Onychomycosis, more commonly known as toenail fungus, can be a cause of stress for many people. If you have it, you probably know what we mean. Not only is it an uncomfortable and often painful condition, but it can prevent people from feeling at ease in situations where they might need to slip off their shoes. This is often due to the physical appearance of the affected toenail, which can be yellow and flaky and sometimes even smell.
Do you suffer from onychomycosis or think you might have a fungal toenail infection? Here are five things that you might not have known:
5 Facts About Onychomycosis
1. The older you get, the greater your chances of developing a toenail fungus. This is due to the changes that the nails undergo as you age. For example, your nails are more likely to become brittle, leaving small cracks that allow germs to enter.
2. Diabetics have a higher risk of developing onychomycosis. In fact, about 33 percent of diabetics have it. Seeking treatment early on for diabetic patients is extremely important. Any infection, if left untreated, can potentially result in amputation.
3. Onychomycosis can be contagious. If you have a fungal toenail infection or if someone you live with has it, take proper precautions to avoid spreading it. Don’t share socks or shoes, and avoid walking around barefoot.
4. Traditional treatments for toenail fungus are only effective about half of the time. Although the infection can be hard to get rid of, it is not impossible. A podiatrist can help by recommending effective therapies, including laser toenail fungus treatment.
5. Onychomycosis is not the only condition that can cause changes in the nails. Skin cancers, for example, can cause discoloration in the nail beds. A podiatrist can help determine whether toenail fungus is the cause of your symptoms.
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