Toenail fungus is also known as onychomycosis. It is an infection found underneath the nail. This is caused by fungi. When these microorganisms reign, the nail becomes darker and brittle. When this infection is ignored, the infection may spread and this may hinder you to walk or wear shoes. This is because the nail has become thicker and hard to trim. Onychomycosis can also be accompanied by a yeast infection or secondary bacterial infection in or around the affected nail.

5What causes these nail fungal infections?

The root cause of onychomycosis is microorganisms that are not visible to the naked eye. The most popular of these are dermatophytes. A nail fungus infection is a result of a fungus overgrowth. This infection may occur on, in, or underneath the nail. The toenails are the most susceptible to nail fungus because of the environment inside the shoes. Fungus thrives well in a dark and warm environment like the one inside closed shoes. Dermatophytes also cause jock itch, ringworm, and athlete’s foot.

Some factors may also increase the risk of becoming infected with nail fungus. When you get a pedicure or manicure from a salon, make sure that your tools such as emery boards and nail clippers are properly sanitized to curb the spread of the fungus. Walking barefoot in usually damp public places such as gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, and shower rooms can make you more prone to the fungus. This holds true if you have diabetes and other conditions that affect blood circulation or if you have a weak immune system. Moreover, you are at risk of a nail fungal infection when you have an injury to the nail since acute or blunt trauma to the nail can trigger a fungal infection. Having an athlete’s foot may also result in a toenail fungal infection since it is caused by the same fungus.

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