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HomeNailIs Toenail Fungus A Sign Of Diabetes

Is Toenail Fungus A Sign Of Diabetes

What Tests Might Be Done

Why Do Diabetics Get More Fingernail and Toenail Fungus?

Your doctor may be able to tell that you have a fungal nail infection just by looking at your toes or your fingers. But they may do some tests to be sure.

They may decide to take a sample of your nails. The clippings can be tested to see if fungus is in them.

If you do have nail fungus, you and your doctor will decide what treatment is best for you.

How Do You Treat Diabetic Toenails

Take Care of Your Toenails. Cut toenails after bathing, when they are soft. Trim them straight across, then smooth with a nail file. Be Careful When Exercising. Walk and work out in comfortable shoes. Dont exercise when you have open sores on your feet. Protect Your Feet With Shoes and Socks. Never go barefoot.

Extremely Dry Itchy Skin

Dry, itchy skin

If you have diabetes, youre more likely to have dry skin. High blood sugar can cause this. If you have a skin infection or poor circulation, these could also contribute to dry, itchy skin.

Take action
  • Tell your doctor about your extremely dry skin. Gaining better control of diabetes can reduce dryness.
  • If you continue to have dry skin after you gain better control of your diabetes, a dermatologist can help.

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Causes Of Yellow Nails

If your nails have turned yellow and you havent painted them that color or injured them, most often its because youve picked up an infection. Usually the culprit is a fungus.

In rare cases, the color change can stem from a condition called yellow nail syndrome. People with this disorder also have lymphedema, or swelling in their body. Yellow nail syndrome also causes fluid in the lungs.

Other possible reasons why your nails can turn yellow include:

A Pharmacist Can Help With Fungal Nail Infections

The Truth About Toenail Fungus Remedies  Worry Free Pedi

Speak to a pharmacist if the look of your nail bothers you or it’s painful.

They may suggest:

  • antifungal nail cream it can take up to 12 months to cure the infection and does not always work
  • nail-softening cream it’s used for 2 weeks to soften the nail so the infected part can be scraped off

The infection is cured when you see healthy nail growing back at the base.

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Nail Fungus In Diabetics

Diabetes, like any other chronic disease, comes with a myriad of complications. High blood sugar levels, when unmanaged, can lead to diabetic neuropathy and peripheral vascular disease. Diabetic neuropathy causes nerve damage, making a person lose the ability to sense pain or temperature. Peripheral vascular disease refers to compromised blood flow in the arms and legs, causing a weakened immune system. These two complications jointly contribute to problems in a diabetic patients extremities. A person with diabetes and experiencing both diabetic neuropathy and/or peripheral vascular disease may be unaware of sores or cuts in their feet, which in turn can lead to different kinds of infections.

At present, at least 50% of the nail abnormalities are considered to be a nail fungal infection. Onychomycosis, as it is medically-called, is a fungal infection that develops in the cracks of your nails or the skin around your nail. Fungus, which is predominantly found in any high moisture environment, thrives in wet and damp places, like in your socks and shoes. Overtime, these fungi start to infect the nail, causing it to look yellowish, dull-looking, and rough in the surface.

When To Contact A Doctor

Toenail fungus is typically not a significant problem for most people. However, if there are no improvements or complications occur as a result of home remedies, people should speak with a doctor and stop using the home remedy as soon as possible. It is also advisable to contact a podiatrist if a person notices any discoloration, thickening, or abnormality of the toenails.

Furthermore, people at higher risk for complications should seek medical treatment for their toenail fungus and avoid home remedies altogether. This includes those with diabetes or with weakened immune systems.

Read Also: How To Stop Toenail Fungus From Growing

Yellowish Scaly Patches On And Around Your Eyelids

These develop when you have high fat levels in your blood. It can also be a sign that your diabetes is poorly controlled.The medical name for this condition is xanthelasma.

Take action
  • Tell your doctor about the yellowish scaly patches around your eyes.
  • Talk with your doctor about how to better control your diabetes. Controlling diabetes can clear the scaly patches.

How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus

Getting Rid of Stubborn Fungal Toenails of a Long-Term Diabetic (Trimming, Shaping, & Treatment Plan)

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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Causes Of Toenail Fungus

Its a sneaky, nasty fungus, and all sorts of theories are out there on what causes it. Just like any other fungus, it needs a place to live and breed. You just catch it. As simple as that, you get exposed to it, you catch it, and then it owns you for quite a while.

Hot, humid, enclosed places are where most fungi thrive, with the toenail fungus being the same. Most importantly, its out there and your best option is to avoid it. It has been known to spread via non-sterile tools that are used in salons where pedicures and manicures are given, innocently being spread from one client to another. As well, lifting the corners of the nails and trimming too closely increases your risk of catching the tormenting, spreading devil of toenail fungus. It has been known to love the locker room at the gym. It has been known to live in the damp soil in your flowerbeds.

