SYMPTOMS OF TOENAIL FUNGUS
By Bethesda, MD & Springfield, VA Podiatrist, Dr. Paul Ross
Though we’ve touched briefly on what the symptoms of toenail fungus are, it’s time to take a closer look at what toenail fungus looks like and how you can tell you have it.
Not all fungal nail infections are created equal, so if you have a mild one, the symptoms will be mild. This could grow into a moderate or severe fungal infection, though, so be aware that not doing anything could make things worse.
A mild toenail fungal infection can have the following symptoms:
For a mild toenail fungus, home remedies may work well. Tea tree oil is one recommended treatment, with topical application directly to the affected nail and the surrounding skin. However, if this doesn’t make the infection better, it may be time to consult with a podiatrist.
If you have a more severe type of fungal nail infection, you may have bypassed the mild stage all together. In this case, it’s hit or miss with home remedies, so consulting a doctor is your best option for successful treatment.
In the case of moderate toenail fungus, there’s a good chance that it can become severe, which is why treatment is recommended at this stage, before it gets really bad. Once the toenail fungus becomes severe, non-invasive or non-surgical treatments are less likely to be effective.
If you have a severe toenail fungus, it can be especially detrimental to your health if you have conditions that compromise your immune system. In cases like these, it is imperative that you see a podiatrist, as the risks of not treating are much greater.
Some symptoms of a severe fungal infection include:
If left untreated, the fungal infection can spread to the entire nail and cause the nail to fall off on its own or the need to have it surgically removed for treatment.
Those who have nerve damage, poor circulation, or a compromised immune system are at the greatest risk, especially diabetics. Toenail fungus is one of the causes for foot amputation in diabetics, so if you have diabetes and develop a toenail fungal infection, it is imperative to see a specialist and begin treatment right away.
Other consequences of leaving toenail fungus untreated include:
Though extreme cases aren’t necessarily common, it’s better to be on the safe side of things and have a Bethesda, MD Podiatrist or Springfield, VA Podiatrist look at your feet. Dealing with toenail removal surgery or foot amputation isn’t a good alternative to treating early, or at least as soon as you’re aware of the situation. Sepsis is a consequence that could very well become fatal.
If you have a toenail fungal infection and would like to know what your treatment options are, please call us. Though it seems like a benign problem at first, it can quickly become more serious, and we’re here to help! Same day appointments are available, so call us today at 301-656-6055.
Our Bethesda, Maryland (MD) and Springfield, Virginia (VA) Podiatry offices offer the most effective and state-of-the-art, quality podiatry care services with a smile to patients in our local community, including: Woodbridge VA, Fairfax VA, Annandale VA, Arlington VA, Alexandria VA, Burke VA, Gaithersburg MD, Potomac MD, Silver Spring MD, Rockville MD and Chevy Chase MD.
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