Nail fungal infections are mostly an aesthetic problem, but they can also lead to several health problems. In addition, these unsightly infections can be emotionally distressing. Following are some of the risks and complications associated with them. The list illustrates why early and effective treatment is so important.
- Pain. When a nail becomes deformed from an infection, it puts pressure on the skin of its nail bed. This can lead to painful sores and ingrown nails.
- A disruption of daily life. The pain—and often the embarrassment—that results from infected nails frequently causes people to restrict their daily activities.
- A lowering of self-image. In one survey, almost half of people with fungal nail infections said the condition had negatively affected their self-image.
- A spreading of the infection. Without treatment, your fungal nail infection is likely to spread to other nails—and to other people in your household.
- A bacterial infection. Fungal nail infections leave skin more susceptible to bacterial infections, which may then spread to other parts of your body.
- Cellulitis. People with fungal nail infections are at increased risk of developing cellulitis, an inflammatory skin condition.