Try to avoid it, especially if you have any form of diabetes. It makes your nails unattractive, but it can also turn into a very serious health issue for anyone with a compromised immune system. If you have toenail fungus and diabetes, make sure to treat it immediately.

Diabetes: 12 Warning Signs That Appear On Your Skin

Diabetes can affect many parts of your body, including your skin. When diabetes affects the skin, its often a sign that your blood sugar levels are too high. This could mean that:

  • You have undiagnosed diabetes, or pre-diabetes

  • Your treatment for diabetes needs to be adjusted

If you notice any of the following warning signs on your skin, its time to talk with your doctor.

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Tip #: Care For Your Feet Properly

Follow these foot care tips to properly care for your feet:

  • Wash your feet daily with non-irritating soap and warm water.
  • Avoid soaking your feet.
  • Dry your feet completely after bathing, paying special attention to the areas between the toes.
  • Avoid applying lotion to the areas between the toes.
  • Ask your doctor which lotion is best for your skin type and health condition.

Reasons To Contact Your Podiatrist Include:

Toenail Fungus &  Diabetes, Is Toenail Fungus a Sign of ...
  • Introductory appointment if you havent seen your podiatrist, make an appointment now and have them diagnose your feet for any unknown issues
  • Regular visits checkups can keep your feet in the best condition
  • Continued pain in your feet pain is abnormal and an indicator there is a problem
  • Blisters on your feet shows an infection or irregular wear may be associated with your footwear or part of a developing problem
  • Cracking or peeling of the skin on your feet can be the sign of a fungus or athletes foot
  • Changes in the toenails can be a sign of a fungal infection which can spread or develop into more serious complications
  • Diabetes a very serious condition your podiatrist needs to know about
  • When home or over the counter treatments do not work an obvious sign that more serious medical attention is needed

In any case, seeing your podiatrist is just good common sense. As we get older, we seem to get to know more and more doctors. Why not add your podiatrist to the mix and cover all the bases?

Need some more help and encouragement in caring for your feet or even choosing the right shoes? Schedule an appointment with Clark Podiatry Center to see our board-certified podiatrist, Dr. Brandon A. Macy. He can assess your feet to ensure that there are no issues, making sure that you not only choose the right shoes but also keep your feet healthy. See us at our Clark, New Jersey office today!

Recommended Reading: How To Clear Up Fingernail Fungus

Diabetes And Yeast Infections

Yeast naturally lives in the human body. Problems arise when the yeast overgrows, causing a fungal infection. A person with diabetes has a higher risk of developing a fungal infection, and diabetes can make treating this infection more difficult.

It is important for people with diabetes to recognize symptoms of a fungal infection and to receive prompt treatment to avoid potentially serious complications.

Yeast is present in the skin and near mucous membranes. It helps keep neighboring bacteria in check. However, if too much yeast collects, candidiasis more commonly known as a yeast infection can develop. It can cause discomfort, including pain and itchiness.

Yeast is most likely to grow excessively in areas that are warm and moist, including the mouth, the genital area, the feet, and in skin folds.

Bacteria, viruses, and fungi, including yeast, can cause infections if a persons immune system cannot control the levels in the body.

As a 2018 study which included data from over 300,000 people showed, a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes has a higher risk of infection, including yeast infection, than a person without the condition.

In people with diabetes, symptoms can grow worse more quickly than in other people. Also, infections can be harder to treat. If an infection does not heal, it can lead to complications.

Does Diabetes Affect Your Toes

Hillson highlights how yeasts or fungi nail infections, which are caused by diabetes and vascular disease, often occur in toenails as well. A nail fungus called onychomycosis can discolor toenails to the point where they appear either white, yellow, or slightly green.

Your whole nail could also become thick and brittle, making it sharp and easy to break off. She notes that onychomycosis is a huge predictor for a diabetic foot ulcer, an open wound or sore that requires lengthy treatment .

Another sign to look out for in toenails is if the half-moon shaped part of your nail called the lunulae appears red. Hillson says this exact cause of this nail condition is unclear. But, it usually occurs in people with diabetes as well as heart disease and thyroid issues.

If you notice any of these changes in your nails, speak to your doctor to get more insight into whats causing this. Hillson also reminds us that regularly caring for your nails and clipping them is a great way to see any early signs of diabetes. Paying attention to the signs that our body gives us can be a lifesaver!

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Diagnosis And Treatment Of Subungual Melanoma

Diagnosing and treating subungual melanoma is much more involved.

