Nail fungus, also called onychomycosis, is a fairly common fungal infection. It starts with a small yellow or white spot under your toenail, and if not properly treated, it can make the nail thicken, discolor, crumble, and potentially spread to other nails.
What Are The Symptoms Of Toenail Fungus?
Symptoms of toenail fungus can range from your nails becoming thickened, brittle, ragged or crumbly, deformed, and discolored. Usually, nail fungus occurs in toenails from athlete’s foot along with other fungi, but fingernails can also get nail fungus.
What Are The Causes
All nail fungus is caused by fungi, although there are a few different types of fungi that can cause fungal infection. Dermatophyte has been found to be the most common cause along with athlete’s foot, yeast, and other molds.
As you age, nail fungus becomes more common since nails may become brittle and you may have a weakened immune system or bad blood circulation. This allows fungi to take hold in your nails.
How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus?
There are a lot of preventative measures you can take to make sure you don’t develop toenail fungus. Here are some tips to help prevent fungus:
- Make sure to clean and scrub your hands and feet daily, especially after touching an already infected nail or potential fungal laden object.
- Change your socks if they become moist from sweat or otherwise.
- Choose breathable shoes and use antifungal powders in them to avoid potential infection.
- Always wear shoes or flip-flops
- When you cut your nails, trim straight across. Use a file to smooth out the corners and thickened sections.
- Only go to nail salons where you know they use sterilized tools
Am I At Risk For Toenail Fungus?
If you’re wondering if you could be at risk for toenail fungus, the following are major contributing factors:
- If you sweat heavily
- Have a history of athlete’s foot
- Already have a skin condition such as psoriasis
- Currently have a nail or skin injury
- If you have circulation issues, a weak immune system, or diabetes
- If you’re older