It may seem odd to have to visit a podiatrist in Austin, TX for a case of toenail fungus. After all, in summer, many people often get toenail fungus. In fact, though, toenail fungus can become a dangerous condition if left untreated.
What is Toenail Fungus?
The official name for toenail fungus is onychomycosis. It is a fungal infection that can become widespread, affecting the toenails and surrounding tissue. It occurs when fungi begins growing between the nailbed tissue and the nail, typically taking hold through a small cut or fissure in the toe. Toenail fungus is quite common, especially in summer, when feet are less likely to be protected. It’s also more common in older folks who may pay less attention to the health of their feet.
Is Toenail Fungus Dangerous?
Toenail fungus needs to be treated. It rarely just goes away on its own. Left untreated, it can become more troublesome and even dangerous in certain circumstances. Here are some possible results of untreated toenail fungus:
Pain and Discomfort
Toenail fungus often leaves toenails discolored and misshapen. It can cause the nail to thicken or even separate from the nail bed. This can make the wearing of shoes difficult or even painful. The nail may even fall off altogether.
When toenail fungus is allowed to spread, untreated, it often develops into a full-blown case of athlete’s feet. This is a painful condition that results in blistering, red and flaky skin. It leaves the skin on the feet very vulnerable to further infection.
In persons with underlying conditions such as diabetes, toenail fungus can result in a widespread infection that threatens overall health. This may end up causing cellulite, which needs antibiotic treatment. The infection could even enter the bloodstream, where it can become life-threatening.
If you suspect that you may need treatment for toenail fungus in Austin, TX, see your podiatrist immediately. Don’t try to rely on over-the-counter medication that may mask symptoms but not get rid of the fungus. Contact us for help.