Toenail fungus is a troublesome condition that can cause unsightly thick toenails, discolored toenails, and other potentially embarrassing conditions. Many people with toenail fungus are tempted to hide their feet, skipping sandals in the summer and open-toed shoes. You may have heard that toenail fungus, if left untreated, can resolve itself, but untreated toenail fungus can be dangerous.
Why Is Untreated Toenail Fungus Dangerous?
One of the most dangerous effects of leaving toenail fungus untreated is its tendency to spread. Left unchecked, it will almost definitely spread to other toes, to other parts of your body, or to other people. This condition affects many people so there is really no reason to be embarrassed. Ignoring toenail fungus does a disservice to you and those around you who may contract the fungal infection.
What Could Happen If I Leave Toenail Fungus Untreated?
At first, your toenail fungus may seem minor and easy to dismiss. However, without treatment, it will continue to progress and complicate other conditions. Here are some common side effects of untreated toenail fungus.
- Loss of nails – toenails that suffer from a fungal infection often become thick, weak, and brittle, causing them to be more susceptible to chipping and breaking. It is not uncommon for an individual with toenail fungus to lose the entire nail. In some cases, the nail loss can be permanent.
- Pain – toenails that are misshapen and thick because of fungal infection can be very painful. They may also cause discomfort to the rest of the foot, especially if you wear shoes that are tight in the toe area. When thick, hardened toenails are pushed up against the end of your shoe, they can cause the rest of the foot to go out of alignment, causing pain and possibly making it difficult to walk at all.
- Fungal spread – the infection that causes toenail fungus is also responsible for jock itch and athlete’s foot. If you do not treat your toenail fungus right away, it can easily spread to the rest of your body, causing itchy, red, and cracked skin.
- Transference to others – If you are not careful, even with treatment your toenail fungus could spread to other individuals. The same steps that should be taken to avoid contracting toenail fungus in the first place can also prevent it from spreading. Avoid public areas where moisture is common, like gyms, showers, pools, and locker rooms. If you live with other people, you may also need to be careful to clean up any area where you wear bare feet or shower to avoid spreading the infection.
Finding A Toenail Fungus Doctor in New York City (NYC)
If you have a newly-discovered toenail fungus or have been simply wishing a toenail fungus away, your best option is to visit a podiatrist as soon as possible. If you are in the New York City (NYC) area, you can visit Best Foot Doctor offices in Queens, Manhattan, or Brooklyn. Our experienced staff will take the time to examine your infection and provide you with a reliable treatment plan and next steps. You can give our offices a call today to schedule an appointment.