Effects of Onychomycosis: Toenail Fungus Is Long-Lasting & Psychologically Damaging

Toenail fungus will not kill you, but it sure can cause a lot of embarrassment and disruption to your daily life. One study found that the average duration for toenail fungus was 9.5 years! Granted, the study was done back in 1998, so there have been a few improvements made since then. For one, there are newer treatments, like laser toenail fungus removal. Secondly, you can use tools like the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer to remove pathogens from your footwear to prevent nail fungus recurrence once you’ve been treated. Continue reading to find out what study respondents said about life with toenail fungus.

toenail fungus prevalence

Toenail fungus is as common as diabetes and depression.

 Study Confirms Damaging Effects of Toenail Fungus

In a study of 258 patients with confirmed cases of onychomycosis, day-to-day issues included:

– Nail trimming problems (76%)

– Embarrassment (74%)

– Pain (48%)

– Nail pressure (40%)

– Discomfort wearing shoes (38%).

Thirteen percent of study respondents said they were “limited in work” because of their toenail infections. All told, researchers found that the study participants collectively took more than 58 toenail fungus related sick days and made 468 medical visits during a six-month period. They concluded that toenail fungus has such significant social, psychological, and occupational effects that insurers should provide expanded coverage for the aggressive treatment of onychomycosis.

young woman doing yoga

Toenail fungus is especially embarrassing for young, educated females.

Who Suffers from Toenail Fungus the Most?

Only 30% of those surveyed had “slightly impaired” quality of life due to toenail fungus, with 14% having “near normal” quality of life scores.  Seventy percent of toenail fungus sufferers in the study said their nail disease caused “moderate to severe problems” for them. Compared to healthy control subjects, people with onychomycosis had poorer ratings for general health, pain, mental health, social functioning, physical appearance, and functional limitations.

The people with the greatest impairment of quality of life due to toenail fungus were:

– Those with fungal fingernails, as well

– Women

– People with higher education

– Younger people

Researchers found that toenail fungus sufferers had comparable quality of life scores to people with seborrheic dermatitis, non-melanoma skin cancers, and benign skin tumors. One-fifth of toenail fungus sufferers admitted they “avoided social activities” due to their condition.

What Would Toenail Fungus Sufferers Be Willing to Do for a Cure?

Desperate for a solution, more than 95% of toenail fungus sufferers said they would be willing to pay out-of-pocket for antifungal therapy that promised an 80% cure rate if their insurance wouldn’t cover the cost. Researchers were surprised to find that more than half of all patients (57%) said they would even pay for a toenail fungus treatment promising a 35% cure rate!

home remedies for toenail fungus

Unfortunately, home remedies for toenail fungus don’t usually work. Even the few success stories involve daily application for months on end.

Unfortunately, many of the existing treatments really do offer such dismal cure rates. Most toenail fungus sufferers you talk to will tell you they tried oral and topical medications, as well as home remedies. Laser toenail fungus removal offers the best chance of a cure, but the treatment is rather expensive and must be covered out-of-pocket. Furthermore, there is no guarantee of a “cure,” since it is so easy to re-infect the nails. All you need to do is stick your foot back into a shoe that is contaminated with fungal spores!

Adam Ullman, the founder of the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer, understands the embarrassment and frustration all too well. After years of suffering from recurring toenail fungus infections, he looked into ways to attack the root cause of re-infection. He found that by using ultraviolet light — the same kind use to sterilize hospital rooms and tools — one could effectively remove infectious pathogens from the shoes and prevent re-infection. If you’re serious about getting rid of fungus feet forever, then try a shoe sanitizer risk-free for 30 days.