The Dangers Of Ignoring A Toenail Infection : Even the stub of a toe could push a toenail into the toe, breaking the skin and causing an infection. You wouldn’t think it, but it can. Unfortunately, it’s common. Even if you were to trim your nails diagonally, the nail can grow at an angle and penetrate the side of the toe, causing discomfort and pain.
Usually, the problem can be rectified quite easily, especially if you were to visit a podiatrist right away, but it can still be sore and an inconvenience. A podiatrist will be able to take a look at a toenail and identify the cause of the problem, such as an ingrown nail or fungal infection. The podiatrist could also recommend the best course of treatment, whether that be a nail lacquer or the best toenail fungus laser treatment.
Ignoring an infection can result in some serious health implications. Even the smallest of infections can develop into a concerning condition. Although you may think that a yellowing nail or small inflamed area isn’t so bad, it is. Plus, when treatment like lacquer or even laser treatments are so widely available, there’s no excuse really to not seek treatment. If you were to leave an infection develop, you’re likely causing more damage them good. Here are some of the side effects of ignoring an infected nail.
Foot pain and discomfort
Firstly, the nail itself will be uncomfortable if infected. It may be tender to touch and if you were to knock it, it can be painful. When left unattended, the nail can become misshapen, thick and begin to curl. This can be very uncomfortable as the skin around the nail may also have to adapt to the new nail shape. When walking, the pressure put underneath the toe may push the toe up against the nail which can also be very uncomfortable. Secondly, this pressure can also hurt when putting any type of footwear on. Narrow footwear will likely hurt considerably more too as the toes will be pushed together more and there’s more chance of friction between toes happening. Shoes can also create warm and moist conditions, a place where fungus can prosper, so wearing shoes for a long time isn’t ideal.
Spreading of fungus
Most toenail infections develop because of the fungus that can grow under, around or on top of the nail. Contracting a fungal nail is very easy, all it takes is a cracked or overgrown nail and bacteria can get trapped and begin to grow. Nails should really be a pinkish colour or transparent, anything with a yellow tone indicates that fungus is present. This fungus can be treated with lasers or lacquer and should go back to normal within a few weeks. If left untreated, that fungus can travel. It can begin to effect other toenails and even the skin on the foot, resulting in what’s know as athlete’s foot. This is when the skin becomes irritated and red and it’s often quite itchy. The skin can also start to peel and become sore, ultimately resulting in an open wound.
Spreading of infection
When a toenail gets infected, essentially unhealthy bacteria and found its way into a warm spot where it can grow. The body is not used to these bacteria and begins to attack it, trying to get rid of it. However, the body is not always successful and that how the bacteria can continue living. If treated immediately, there is less of an infection for the body to fight, meaning that there’s a better chance of ridding the infection. If ignored, the infection can spread. With a toenail, the infection will gradually make its way to the nailbed, then to the surrounding areas of the toe and upwards. One of the only ways to remove this progressive infection is to remove the toenail altogether, which will be the source of the infection. Hopefully, with the removal of a toenail, the infection will die, however if left for a considerable amount of time, the toe flesh may also become rotten and may also need to be removed. However, this only happens in very few extreme cases. The removal of a toenail is far more common.
To ensure you don’t have to suffer at all with your toes and feet, practice good hygiene and head to a doctor as soon as you notice anything out of the ordinary.
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