Nail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a fungal infection that affects the nails of both the fingers and toes. It is a common condition, affecting approximately 10% of the population. Nail fungus can be unsightly and uncomfortable, but fortunately, it is usually not a severe health concern. Here are some essential facts about nail fungus, including its causes, symptoms, and prevention. Find here the best best nail fungus treatment Canada.
Causes of nail fungus
Nail fungus is caused by an overgrowth of fungi in, on, or under the nail. The most common type of fungus that causes nail infections is dermatophyte, but other fungi can also cause the infection. Fungal infections can be spread from person to person or from objects contaminated with the fungus.
Several factors can increase a person’s risk of developing nail fungus. These include:
- Age: As we age, our nails become more brittle and are more prone to infection.
- Gender: Men are more likely to develop nail fungus than women.
- Health conditions: People with diabetes, circulatory problems, or a weakened immune system are more susceptible to nail fungus.
- Footwear: Wearing tight or poorly ventilated shoes can create a warm, moist environment ideal for fungal growth.
- Environment: Walking barefoot in public places, such as swimming pools, gyms, and locker rooms, can increase the risk of exposure to fungal infections.
Symptoms of nail fungus
The symptoms of nail fungus can vary depending on the severity of the infection. Common symptoms include:
- Discolored nails: Infected nails may become yellow, brown, or white.
- Thickened nails: Infected nails may become thicker than normal.
- Brittle nails: Infected nails may become brittle and prone to cracking.
- Deformed nails: Infected nails may become misshapen or separate from the nail bed.
- Foul odor: Infected nails may emit a foul odor.
Prevention of nail fungus
There are several steps you can take to prevent nail fungus from developing. These include:
- Keep your nails clean and dry: Regularly clean and dry your nails to prevent fungal growth.
- Wear protective footwear: Wear protective footwear in public places, such as swimming pools, gyms, and locker rooms.
- Avoid sharing personal items: Do not share personal items such as nail clippers, socks, and shoes.
- Antifungal products: Use antifungal powders or sprays in your shoes and feet to prevent fungal growth.