Toenail fungus comes with a variety of different symptoms and issues. Most people experience a discoloration of the nails, along with hard, brittle nails that can be difficult to manage. But, can the symptoms to become more extreme? Can toenail fungus cause bleeding or nerve damage?
It’s first important to understand that two types of fungus can affect the toes: A fungus that affects the skin, and one that gets underneath the toenail. The skin fungus is most commonly known as athlete’s foot. These two types of fungus are typically grouped together. While they both affect the toes, they actually can cause different symptoms.
A fungus of any kind will get harder to deal with the longer you go without treatment. As a result, the symptoms and conditions can worsen over time because the fungus is quick to spread. So, should you be worried about bleeding or nerve damage, no matter where the fungus is around your toes?
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Can Toenail Fungus Cause Bleeding to Happen?
Athlete’s foot has a different set of symptoms from toenail fungus. When someone experiences athlete’s foot, they may notice things like:
- Burning or itching.
- Cracking or peeling skin.
- Slight bleeding.
So, yes, bleeding can occur in the case of athlete’s foot. Again, this is a type of toe fungus that affects the skin, not the nail. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- A bad smell from the infected area.
- Hardened nails.
- Brittle nails.
Typically, bleeding does NOT occur as a result of toenail fungus. Nail fungus can be triggered by an unexpected trauma to the nail. This is known medically as Subungual Hematoma. So, if you were to jam something into the nail bed, such as a file, etc., it could cause temporary bleeding. But, the infection itself will not be linked to any bleeding, no matter how bad it might get.
There are plenty of other unsightly symptoms you’re bound to notice if you let the fungus go, but bleeding shouldn’t be one of them. If you do experience bleeding of any kind underneath your toenail, you should see a doctor.
Can Toenail Fungus Cause Nerve Damage
Experiencing nerve damage due to a strong toenail fungus might seem more likely, right? Actually, no. There is no known link between a nail fungus and nerve damage. If you let the fungus go long enough, and it spreads, you may experience pain when putting on socks, shoes, etc. But, it won’t affect the nerve endings in your toes or feet.
Again, trauma to the toe itself has the potential to cause nerve damage. Sudden damage to the nail bed due to an outside source has the potential to cause problems. But, the fungus won’t cause nerve damage on its own.
If you’re experiencing any tingling sensation or numbness in your toes, it could be a sign of other existing health conditions. Anything from diabetes, to a vitamin B12 deficiency, could be the culprit. But, it’s not the fungus itself causing the nerve damage or numbness.
Preventing Toenail Fungus & Its Symptoms
There are plenty of treatment options for toenail fungus. From over-the-counter medications to antifungal powder, and even home remedies. But, the best thing you can do to save yourself from the worry of these symptoms, or the wonder of what might be causing them, is to try avoiding contracting the fungus altogether.
Granted, we aren’t always able to protect ourselves 100% of the time. But, there are precautionary measures you can take to keep yourself as safe as possible. Some of these precautionary suggestions include things like:
- Never sharing nail clippers with anyone
- Changing clean socks each day
- Keeping feet ‘aired out’ as much as possible
- Using antifungal spray in your shoes (if prone to fungus)
- Keeping your nails clipped and clean – the shorter your nails, the better
How to Avoid Trauma to the Nail Bed
While we’ve established that fungus can’t cause bleeding or nerve damage, exposure to traumatic events can cause both. Not only that, but trauma to the nail bed can trigger a fungus as well, depending on what caused the initial problem.
One of the most common occurrences for this type of situation is from getting your nails done at a salon. It’s far too easy for a pedicurist to accidentally ‘poke’ the nail bed with a file or tool. Even if the tools have been properly sanitized, it can be a big risk. Something like that can easily cause bleeding, potential nerve damage, or start up a toenail fungus. In that case, it would be easy to assume the fungus is what caused the other issues, but rest assured, they have no connection.
Something as simple as stubbing your toe, or wearing shoes that ‘pinch’ the toe can also cause these problems. Many of the preventative measures you can use to keep toenail fungus away can also be used to prevent the risk of bleeding or nerve issues.
Connection Between Bleeding, Nerve Damage, & Nail Fungus
The truth is that there is no real connection between these issues. The only thing they have in common is that they can be caused by similar occurrences. Keeping your feet healthy and protected at all times will help to prevent any of them from really affecting you. If you experience something like athlete’s foot, you may experience a bit of bleeding. But, that is likely mostly due to dry, cracking feet. A toenail fungus has different symptoms entirely.
Can toenail fungus cause bleeding or nerve damage? No, even though the causes for all three can be similar. If you experience bleeding or nerve damage in your feet/toes, it’s important to see a doctor. If you currently have toenail fungus, it’s equally important to get it treated as quickly as possible with Xenna Nonyx nail gel. But, these issues remain separate, with no connection between them.