Nail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is a common infection of the feet for many people around the world. Toenail fungus usually starts as a spot that is white or yellow that occurs beneath the tip of the toenail. Once the infection penetrates deeper into the toenail, the nail will get discolored and thicken after that. It can also lead to crumbling of the nail, making it look jagged at the edges and quickly spreads to the other nails. In some people, it can even spread to the skin around the affected area.
Development of nail fungus
Nail fungus infection typically happens after there is an overgrowth of fungi on or beneath the toenail. Fungi usually survive in an environment that is warm and most as it is the ideal environment that results in the multiplying naturally and becomes overpopulated on the nail. This fungi then causes most of the nail infections such as nail fungus and athlete’s foot.
Fungal infections are prone to affect the toenails more as compared to the fingernails. This is mainly because of the toenails are usually inside socks or shoes for a long time. The environment inside the socks or shoes is generally moist and warm, which contributes a lot to the growth of fungi.
Many other different things can also cause nail fungus. Some of the common things that contribute a lot to getting nail fungus include;
Growing old is inevitable. As people grow old, their immune system tends to weaken as well. In old age, the general circulation of blood is also poor, and there is a significant decrease in the growth of nails. These factors and other medical issues, such as diabetes, cause the growth of nail fungus.
Trauma or injuries on the toenails leads to damages that cause uplifting of the nail from its nail bed, leaving it vulnerable to fungal and bacterial infections. Trauma can be caused by stubbing of the toe or hitting it on hard objects.
Public places such as locker rooms or swimming pools usually contain a lot of bacteria and fungi. Most people contract nail fungus from these places when they walk around barefoot. These places tend to be dark and wet and enhance the likelihood of contracting toenail fungus.
Manicures and pedicures
Some salons that offer manicure and pedicure services don’t observe strict standards of hygiene and sanitation. The equipment and tools they use in their work can carry fungi from one client to the other. If they are not properly disinfected or disposed of, they can harbor a lot of fungi and bacteria, which then gets transferred to other clients.
Shoes and socks
The socks that people wear should always be fresh and clean and made from breathable material. The shoes should also be open a bit to enable the feet to breathe properly. When these practices are not observed, toenail fungus will thrive comfortably in the feet.
Taking good care of the toenails while observing high standards of hygiene will help prevent your nails from contracting fungal infections. This practice also improves the strength and health of the toenails.