The Most Common Causes of Nail Fungus – and How to Avoid It
A fungal nail infection – also known as Onychomycosis – is undoubtedly one of the most annoying and irritating foot issues you can have.
This infection is notorious for being difficult to remove once it’s settled in, requiring multiple treatments and a lot of patience to eliminate completely.
It’s also an issue that people of all ages can suffer, so you need to keep an eye out for them no matter how young or old you are.
So what exactly causes fungal nail infections?
The main culprits are specific types of fungi that infect and take hold of your toenail.
Although a variety of fungi can cause fungal nail infections, they all work the same way: they infect your toenail and cause it to thicken, weaken and eventually crumble. These fungi work the same way as the fungus that causes Athlete’s Foot, but they affect your nail rather than the skin in your feet.
Common Ways to Get This Infection
Although there’s only one main cause of fungal nail infections (fungus), there are many ways to get it:
- Wearing sweaty Shoes or footwear that keep your feet hot and sweaty throughout the day can increase your chances of developing a fungal nail infection. Foot fungi love to grow in dark, warm and moist environments – which are exactly what old and sweaty shoes are.
- Using the wrong shoe size. Using the wrong size of footwear can damage your toenails, which could lead to cracks and chips that foot fungus can grow in.
- Walking barefoot in public areas. Walking barefoot in public spaces like gyms, showers, locker rooms, and pool areas can make it easier to catch foot fungus from other people.
- Having Athlete’s If you have Athlete’s Foot, know that the fungus can sometimes spread from the skin to your toenails.
- Using infected nail tools. Nail fungus can infect tools like nail clippers if they are not cleaned and sterilised properly. This risk becomes even bigger if you get manicures or pedicures regularly.
- Experiencing nail trauma. Any trauma or injury to your toenails can make it more prone to catching and hosting nail fungus.
- Having a weak immune system. A weak immune system will be less likely to fight infections in the body, including your toenails. This is why nail fungal infections are most commonly found among the elderly.
How to Avoid Nail Fungus
To prevent your nails from fungal infections, it’s best to do the following:
- Keep your feet clean and dry. This will help prevent the growth of foot fungus and stop it from easily
- Wear proper footwear. Wearing footwear that’s breathable and of the right size will help prevent skin and nail trauma that could host fungus.
- Don’t walk barefoot in common areas. This will make it less likely for you to catch foot and nail fungus from other people.
- Use clean nail clippers. If you get manicures and pedicures regularly, make sure the tools used on your feet are clean and sterilised.
- Change your socks regularly. If your feet sweat a lot throughout the day, consider changing your socks to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungus on your feet.
Although fungal nail infections can be contracted easily, the good news is that treating plans are simple and straightforward.
The right treatment plan for you will depend on the severity of your fungal nail infection and the state of your infected toenails.
Some of the treatment options we offer here at Mint Foot Care include:
- Anti-fungal medication – can be effective for controlling and eliminating the toenail fungus gradually.
- PACT laser treatment – a revolutionary fungal nail treatment that uses special light and photosensitive agents to kill fungus without damaging surrounding tissues.
Want to Have Your Fungal Nail Checked?
If you want to get rid of a fungal nail infection as soon as possible, book an appointment today to have it checked by our podiatrist. We’ll assess your fungal nail infection and determine your best treatment for it based on your budget and preferences.