What may start as a simple problem, could turn into something more severe.
I hate for the title to sound so dramatic and like fear mongering, but it is true. Just as in any other part of your body, if you get an infection and you don’t do anything to remedy that infection, then it could lead to more serious problems for your whole body down the road. There are billions of people in the world and a large amount of them have or have had foot problems. Many times, they are simple problems that can be fixed after a visit to your health care provider. Other times, people ignore them and they manifest into a deadly infection.
Let’s start with something like and ingrown toenail. While it may seem harmless (and usually it is), there are times when people will notice how their toe is beginning to bother them more and more everyday. You also notice the discomfort when wearing shoes. Once it’s time to trim your toenails, you notice your toe is reddish, a bit inflamed, and tender to touch. There may also be pus that is noticeable. These are symptoms of an ingrown toenail. If you have all of these symptoms and you are limping as you walk, then it is past the time for you to get it checked out.
For some people, they will continue to get ingrown toenails no matter what they do. Doctors do prescribe medications to help with these sorts of issues, but eventually the entire nail may need to come off.
Another problem that people tend to ignore with their feet is toenail fungus. While also a nuisance, it still can lead to serious problems if not taken care of. You typically know you have toenail fungus if you have hard, brittle nails, possibly white or yellow streaks, nail flakes, or they could be darker than your other nails.
Just as we posted here, there are ways to avoid getting toenail fungus including wearing shoes in public places (showers, bathrooms..), keeping your feet clean and dry, wear proper shoes, and wearing socks that absorb sweat. Prevention is always key when it comes to not only foot health but overall health and well being.
These two issues are different, but they could have the same outcome if not taken care of.
In life, we deal with things as they come. This is no different. While these are rare instances, it doesn’t mean they are any less important. Ingrown toenails and toenail fungus can both cause harm to the entire body.
In the case of ingrown toenails, we know you can have pus in your toe which is essentially bacteria. That could lead to an infection in your foot or the bone. Cellulitis can also occur on the foot and leg. This happens when there is a break in the skin which allows bacteria to get in. Cellulitis can be dangerous because if the not treated, the infection can spread to other parts by entering the bloodstream of the body or lead to sepsis. For diabetics these are especially serious because it could lead to gangrene also.
When dealing with toenail fungus, the same could be said. That fungus may not be relegated to just your feet. It could potentially spread to other parts of your body. Washing your hands when you touch your foot if you have fungus is vitally important, especially with immunocompromised people. In some cases, your toenail may need to be removed. These are extensive circumstances, however.
With any condition of the body, it’s good to know yourself. Feet and toes are no different. Pay attention to what’s going on and look for any changes. Look at the appearance and notice if you have pain or redness anywhere. Your body will always give you a sign if something isn’t right. Don’t potentially lose your toe, foot, or life to something that more than likely was lifesaving.