How Can Toenail Fungus Affect Your Life?
Do you have a toenail fungus? If yes, then for how long are you going to ignore it?
It’s indeed a common condition that makes many people think it’s okay to leave it untreated as it may go away by itself.
However, it’s not the truth. It’s not one of those diseases which will show up suddenly and say goodbye to you gradually.
Many people care for their nails and that’s why they prefer to treat them for cosmetic reasons. However, not everyone is in love with their nail, that’s why even if they notice the yellow spot of diabetic foot, they won’t take action.
They may not know but they put their life at a huge risk while being unaware of the consequences. That’s why in this article we are going to explain how can a toenail affect your life so that you treat it as soon as possible.
What Consequences Might You Face If You Don’t Treat It?
Nail fungus is an unpleasant condition of toenails especially. It will first start as a yellow spot on your nail but it is painful. It will probably be pointless in the first stages but as it grows older you will start feeling the differences and notice the following symptoms:
Pain in the Feet
If the fungus is left untreated, the first thing you will experience is pain in your feet. Your well-shaped nail will eventually become misshapen and thick due to the attack of bacteria and it will cause pain in your feet. As it grows, even more, older it will make it difficult for you to walk.
The second stage of untreated toenail fungus leads to a fungus outbreak, which means the disease is going to spread to the surrounding skin of the affected foot. This can lead to conditions like itchy skin, redness, or cracked skin.
Sometimes it may even lead to painful conditions like athlete’s foot.
In addition, if not treated properly, the fungus can even be spread to your genitals as well. Which may cause you intense itching.
People with serious health conditions like diabetes and heart disease should never keep their nail fungus untreated. However, if they do then the infection may spread to other parts of the body.
The same goes for people with weak immune systems as well, they may experience swollen skin, redness, tender skin, and cracks on the skin near the toenail. The worst thing that could happen in this stage is the entry of infection-causing bacteria into the bloodstream.
Removal of the Nail:
The fourth stage of the untreated nail fungus is it’s last stage. A study has found that untreated toenail fungus can separate your nail from the nail bed. The nail will not be separated completely, instead it will be just loose.
It can be annoying and painful at the same time that’s why your doctor will recommend you to remove it through a small surgery called Matrixectomy. In this process your infected nail will be removed permanently so that it doesn’t spread infection to other nails so that you don’t have to lose other nails too.
Reduced Quality of Life:
When your infection started you might have thought that ignoring this little fungus isn’t going to affect your life so much. However, as it grows stronger everyday it will start reducing the quality of your life.
In first days it will make it difficult for you to walk normally, which can be a big problem if you do a job in which you have to be active and walk again and again.
Later, it will spread to other body parts and other nails, which might burn your foot in pain. It can be really painful if your shoes have tight fitting since it will cause a lot of itching too.
Lastly, if it reaches the last stage, unfortunately you will need to remove your nail.
This experience can be a nightmare to some people since sometimes the infection spreads too much that you may need to amputee your leg. This call can ruin the quality of your life, so make sure you never ignore it.
Preventions for Nail Fungus
Now you finally know about the consequences of ignoring the toenail fungus, which means you may be looking for prevention so that you can avoid it before it reaches you. If you want some prevention tips, then you should follow the tips given below:
Never Go Barefoot Anywhere
Going anywhere barefoot can highly increase the risk of nail fungus as its bacteria are always looking for warm and dark places like your nail. If you walk barefoot in places like swimming pools or gyms then you should stop it.
Change Your Socks Often
Dirty socks are another thing that increases the chance of toenail invasion. That’s why to change your socks daily and make sure you don’t wear dirty ones, they may contain bacteria.
If your feet get sweaty easily then try to change your socks as soon as possible if you get time.
Cut your nails on time
Cut your nails as soon as they grow longer, long toenails have a high chance of getting cracked, which provides a good advantage to the fungus.
However, don’t cut them too short either, they should be in medium height.
Keep them Dry and Clean
Wash your feet every day thoroughly with water and soap. Clean toes are less likely to get infected.
It’s recommended to wash your feet often if your feet get sweaty fast.
Also, you shouldn’t keep them wet after washing. Make sure your feet are dried properly, especially the area between your toes.
Is It Possible To Treat Nail Fungus Even If It Is This Much Infected?
Yes, every disease has a treatment, and toenail fungus isn’t an exception even if it’s infected too much!
Several treatments can help you defeat your infected toenail in weeks or months since sometimes it’s hard to get rid of infections.
It doesn’t matter at which stage your infection is, these treatments will surely help you.
Additionally, for all these treatments visiting your doctor is a must since home remedies may not able to treat serious infections!
Lastly, after your toenail is fully healed make sure to not ignore such problems again or you may again face a lot of pain. The treatments used to treat infected toenail fungus are:
1. Topical Ointments
When you visit your doctor they will first inspect your nail’s condition and then later they may recommend you to use topical ointments.
You can brush or rub these ointments on your infected nail, if you can’t do it by yourself then ask someone else or your doctor to do it. These ointments with their antibacterial and antifungal properties will help you to get rid of infections. However, it will work for mild infections only!
2. Oral Antifungal
The doctor may prescribe a medication to fight fungus throughout your body. This is usually the most effective technique to treat nail infections.
If you have an infection in your fingernails, treatment may last two months, and if you have an infection in your toenails, treatment may last three months.
3. Nail Removal Surgery
If alternative therapies fail, your doctor may have to remove your nail totally and replace it with a healthy one.
The surgery wouldn’t take long and then your doctor will dress up the treated toe after surgery to prevent infection. It’s also possible that the new nail will become infected if you don’t care for it properly.
When to look for a doctor if you have toenail fungus?
Here are some general guidelines for when to look for a doctor if you have toenail fungus:
If you notice persistent symptoms such as yellowing, thickening, or crumbling of your toenails, and these symptoms do not improve with over-the-counter antifungal treatments, it’s time to see a doctor. Over-the-counter treatments may not always effectively treat toenail fungus, and a doctor may prescribe stronger antifungal medications or other treatments based on the severity of the infection.
Pain or Discomfort
If you experience pain or discomfort in your toenails, such as tenderness, swelling, or ingrown nails due to the fungal infection, it’s important to seek medical attention. Painful symptoms may indicate an advanced or complicated case of toenail fungus that requires professional evaluation and management.
If you notice the toenail fungus spreading to other nails or to the surrounding skin, it’s time to see a doctor. Fungal infections can easily spread and affect multiple nails, and early intervention can help prevent further spread and complications.
Underlying Health Conditions
If you have an underlying health condition such as diabetes or a weakened immune system, it’s crucial to seek medical attention promptly if you suspect toenail fungus. These conditions can increase the risk of developing severe or recurrent fungal infections, and a doctor can provide appropriate management to prevent complications.
If you are uncomfortable with the appearance of your toenails due to the fungal infection, or if the infection is causing emotional distress, it’s perfectly valid to seek medical attention for cosmetic reasons. A doctor can provide treatment options to improve the appearance of the nails and help you feel more confident.
It’s advisable to seek medical attention for toenail fungus if you experience persistent symptoms, pain or discomfort, spreading infection, have underlying health conditions, or if you have personal concerns.
Toenail fungus is common yet a serious condition you shouldn’t ignore. If it’s left untreated for a long time it can cause you a lot of pain and it’s something no one wants. So if next time you notice even a little symptom of nail fungus, start your treatment right away, before it gets too late.