Once your doctor performs the initial assessment and determines you might have subungual melanoma, theyll commonly suggest a nail biopsy.

A nail biopsy is the primary diagnostic tool available for making a definitive diagnosis. A dermatologist or nail specialist will remove some or all of the nail for examination.

If theres a diagnosis of cancer, depending on the severity and how early it was found, treatment can include:

  • surgery to remove the affected nail
  • amputation of the knuckles of the finger or toe
  • amputation of the entire finger or toe

Nail Fungus Can Cause Other Forms Of Body Infections

Diabetic Dilemma: Trimming Fungal Toenails, Discussing Diabetic Neuropathy

Other body infections are a huge risk when a nail fungal infection is ignored. As mentioned, nail fungal infections may contaminate the surrounding skin. When the skin becomes cracked and open, bacteria can easily enter and create a widespread infection all over your body.

A simple fungal nail infection can lead to cellulitis. This condition produces swollen, red, tender skin and demands immediate treatment with antibiotics. Severe cellulitis can also enter the bloodstream and become life-threatening.

Read Also: How Long To Treat Nail Fungus

Tip #: Care For Your Toenails

Use the following toenail care tips to help prevent ingrown toenails.

  • Once a week, examine your toenails.
  • Trim toenails straight across using a nail clipper.
  • Avoid rounding or trimming down the sides of toenails.
  • Smooth rough nail edges with an emery board after clipping.

Consult your doctor for the proper way to care for your toenails.

What Is Diabetic Neuropathy

Chronically high sugar levels associated with uncontrolled diabetes can cause nerve damage that interferes with the ability to sense pain and temperature. This so-called “sensory diabetic neuropathy” increases the risk a person with diabetes will not notice problems with his or her feet. Nearly 10% of people with diabetes develop foot ulcers due to peripheral vascular disease and nerve damage. People with diabetes may not notice sores or cuts on the feet, which in turn can lead to an infection. Nerve damage can also affect the function of foot muscles, leading to improper alignment and injury.

Recommended Reading: How Do You Know If You Have Foot Fungus

Warning Signs Of An Infected Toenail

Ingrown toenails are a common problem but that doesnt mean you should ignore them. Take heed of the warning signs to avoid developing an infected toenail.

Does every step leave your foot aching in pain? You may want to get that checked out.

20% of people who see a doctor about foot problems have an ingrown toenail.

Instead of letting the problem get worse, know the warning signs. In this guide, well review the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for an infected toenail. If you ignore these signs, however, the infection could spread.

Take action if you notice these warning signs of an infected toenail.

When Should You Call A Doctor If You Have Diabetes And Foot Problems

The Feet Never Lie: Signs and Symptoms of Uncontrolled ...

Write down the patient’s symptoms and be prepared to talk about them on the phone with a doctor. Following is a list of common reasons to call a doctor if a person with diabetes has a diabetic foot or leg problem. For most of these problems, a doctor visit within about 72 hours is appropriate.

If time and the patient’s condition permits, write down the patient’s symptoms, a list of medications, allergies to medicines, and the doctor’s name and phone number prior to coming to the hospital’s emergency department. This information will greatly assist the emergency physician in the evaluation and treatment of the patient’s problem.

Following are some common reasons to seek immediate medical attention for diabetic foot and leg problems.

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Toenail Fungus Can Be A Serious Problem For Patients With Diabetes

Neuropathy and poor circulation create a fragile environment in your feet, and any small problem must be attended to immediately. One example is toenail fungus, especially if it has entered the nail bed and is harder to remove. This fungus loves warm, moist environments like the inside of your shoes. Because it is contagious, you can easily pick it up in public areas like spas, gyms, locker rooms, showers and pools.

A fungal infection turns the toenails brittle and sharp, and they can pierce the skin and tissue around the nail, letting dangerous bacteria into your system.

Dont worry we can treat fungal nail to get rid of the fungus and heal your skin. Used together, oral and topical medications can eradicate this fungal infection. If your case is advanced, we can surgically remove the infected nail to eliminate the problem.

Take Precautions To Prevent Fungal Nail

  • Check your feet every day and tell us of any problems such as cuts, bruises or changes in the skin.
  • Wash your feet daily in soapy water and thoroughly. To avoid cracked skin, smooth on a rich foot cream or lotion but not between the toes.
  • Keep your feet dry with dry socks and shoes.
  • Never go barefoot, especially in public areas. Wear flip flops in spas, gyms and poolside.
  • Dont round the corners when you trim your toenails as that can cause an ingrown toenail.

Please come visit us if you have calluses or corns that need attention, or if you are unable to cut your own toenails. Wed be happy to do it for you.

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