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Can Toenail Fungus Spread To Other Areas of the Body?

Toenail fungus can spread to other areas of the body, find out more about what nail fungus is and how it can be managed.

Dr. Kline & Green Team
19 November 2019
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One of the questions that is often asked is whether toenail fungus (known as Onychomycosis or tinea unguium) can spread to other parts of the body. The short answer to this question is that toenail fungus can often spread if it is not treated. This is one of the main reasons for treating toenail fungus as soon as you notice that you have it. Generally, it is possible for a fungal nail infection to spread to other nails, and it can also spread to the skin and cause dermatological issues, skin infections, athlete’s foot or even ringworm (jock itch).

More importantly, it is also possible for toenail fungus to spread to the blood too, but it is not very common for toenail fungus to migrate to become a fungal blood infection in this way except in severe cases. Generally speaking, this is a risk factor for individuals with a compromised immune system or existing health conditions. Since this risk can be a serious concern, these people should treat all forms of fungal nail infection immediately and skip the home remedies such as tea tree oil.

Can toenail fungus spread to the bone? 

It is possible to get fungal infections that do spread to the bone, which is a very serious condition. Ultimately, when it comes to toenail fungus, since it can be spread to other parts of the body, and can spread internally, it is worth dealing with it as soon as you notice it. Ultimately many people think that toenail fungus might go away on its own in time, but this is not the case. Toenail fungus will typically need to be treated with antifungal medication. Some of these topical treatments are available over-the-counter and can come as antifungal creams or as a nail polish. Learn about our Clear + Restore product that can rejuvenate and improve the appearance of your toenails.

Learn How Nail Fungus is Spread

Nail fungus is spread in warm moist environments, so for those people who wear shoes and socks where the foot and toes can sweat, a nail fungus infection has a higher chance of spreading to other areas of the body. So, if you do find that you have nail fungus, then it is a good idea to keep your fingers and toes dry, to reduce the chance of the infection spreading to adjoining appendages. Often people catch nail fungus from others via close contact, such as in public showers in gym locker rooms or at swimming pools. So, if you have nail fungus you should be careful to not share it with others. Special socks or flip-flops can help here. It’s also possible to get nail fungus at nail salons if your pedicure is carried out with dirty tools.

Ways to Identify Nail Fungus

You can identify nail fungus relatively easily since the fungus causes discoloration to occur. If you find that the edges of your nails have become yellow, then this may be a sign of nail fungus. Over time the nail can thicken, become brittle and even split away from the nail bed which can be a painful side effect. With this kind of nail injury, areas around the cuticle can also become painful. Learn more about how to diagnose nail fungus.

These are all good reasons to ensure that nail fungus and toenail infections are treated swiftly before they develop and become worse over time. Our Clear + Restore product can help restore the appearance of your nails.

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