Toenail fungus infections are a common condition. They may not be a serious condition and others consider them as a cosmetic problem, but it can take a long time for us to treat them. This type of infection often affects the toenails, but it can also affect the fingernails. It is called medically onychomycosis. A toenail fungus infection takes place when the fungi get between your toenail and toenail bed or the tissue under the nail. Fungi get through a crack or cut in the toe. This condition is more prevalent among older people. It affects 1 in every 10 adults and 2 in every 10 adults who are over 70.
Your toenails and fingernails can be infected by many types of fungi. The most common fungal microorganism that causes this condition is the dermatophytes. They thrive by consuming keratin, the protein found in your toenails and fingernails, making them hard. Toenail fungus is contagious. It can be passed on from one person to another. You can also be infected by it when you touch an infected surface.
Toenail fungus can change the look of your toenails or fingernails in many different ways. Some of these may include: a change in the nail’s color to yellow, white, or brown, the nail looking chalky and cloudy in some areas, the nail may thicken and become misshapen. The infected nail may also separate from the nail bed. This leaves a space in between the nail and the skin underneath it. You will find a crack or break in one or more spots of the nail. When the infection is left untreated and becomes worse, it can be painful.
4Who Are More Prone to It?
Everyone can be infected by toenail fungus; but as mentioned earlier, those who are older than 60 are more vulnerable to it. You become more susceptible to nail fungus infection when you have any of the following conditions: diabetes, psoriasis, hyperhidrosis (a condition of excessive sweating), previous nail injury or trauma, weakened immune system due to an autoimmune disorder, athlete’s foot, and poor blood circulation caused by a peripheral vascular disease.