication of fungal toenail infection is of particular concern for people with diabetes and other chronic conditions that weaken the immune system. If a toenail fungus spreads to the skin and causes it to crack, bacteria can enter.

This can cause cellulitis, a condition that causes swelling, redness and tenderness of the skin and must be treated with antibiotics, according to the U.S. In severe cases of cellulitis, the infection can enter the bloodstream and be fatal. A serious case of nail fungus can be painful and cause permanent nail damage. In addition, it can cause other serious infections to spread beyond the feet if your immune system is weakened by medications, diabetes, or other conditions. Toenail fungus usually starts as a small discolored area on a single nail and spreads over time to incorporate more nails.

The affected nails become thicker and brittle, and often cause pain when wearing shoes. Fungal nail infections may be closely related to fungal skin infections. If the fungal infection is not treated, it can spread from one place to another. Patients should discuss all skin problems with their healthcare provider to ensure that all yeast infections are treated properly. The American College of Osteopathy of Dermatology explains that toenails infected with fungus can separate from the nail bed, a condition known as onycholysis.

Toenail fungus usually starts subtly, so you might not notice anything different on your nail right away. The experts at Easton Dermatology Associates offer personalized treatments for your specific situation, whether you've just noticed an irregularity on your toenail or if you've been around for a while. fighting against fungi. Getting rid of toenail fungus can take several months because even nails that grow at an average rate don't grow quickly.

Even if an infected nail doesn't come loose, it may need to be removed if the fungus doesn't go away with traditional treatments. With all the serious health dangers out there, such as cancer and diabetes, having a yellowish toenail due to a toenail fungus may seem pretty insignificant. While many people are otherwise healthy and may think that this is an aesthetic problem, ignoring a toenail infected with fungus could have consequences for health that goes beyond appearances. The doctor may take a small sample from the toenail and test it to confirm the presence of a fungus.

Because toenail fungus (onychomycosis) isn't usually painful, many people postpone seeking treatment, explains Peter Joseph, DPM, a podiatrist at Allegheny Health Network in Pittsburgh. Fortunately, the team at Easton Dermatology Associates can treat any problem related to nail fungus. with a variety of treatment options.