Nail fungus or Onychomycosis is an ugly infection in the nails, usually in toenails. The nails with this kind of infection are usually yellowish or brownish, usually thick and brittle. This is caused by fungus caught from humid or wet areas. They say that having nail fungus is related to poor hygiene. This is not true. Most of the time, even people who is clean can still be infected if there is a regular immersion of foot in infected water or damp areas like swimming pool. Aside from exposure to fungus in unclean areas, there are also other factors that increase the likelihood of getting nail fungus.
- Weak Immune system. People with the following conditions are at risk to have nail fungus.
- Diabetes. Usually, people with diabetes are at high risk because it can lead to more serious complications. If not treated right away, it can impair the flow of blood and therefore may cause a bigger problem like impaired walking.
- HIV/AIDS /Cancer. People with any of these diseases are also at high risk to get nail fungus because their body can easily get the infection and it is no longer responding to medications.
- Age. Elderly are the ones who are usually infected with nail fungus because aging process has some effect on nail growth. Slow growing nails worsen the condition because the fungus has more time to stay in the nails.
- Gender. Men are prone to have nail fungus because of their activities that are exposed to wet areas.
- Lifestyle. Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus are usually suffered by our athletes or those with similar activities. They are also prone to these kinds of infection because they are using shoes that are sometimes too tight, perspiring a lot and using a common gym or bathroom for shower where fungus are present.
- Trauma to the nail. This is a rare case but if a person experience nail trauma like if it was banged in the door or was fallen by heavy object, the nail will sometimes be thickened and will be prone to infection.
- Family History. Genetics also plays a great factor in developing nail fungus. If your parents have this condition, since you are most likely to get the same infection, make sure to practice precautions.
- Moist environment. If you are living or always in a humid place where fungus are usually present, you are most likely to get the infection as well. Fungus are staying and growing in this kind of surroundings and if you are not keen in improving your hygiene, it is possible that you will have nail fungus. Let me give you some tips:
- Make sure that socks are changed as frequently as possible.
- Use your own nail tools for manicure and pedicure to avoid transferring of infection.
- Use anti-fungus powder in your toes before putting on your socks
- Keep your feet clean and dry
- Avoid, as much as possible, damp areas
Even if we experience the risk factors mentioned above, if we know the proper precautions, there will be no problem avoiding it. Also, if we are familiar with this kind of infection, it will be easier for the doctor to advice a fungus treatment suitable for us.