There are many reasons why people with diabetes must take fungal nail infection seriously and check their feet every day – foot fungus (onychomycosis) is one of them. Uncontrolled diabetes can damage the body’s nerves. Injured nerves in the legs and feet mean that you might not feel pain, heat or wound development – leaving you more susceptible to fungal nail infection.

High blood sugar levels can also increase the growth of fungi in the skin and nails.

As with most things, early detection is key. The signs of a fungal nail infection include:

  • Yellow or brown discoloured nails
  • Brittle or crumbling
  • Extremely thickened nails

Fungal nail infections should be taken more seriously in people with diabetes due to the risk of more severe complications, such as foot ulcers, skin infections and gangrene. Luckily, there are steps you can take to avoid fungal nail infection.

Prevent Fungal Nail

Having your feet checked regularly by a podiatrist can identify early warning signs and help ward off serious foot-related complications.

According to Diabetes Australia, your check-up should look at blood flow to the feet, feeling and reflexes, unusual foot shapes, toenails and signs of calluses, corns, cracks, infection or severe dryness.

Calluses and corns can be expected in people with diabetes due to too much pressure on the feet. Your podiatrist can assist in removing calluses and corns promptly—before they turn into ulcers or become infected.

To further protect your feet from a fungal nail infection:

  • Wash, dry and check your feet daily
  • Have your feet checked at least once a year by a podiatrist or credentialed diabetes
  • Wear thongs in communal shower areas
  • Keep toenails short. Cut them straight across
  • Moisturise feet daily
  • Refrain from wearing tights and stockings
  • Wear well-fitting shoes
  • Don’t go barefoot

Want to know more? Check out or contact A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care.



Fungal Nail Calculator

You may also like to try our Fungal Nail Calculator. This is the first Fungal Nail calculator in the world and will help guide you to potential treatment protocols.

Use this guide to help guide you to understand better the level of infection that you may have present and give helpful suggestions as to what the best therapies maybe.

Head to


Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Dr Brenden Brown, Podiatrist & Shendi Brown

Founder of A Step Ahead Foot + Ankle Care in Sydney, and former president of the Australasian Podiatry Council, Dr Brenden Brown (A.K.A Dr Foot) is a wealth of knowledge on how to take care of your feet, including how to find the best shoes.

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Choosing your Sydney foot doctor is an important decision and can mean the difference between getting mediocre results and living pain-free. Learn about the top 10 things you should know when choosing your podiatrist in St Marys or Penrith.

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