Will a fungal nail infection spread to other nails?
A common question that we get asked is, when people have fungal nails, “If I leave it, what will happen? What’s the worst that can happen?”
If it’s left, the natural progression of fungal nail is for the fungus to just gradually get all the way through the nail, usually from the front all the way through to the back, and it may spread from side to side. And once it gets all the way through, in theory, it’s just going to destroy that nail.
The other side of that though, because it is a living organism, like Ben said, and it destroys the nail plate as it moves, is it stays within that nail plate. So unless you have been using the same clippers to cut that nail as your other nails and possibly transferring it, or you’re you having problems with athlete’s foot, it should just stay contained within that one nail plate. It won’t spread beyond that.
So fungal nail and why it can be difficult to get rid of?
The biggest problem for fungal nail is that the body can’t fight it. And the reason for that is that the area that it gets into, is actually dead tissue with no immune system that’s active within that area, which basically means it gets in and it’s able to do what it wants. So the reason that it can be very difficult to get rid of, is because every treatment available for it has to be able to kill off the fungus 100% without any help from the body whatsoever. It’s also because there is a whole series of other processes that people have to go through to make sure that you’re not getting a re-infection at any point.
Do you have to treat a fungal nail infection?
Can you just leave fungal nail without any detriment to your wider health? There are two answers to that question. The first one is if you leave the nail plate alone, it will gradually just get worse without treatment and the nail plate can be completely destroyed. The main reason that people come to us to get it treated is because they just don’t like the look of it and they don’t like the impact that it’s having on their lives, generally stopping them from swimming and doing other things.
The wider aspect of it regarding your wider health is for the average person there shouldn’t be a problem if you just leave it alone. In very rare cases, there are some people if they’re immunocompromised and that can cause further complications basically, but they are very rare cases.