Symptoms Of Fungal Nails
The good news is that if you catch it early enough, it can be fairly easy to eradicate toenail fungus and save your nails from further damage.
So how do you catch it in the early stages?
Well, inspecting your nails every day is the first step. Especially because toenail fungus can be present a very long time without causing noticeable symptoms.
Here are things you should look for when you examine your nails:
- Darkening or discoloration of the affected nail
- White or discolored spots that arent from an injury
- Thickening or distortion of the nail
- Unusual white or yellow streaks in your nail
- Crumbling along the edges or tips of the nail, particularly where its discolored
- Redness and swelling
- Foul odor emitting from the nail
- Pain when walking or wearing shoes
- The nail starts to separate from the nail bed
If you notice one or more of these symptoms in your toenails, dont wait for them to go away on their own the infection will most likely continue to grow and spread .
Instead, get them diagnosed right away so the fungus can be eliminated quickly and before it causes visible damage to your nail.
How Contagious Is Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is a contagious fungal skin infection that can be spread directly or indirectly. It is most commonly spread in warm, moist environments. These locations typically include public swimming pools, communal showers, gyms, and locker rooms. To help prevent obtaining a fungal infection, it may be beneficial to wear appropriate footwear when you are in these locations. Some symptoms of this condition may include discoloration of the affected toenail, thickening of the toenail, and in more severe cases, the toenail may become brittle and begin to break off. In order to safely treat a toenail fungal infection, its suggested that you consult with a podiatrist for professional care and advice.
If left untreated, toenail fungus may spread to other toenails, skin, or even fingernails. If you suspect you have toenail fungus it is important to seek treatment right away. For more information about treatment, contact Dr. Manx D. Quayle of Aurora Foot and Ankle Surgical Specialists. Our doctor can provide the care you need to keep you pain-free and on your feet.
- Warped or oddly shaped nails
- Yellowish nails
- Buildup of bits and pieces of nail fragments under the nail
- Brittle, broken, thickened nail
If self-care strategies and over-the-counter medications does not help your fungus, your podiatrist may give you a prescription drug instead. Even if you find relief from your toenail fungus symptoms, you may experience a repeat infection in the future.
Toenail Fungus Can Spread All Over The Body
Toenail fungus can spread to other parts of the body if it comes into contact with those areas. For example, the fungus can spread to the groin, causing jock itch. This infection is most common in men, particularly older ones. Women can also contract jock itch if they have sex with an infected male partner. Common symptoms of jock itch are:
- Red or pink rashes in the groin
- Pain and odor
If not treated, jock itch can spread to the inner thighs, genitals and anal region.
Also, toenail fungus can affect other skin areas of the body, such as the scalp, feet and hands.
Toenail fungus can spread all over the body
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Learn How Nail Fungus Is Spread
Nail fungus is spread in warm moist environments, so for those people who wear shoes and socks where the foot and toes can sweat, a nail fungus infection has a higher chance of spreading to other areas of the body. So, if you do find that you have nail fungus, then it is a good idea to keep your fingers and toes dry, to reduce the chance of the infection spreading to adjoining appendages. Often people catch nail fungus from others via close contact, such as in public showers in gym locker rooms or at swimming pools. So, if you have nail fungus you should be careful to not share it with others. Special socks or flip-flops can help here. Its also possible to get nail fungus at nail salons if your pedicure is carried out with dirty tools.
Who Is Most Likely To Experience These Issues
Anyone with a weak immune system are more likely to experience the spreading of these terrible fungi. A fungal infection rarely spread below the surface of the skin to cause any serious illness.
But people with HIV/AIDS, may find it very difficult getting rid of the infection. Also leaving toenail fungus untreated can cause variety of health issue. The most common ones are:
Toenail Loss If the toenail fungus is left untreated, the cracking and chipping can become so severe that the only option leave is to remove the nail completely. Which can be a permanent problem.
Pain If toenail fungus should go untreated for too long, the nail can become hard and brittle and it may cause discomfort when wearing a shoes which will make it even harder to walk.
Spreading to Other Parts of The Body As we explained above, toenail fungus can be easily spread. So if nail fungus is left untreated it can eventually spread to other nails or to other areas of your body.
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Can Fungal Nail Infection Spread
Toenail fungus is far more common than you may think. In fact, medical experts estimate that onychomycosis affects 1 in 10 people overall. This number increases to 1 and 2 for those within an age demographic over 70. That said, a frequent question becomes Can a fungal nail infection spread? In this article, we dive into this question by covering the types of fungal nail infections, risk factors, and fungus prevention.
