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Toenail Problems in Diabetes

Fungal Infections of the Nails

  • The toenails that are infected by fungus are thick, yellow, crumbly. and deformed with accumulation of debris under the nail plate.

Why Pay attention to Toenails ?

  • Toenails need adequate blood supply, oxygen, nutrients through blood circulation.
  • When there is poor circulation in diabetes, then they become dry, brittle, crumbly and discolored. They become more susceptible to fungal and bacterial infection.
  • Toenail problems in diabetics are significant because they are the frequent causes of infection and gangrene.

Often times in diabetics, poor circulation to the nail beds that causes the nails to become brittle and discolored which resembles fungal infection.

Why do fungal toenails become gangrene?

  • The thick fungal nail compresses the toe in a shoe. The continuing pressure from a deformed thick nail causes ulceration under the nail plate but if you have neuropathy, pain from the ulcer will go unnoticed for a long time. Eventually the toe becomes gangrene.
  •  the ulcer will go unnoticed for a long time. Eventually the toe becomes gangrene.
  • When infected with bacteria, there will be pus coming from under the nail.
  • So do not ignore the toenails when you notice they change in color and shape.

How About Ingrown Toenails in Diabetics?

  • Infected ingrown toenail is a problem. Painless infected toe in diabetics with altered sensation can easily go unnoticed for a while.
  • If ignored, within a few hours and days, the redness may move upward toward the ankle and leg. This is how a simple ingrown toenail can cost your leg.

Infected ingrown toenail and gangrene

  • If you have poor circulation, an infected ingrown toenail causes death of the skin around the nail and gradually become toe gangrene which requires an amputation of the toe.

Example of non-infected dry gangrene that started with an infected ingrown nail