Toenail fungal infection which is also known as onychomycosis is a common condition of the foot. Most people who suffer from this condition don’t look for treatment because most of the time they don’t recognize the condition at all. This is primarily because it usually takes years for the infection to show itself without causing pain. The prevalence of this condition increases in older male adults.
5What causes a nail fungal infection?
Nail fungus is an infection of the nail bed and nail plate. It is caused by various types of fungi which are found abundantly in the environment. Fungus is a parasitic plant organism that does not have chlorophyll and does not require sunlight to grow. A group of fungi known as dermatophytes often attack the nails, feeding off keratin, which is the nail’s protein substance that makes it hard. Once these microorganisms attack, the nail may become thicker and may change in color, becoming yellowish-brown or darker. At times, this may emit a foul odor. Debris may also start to pile up under the nail plate. The nail plate may also show some white spots. This infection is contagious. It can be transferred from one infected person to another and also through contact with an infected surface like an infected manicure or pedicure tools in nail salons. Other factors contribute to the likelihood of being infected with nail fungus. These include having an athlete’s foot, diabetes, and a weakened immune system due to some drugs. People who frequently wear closed shoes that are too tight and those who often walk barefoot in damp areas like swimming pools, gyms, and locker rooms.