Can toenail fungus cause numbness?

A fellow caregiver asked...

I think my husband has toenail fungus. Could this be causing his toes to be numb all the time?

Expert Answer

Jane Andersen, DPM, is a board-certified podiatrist in private practice in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She provides surgical and nonsurgical foot and ankle care to all types of patients, including the geriatric population in her area. With the American Podiatric Medical Association, she has worked to educate the public on foot and ankle health.

Your husband has two very common problems associated with aging: toenail fungus and numbness in the feet. It is important to realize, however, that these problems are not linked. Toenail fungus is caused by a variety of common fungi that can also cause athlete's foot. Numbness in the feet has many potential causes including neuropathy causes by diabetes or alcohol use, nerve entrapments, reactions to medications, and neuromas to name a few. Your husband should be seen by his podiatrist to determine the cause of the numbness and discuss possible treatments for both the numbness and fungus.