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How can toenail fungus affect my general health?

Farzanna S. Haffizulla, MD
Internal Medicine

Toenail fungus falls into a category of nail diseases known as onychomycosis. Causative agents are typically fungi, yeast and mold. Onychomycosis is not only a cosmetic concern but certainly can lead to physical pain and can have complications that can affect general health adversely. In patients with a compromised immune system, infections that break down the nail plate can predispose patients to cellulitis. This condition occurs when the skin barrier becomes compromised and either bacteria or fungi infect the soft tissue. If untreated, cellulitis can become severe and may require intravenous antibiotics and/or antifungal agents. Patients with diabetes are prone to such infections and each follow up visit at their physician office should include inspection and examination of the nails to rule out infection.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.