5 Surprising Causes of Nail Fungus 

The most important thing you need to learn before you begin treatment of toenail fungus, is the causes and how to prevent more infection.

There’s an old saying that goes something like:

An ounce of prevention, is worth more than a pound of cure.

That holds specially true for fungal nail infections – and proper prevention is all about learning the causes, including:

Exposing Your Toes to Dark, Moist Environments

toenail fungus causesExposing your toes continuously to dark, moist environments including old sneakers, gyms, swimming pools, showers, locker rooms.

Damp environments provide a breeding ground for fungus…

And since they are frequented by large numbers of people,  it increases the risk of contracting a fungal nail infection

Your Action Steps:

  1. Decrease the time you spend wearing closed shoes like sneakers. Put on your socks and shoes immediately before working out and take them off as soon as you get home.
  2. Swap out sandals or flip flops at least once per day when you would normally wear closed toed shoes.
  3. Buy several pairs of cheap, plastic flip flops to carry with you when you are required to walk barefoot such as in a locker room or public shower. Never leave your flip flops behind by keeping a pair in your gym bag and in your car.

Excessive Sweat Production

Producing excessive sweat creates a moist environment for fungus to thrive. When you sweat during a workout or after a shower, quickly clean and dry your toes in order to prevent that thriving environment for toenail fungus.

Your Action Steps:

  1. After you get home from the gym or any time you wear socks and closed shoes….take off your socks and shoes as soon as you get home.
  2. Grab a clean towel.
  3. Use warm water and gentle soap to wash your feet. Dry your feet thoroughly.

Skin Care

Certain skin conditions or skin injuries leave openings in the skin for a fungal infection to enter. When an opening exists, you are more vulnerable as the fungus can more easily have a direct entrance into your body.

Your Action Steps:

  1. Carefully examine your feet to find any cuts or openings in the toe area on a daily basis.
  2. Grab some waterproof bandaids.
  3. Disinfect the cut or crack in the skin using alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. This might sting but the steps you take to clean the vulnerable areas and kill bacteria will prevent future nail fungus infections. Place a bandaid over the newly cleaned area.

Use Of Nail Polish

Consistent use of nail polish does not allow the fungus causestoenail to breath and can exacerbate toenail fungus.

Putting on nail polish may be tempting to cover the look of the nail fungus, but moisture can get trapped under the polish and allow fungus to grow.

Also, be weary of nail salons. Even if the nail salon is rigidly kept clean and sanitary, nail fungus can spread through the utensils used, nail technician’s hands, or the foot baths.

Your Action Steps:

  1. Immediately remove nail polish from your toenails. Remove ALL nail polish, even when it is covering an uninfected toenail. This is important to allow all the toenails to breath so you prevent spreading of toenail fungus to any of your other, uninfected toenails.
  2. Avoid putting nail polish on your toenails. Instead, keep the nails exposed directly to the air to allow proper circulation so the fungal infection can clear.
  3. Do not go to nail salons while you are treating your fungal toenails.

Disorders and Conditions

Certain disorders or conditions make you more susceptible to fungus under the toenail and on the toenail. These include:

Diabetes, HIV : Both involve poor circulation to the extremities, particularly the feet, which makes your toenails more susceptible to toenail fungus infections. Your immune system may also be weakened from these disorders which disrupts your body’s fight against a potential fungus infection of the toenail in the future. For people with diabetes or HIV, it is extremely important that you take all the preventative measures outlined to keep the fungal toenail infection at bay.

Prior fungal infections: If you have had a toenail fungus infection in the past or fungal infections in other areas of the body, you are more susceptible to getting it again or to spreading of the fungal infection. Remember, take all the preventative steps possible, especially if you have had a prior fungal infection, to stay clear of future infections. 

toenail fungus causeGender, age: Research shows that men are more likely than women to get a nail fungus infection. Also, people over age 60 are more likely than those younger to get a toenail fungus infection. This means that prevention is crucial for men over 60 to avoid spread or continued nail fungus infections.

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