Is toe nail fungus bad for your health?

Toenail fungus is certainly bad for your health, which is why it needs to be treated promptly. This kind of infection is extremely unlikely to have any life threatening consequences, but if it is not treated it can certainly reach a point where it affects your ability to function normally in your day to day life. Initially, the only symptom of a fungal infection of the toenails tends to be the physical appearance of the nail. The affected nail becomes yellowish and thickened, but apart from this nothing else seems to be wrong. Many people neglect the infection at this point of time, because it does not affect their functioning, and since it is the toenail that is affected, it does not become socially embarrassing like a fingernail infection. After some time, however, the infection reaches the point where the toenail starts to crumble. Sometimes, the entire nail may become loose and fall off. In some people, the fungus may cause an allergic reaction in which lesions appear on other parts of the body. After a while the infection will also start to affect the tissue around the nail, leading to a condition known as paronychia, which involves inflammation of the cuticle and possibly even accumulation of pus. This can be quite painful, and often makes it difficult to stand or walk normally. In addition, the infection is usually much more difficult to treat at this point than it would be in the initial stages. Unfortunately, some people do wait till this point before they visit a doctor and start treatment.

In the initial stages, it is sometimes possible to treat a fungal infection of the toenail with home remedies. Tea tree oil is an excellent antifungal treatment, and can be applied on the affected toenail twice or thrice a day. Vinegar is also effective in getting rid of fungal infections, and you can soak your feet in a solution of equal amounts of vinegar and water twice a day. Before using either treatment, remember to lightly file down the top of your nail, so that the oil or the solution can penetrate the nail and reach the nail bed. It is also important to keep your feet clean and dry at all times. Change your socks daily; avoid wearing shoes and socks soon after bathing, while your feet are still damp. If your nail shows no signs of improvement after a week or ten days, you should visit your doctor.

answered by G M

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