A fungal nail infection is more than just an embarrassing cosmetic problem – it may also cause health problems. Over time, the fungal infection may spread and damage your entire nail. Having damaged fingernails can reduce the sensitivity in your fingertips, making it harder to pick up small objects, such as coins, or to use the computer. Damaged, thick toenails can cause pain while wearing shoes and especially while standing, walking, working, or playing sports.
Left untreated, fungal nail infections may:
- spread to other nails
- spread to and infect others (especially family members) via showers, tubs, even towels
In rare circumstances, fungal nail infection may:
- cause abscesses
- potentially lead to other fungal and bacterial infections
- play a role in worsening foot ulcers in people with diabetes
- cause pain while wearing shoes, and while walking or standing
- permanently deform the nail
Fungus Lives Deep in the Nail Bed and Nail Plate
The most common type of fungal nail infection invades the nail from under the tip of the nail, cuticle, or the top of the nail. It spreads to the lower layers of the nail, the nail bed, and growth center.
Stop Nail Fungus Before It Gets Worse
If you think you have a fungal nail infection, see your doctor as soon as possible. Nail fungus is one infection that may not go away on its own. Starting your treatment as soon as you can may help you avoid serious damage to your nail and other health problems.