Types of fungal nail infections
There are four main types of fungal nail infections that patients suffer from. The different kinds include:
There are a variety of factors that can put you more at riskto develop afungal nail infection:
- Being of older age: This is a risk factor because there is reduced blood flow to the nail so growth is slowed and being older means you have been exposed to more fungi throughout the years.
- Excessive sweating from conditions like Hyperhidrosis
- Having contracted athletes foot before
- Walking barefoot in damp public areas like swimming pools, public showers, and gyms: this is because nail fungi prefer warm, moist dark environments. We recommend wearing flip-flops in these situations.
- Having a minor skin or nail condition like psoriasis
- Having diabetes, circulation problems, or a weakened immune system
Can Fungal Nail Infections Spread?
- The skin between your toes
- Groin area
Top 5 Signs Your Toenail Fungus May Have Escalated To An Infection
A little case of toenail fungus is practically a rite of passage you quickly learn not to go barefoot in a locker room or shared shower area again and to always pack clean socks. But what happens when your toenail problem goes beyond a suspect smell and yellowed appearance?
At Rocky Mountain Foot and Ankle Center, with locations in Wheat Ridge, Granby, Evergreen, and Arvada, Colorado, our team of podiatrists and foot and ankle surgeons provide care for fungal toenail infections and much more. They believe in educating patients about skin and nail care so you can help avoid common problems and keep your feet healthy and strong.
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The Danger Of Waiting To Treat The Fungus
The greatest danger of not treating the foot or toenail fungus is that it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and groin.
If for some reason you cant treat your toenails or your feet right away, at least use an antifungal topical cream on the surrounding skin, Dr. Ng says. That will help keep it from spreading and keep the skin intact.
Dont Wait To Get Treatment
If your fungal toenails arent severe, arent particularly bothering you, or arent visible , you might feel you can wait them out and delay treatment. However, we strongly recommend you do not do this.
To break it down for you:
- Fungal toenails do not get better on their own. They will only get worse.
- Home treatments are almost never successful.
- The more severe your condition, the lower your odds of treatment success.
- As we said above, an active infection is always a risk to spread to other parts of your body or the people close to you.
So your best course of action is always to seek our help as soon as you notice something wrong with your toenails. Well get you started on an appropriate treatment course so you can get your healthy nails back as soon as possible, with the highest odds of success.
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> > > Nail Fungus: You Eat This Everyday And Its Feeding The Infection
Treatments Can Toe Fungus Spread To Other Parts Of The Body
There are a number of treatments for onychomycosis. Unfortunately, many are not very effective. The most aggressive and effective way to treat the fungus is with oral anti-fungal medications. The most common oral anti-fungal medications are Itraconazole and Terbinafine . Both medications are expensive and insurance companies tend to consider onychomycosis a cosmetic problem. If you are diabetic, your insurance company may consider onychomycosis a medical problem, and will cover the treatment. If you are experiencing pain or have developed ingrown toenails as a result, then your insurance company may cover treatment. The medication needs to be taken once daily for 3 months. The effectiveness of the medications ranges from 60 to 80%, with a recurrence rate of about 10-15%. Complete cure rates have been reported as low as 28%. Lamisil® appears to be more effective and has fewer drug interactions than Sporonox®. Can Toe Fungus Spread To Other Parts Of The Body
How To Prevent Toenail Fungus From Spreading
Every day, we can be exposed to the microorganism that causes toenail fungus. It desires a warm, moist, and dark place. So the best thing to do to prevent getting it on your toenails in the first place is to make sure your feet are clean and dry.
The fungus doesnt just infect the nail. It infects the area between the nail and the nailbed. There is usually no gap there but it could happen when there is trauma.
Trauma from those sights could be due to a bad pedicure, shoes that dont fit well, using infected tools, or repetitive trauma due to your daily activities.
In case you already have toenail fungus, getting a treatment plan for it is the best way to stop it from spreading to other people or throughout your body.
Do remember that when treating toenail fungus, it doesnt mean that the fungus cannot spread anymore. While it is being treated you should take necessary precautions to help prevent it from spreading.
There are no FDA-approved over-the-counter and home remedies for toenail fungus. To get proper treatment, youll have to visit your doctor.
But there are some home remedies many have had success with including hydrogen peroxide, Vicks, and alcohol. But avoid bleach if youre tempted.
There are also homeopathic products like Emuaid and Kerasal that some have had success with. But these are hit or miss at best.
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What Is The Most Effective Treatment For Toenail Fungus
The most effective toenail fungus treatment for you will largely depend on your symptoms and situation. Your provider will consider several factors before recommending a treatment plan thats customized to you.
Overall, oral antifungal medications may offer the most treatment potential. Pairing oral drugs with topical antifungal medication may make treatment more effective.
