Nail fungus is already a common condition, with 10% of the general population and 20-50% of seniors being afflicted with it. However, its occurrence actually doubles in patients with diabetes. In some instances the presence of nail fungus does not necessarily present as discernable symptoms to the naked eye, but when it co-occurs with diabetes the infection usually escalates to cause thick, yellowing and painful nails.
As you may already know, if you have diabetes you are at high risk of experiencing nerve damage in your feet, which is why you may not notice injuries, sores and blisters. In the same vein, you may also overlook damage to the nails, which exposes the nail bed underneath and if left ignored gives fungus an opportunity to infect your nail. Diabetes also causes poor circulation in the feet, which sometimes results in the necessity for amputation. Reduced circulation also promotes fungal growth since white blood cells and antibodies are not reaching the nail to fight the infection.
Even in healthy individuals, fungus can spread to other parts of the body. This is especially true in the case of diabetes, and if left untreated nail fungus can cause other health problems. This is because the body’s defense system is already compromised. Ultimately, if the infection escalates too far amputation may be necessary.
While nail fungus is more aggressive and difficult to treat with diabetes, it is not impossible. To begin with, you should be visiting a podiatrist once a year to ensure that your feet are in good health. If you do happen to catch a nail fungus infection, over-the-counter measures or oral medication are unlikely to do the job since they are only minimally effective. The most effective treatment would be laser treatment, which is the most effective method to get rid of nail fungus. You can contact us to schedule a free consultation with our doctor at one of our 120+ locations.