According to Dr. Mikhail Burakovskiy, about 20 percent of us are walking around with toenail fungus and may not even know it. “It’s something we treat on a daily basis. It’s a very common problem,” he says. The human skin is host to an entire little ecosystem of living organisms. One of those is fungus, which can multiply out of control in certain conditions, such as when immune systems have been weakened, and also when feet bleed or sweat profusely.
A healthy toenail, Burakovskiy says, should be pink and transparent with no debris or discoloration. When fungus takes root, the nail slowly turns yellow and becomes misshapen, and crumbly at the edge. “The fungus destroys the nail and the skin around the nail. What can happen is it can cause other infections and people can lose part of a toe or a foot,” he said. “Also, it’s very contagious. If someone in the family has it, there’s a very good chance they could give it to kids, grandchildren, or a significant other.”
Source: Seattle Times [11/15/16]