What Else Causes Toenail Discoloration
Other microorganisms including bacteria can infect the nails. Chloronychia, or green-nail syndrome, is one notable example with these bacteria thriving in damp or wet conditions. Knowing the cause of your infection helps determine the best course of treatment. Again, its common for doctors to order lab testing. The dark discoloration can also be a secondary effect of fungal infection in which a misshapen toenail creates a space to harbor dirt and debris and spread the fungal infection to the entire toe.
Dark discoloration can also be a sign of physical trauma to the toe, either as a bruise or as dried blood thats trapped under the nail. Physical trauma that doesnt cause the blood vessels to break may result in white lines or streaks. Keep in mind, too, that the toes are an extremity that may not be as sensitive to pain as other parts of the body. Its possible, especially if you dont look at your toes on a regular basis, that toe discoloration is caused by physical trauma that the person has forgotten about or was unaware of.
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Medical Complications From Untreated Fungal Toenail Infection
Without proper treatment to stop your toenail fungal infection from getting worse, or spreading, complications will eventually develop. Fungal infections of your toenail can spread to the surrounding skin and when your skin becomes cracked, bacteria can enter and cause an abscess.
An abscess on the toe is a tender mass generally surrounded by a colored area from pink to deep red. They are often easy to feel by touching. Inside they are full of pus, bacteria and debris.
Untreated toenail fungal infections can lead to cellulitis and should be treated immediately with antibiotics. Untreated skin infections of the toe may lead to severe cellulitis and if the infection enters the bloodstream it can become septicemia, also known as bacteremia or blood poisoning. Once the infection enters the bloodstream the bacteria and their toxins are carried through the bloodstream to your entire body. If the bacteria levels become high enough, septicemia can quickly become life threatening.
A good reason to seek treatment if you suspect you have a toenail fungal infection is because of the similarity of symptoms for differing diagnosis of more serious toenail conditions. You may have a toenail fungus, but you could also be experiencing similar symptoms of a toenail viral infection , complications from toenail trauma, a pre-malignant lesion or, more seriously, melanoma of the nail bed.
How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus
Theres no way to guarantee that you wont get toenail fungus. But you can take several steps to help prevent it:
- Avoid going barefoot in communal areas such as hotel rooms / showers, public showers, locker rooms and swimming pools. Most people pick up fungus in these situations. It helps to wear flip flops in these public areas.
- If you have a family member with foot fungus or nail fungus, try to use different shower or wear flip flops in the shower to avoid coming in contact with it.
- Trauma due to accidental or aggressive clipping of the nails can turn into portals of entry for the fungus.
- Clean your nail trimmer before using it.
- Do not tear or rip your toenails on purpose.
- If you have diabetes, follow all foot care recommendations from your healthcare provider.
- Keep your feet dry. Make sure to fully dry your feet after a shower.
- Soak toenails in warm water before cutting them. Or you can cut your nails after a shower or bath.
- Trim toenails straight across .
- Wear shoes that fit correctly. They should not be too loose or tight around the toes.
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Fungal Toenails: What Not To Do
Take it from usfungal toenails are one of those annoying problems that are relatively easy to acquire, yet often very difficult to get rid of.
An ill-advised barefoot romp around the pool deck or even a pedicure gone wrong may be all the fungi need to gain access to the space underneath a toenail. Once there, the fungi set about their task of mining your nail for nutrientsand leaving it discolored, thickened, misshapen, and more.
And when you get to that point, the best case scenario involves you waiting months for a new, healthy nail to grow in and push the damaged portions out.
Want to avoid that depressing fate?
Fortunately, exercising a little caution and care can significantly reduce your risk. Heres what NOT to do if you want to prevent fungal toenails.
Is It Safe To Leave Toenail Fungus Untreated
Dr. Elewski of the University of Alabama says it is not a good idea to leave any toenail fungus untreated. This is the case for any population, and especially for high-risk populations.
When a toenail fungus goes untreated, it could lead to much bigger problems.
This is especially true for cases like people with diabetes.
A toenail fungus can create a crack in the skin that exposes the body to much bigger infections from bacteria or other causes. This kind of bacterial problem leads to amputations in diabetics, and a problem doctors see quite a lot.
Many people think they need to put on some fresh socks, and the problem will resolve itself on its own time. It could.
But it probably wont.
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Can Toenail Fungus Spread Internally Danger Of Ignoring Fungus
Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis is one of the most embarrassing feelings you can have. Nail fungus begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of your toenail.
Fungal infections are becoming very common these days, especially if you are frequently in public bathroom, locker room or public swimming pool. If you think you have contract nail fungus, then i strongly recommend that you start your treatment right away using Purely Northwest Toenail Fungus System to prevent it from spreading or becoming a lot more serious.