Why Ignoring Toenail Fungus Can Have Serious Consequences
Toenail fungus is a common problem affecting millions of people worldwide. While it may not cause any pain in the beginning, ignoring it can lead to serious health complications. In this article, we will discuss why it is important to treat toenail fungus and the potential consequences of leaving it untreated.
1. Foot Pain
Toenail fungus can cause the infected nail to become thick, deformed and discolored. In the early stages, the condition may not be painful, but as it worsens, you may experience discomfort and even pain while walking wearing shoes. If left untreated, the pain may become unbearable, making it difficult for you to even walk. Treating the condition promptly can help prevent this pain and save you from inconvenience.
2. Spreading of Infection
People with chronic conditions such as diabetes are particularly susceptible to toenail fungus infections. Neglecting an infected nail can increase the risk of the infection spreading to the skin due to a weak immune system. The skin around the nail can become cracked, making it vulnerable to bacteria. This, in turn, can lead to cellulitis – a red, swollen and tender skin condition that requires antibiotics. If the infection worsens, it can enter the bloodstream, leading to various other complications. By treating the fungal infection from the onset, you can prevent further health complications.
3. Spreading of Fungus
If left untreated, the toenail fungus can spread to the skin surrounding the toenail, leading to a condition referred to as athlete’s foot. This condition presents with red, itchy and cracked skin, which can worsen without treatment. If you wear shoes and socks for long periods, you increase the risk of the fungus spreading to the skin. Thus, managing the condition in time can prevent athlete’s foot.
4. Losing the Nails
Toenail fungus can cause toenails to become hard, thick and brittle, making them easier to crack and break. If this condition is neglected, you may end up losing the nails entirely. The fungus may separate the nail from the nail bed, resulting in the nail falling off. In severe cases, surgical removal of the nail may be required. Leaving the fungus to spread can result in the loss of several toenails or even permanent damage.
Treating Toenail Fungus
Ignoring toenail fungus can result in severe health complications. The best way to manage this condition is to see a doctor right away. However, several home remedies, such as the use of tea tree oil, baking soda, or apple cider vinegar, can help treat the condition.
Before administering any home remedies, it is recommended to seek medical advice. A doctor’s opinion can help prevent the condition from escalating and assist in determining the specific extent of the problem. If it’s a new fungal infection, the doctor may monitor the condition and determine whether medication is necessary.
Toenail fungus may seem insignificant, but it can lead to severe health consequences when left untreated. It is essential to manage the condition in time to prevent the spread of the infection, foot pain, further skin infections, and the loss of toenails. Home remedies may offer temporary relief, but it’s best to seek medical help, especially for chronic conditions such as diabetes. By paying attention to every aspect of your health, you can avoid potential health complications in the long run.