A severe case of nail fungus can be painful and may cause permanent damage to your nails. And it may lead to other serious infections that spread beyond your feet if you have a suppressed immune system due to medication, diabetes or other conditions.
If you have diabetes, you may have reduced blood circulation and nerve supply in your feet. You're also at greater risk of a bacterial skin infection (cellulitis). So any relatively minor injury to your feet — including a nail fungal infection — can lead to a more serious complication. See your doctor if you have diabetes and think you're developing nail fungus.
Jul. 26, 2014
- Onychomycosis. The Merck Manual for Health Care Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec10/ch125/ch125c.html?qt=nail%20fungus&alt=sh. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Goldstein AO, et al. Onychomycosis. http://www.uptodate.com/home. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Toenail fungus. American Podiatric Medical Association. http://www.apma.org/Learn/FootHealth.cfm?ItemNumber=1523. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Baran R. The nail in the elderly. Clinics in Dermatology. 2011;29:54.
- Varade RS, et al. Cutaneous fungal infections in the elderly. Clinics in Geriatric Medicine. 2013;29:461.
- Ferri FF. Ferri's Clinical Advisor 2014: 5 Books in 1. Philadelphia, Pa: Mosby Elsevier; 2014. https://www.clinicalkey.com. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Gunduz T, et al. Epidemiological profile of onychomycosis in the elderly living in the nursing homes. European Geriatric Medicine. In press. Accessed March 27, 2014.
- Gupta AK, et al. Improved efficacy in onychomycosis therapy. Clinics in Dermatology. 2013;31:555.
- Westerberg DP, et al. Onychomycosis: Current trends in diagnosis and treatment. American Family Physician. 2013;88:762.
- AskMayoExpert. Fungal nail infection (onychomycosis). Rochester, Minn: Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research; 2013.
- de Berker D. Fungal nail disease. New England Journal of Medicine. 2009;360:2108.
- Lim EH, et al. Toenail onychomycosis treated with a fractional carbon-dioxide laser and topical antifungal cream. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology. In press. Accessed March 31, 2014.
You Are ... The Campaign for Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is a not-for-profit organization. Make a difference today.