Ignoring toenail fungus, or onychomycosis, can lead to various health problems. Dr. Peter Joseph, a podiatrist, warns that neglecting infected toenails can result in foot discomfort due to nail thickening and misshaping, making walking uncomfortable, especially in shoes. Additionally, untreated toenail fungus can lead to athlete’s foot with red, itchy, and cracked skin as the fungus spreads to nearby areas.

A more serious concern is the potential for widespread infection, especially in individuals with compromised immune systems like those with diabetes. The fungus can penetrate the skin, leading to cellulitis, a potentially fatal bacterial skin condition. In severe cases, the infection may enter the bloodstream.

Onycholysis, where the toenail separates from the nail bed, can also occur. In some cases, removing the damaged nail area may be necessary, or more extensive procedures like avulsion or matrix ectomy might be required if standard treatments fail. Ignoring toenail fungus can have serious consequences, so early intervention is essential.


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