The Main Causes of Nail Infection.
There are three main types of fungus that might cause people to develop nail infection. The first one and the most common type of fungus that causes this infection are called Dermathophytes. This fungus appears on hair, skin and nails; however it is important to mention that it stays on the outside and doesn’t go deeper into your body tissues. Dermathophytes are the primary cause for a condition called Athlete’s Foot. This condition is a fungal infection of skin that surrounds your toes. According to statistics one out of three people who have Athlete’s Foot end up getting toenail fungus infection too. So it can be said that one of the most common causes for toenail fungus infection is Athlete’s Foot. Since dermatophytes are present on floors (locker rooms or showers), towels, clothes, nail clippers and shoes, you can get this condition by constantly being in contact with these objects. The second type of fungi that might lead to nail infection is yeast (less commonly). This type of fungus is present in our bodies and they grow on nails and skin. Factors like long usage of antibiotics, weak immune system and other medical conditions might cause overgrowth of yeast, which might result in developing yeast nail infection. This type of nail infection causes swelling and pain and it might make your nail to separate from toe. The third type of fungus that might cause nail infection are called molds. Mods usually grow in the ground; however they can also appear on our skin and nails. Unlike other mentioned types of fungus in this article, molds are not so easily passed between individuals; however it is important to mention that it is usually more difficult to treat Mold Nail Infection than other types of infections. Also you should know that these three mentioned types of fungus (dermathophytes, yeast and molds) can cause infection in nails in combination or separately.
The Main Risk Factors of Getting Fungus Nail Infection.
Since knowing the cause of nail fungus infection doesn’t help much in avoiding it, it is important to look at the factors that might increase the risk of getting this condition. There are quite a lot of them and some of them can be more or less controlled by us, while others not so much. One of the factors that can’t be controlled by us is age, which greatly increases the risk of getting this condition. The main reason for this is that older people tend to have weaker blood circulation and they come in contact with different fungus for more years. Also when people age, their nails also become thicker and tend to grow much slower. All of these mentioned factors make age an important risk factor in developing nail fungus. The other thing to know is that, based on statistics, this condition is more common among men rather than women. The possibility of getting nail fungus infection for men is even higher when there is family history of this type of condition; however it is unclear why.
Certain health conditions might be also responsible for getting fungal infection. As it was mentioned previously Athlete’s Foot is a common cause for nail fungus so it is important to treat this condition as soon as possible. Other health conditions that might increase the risk of having this infection are psoriasis and diabetes. Also since having a strong immune system makes you less prone to developing this condition, more serious diseases like AIDS and cancer can lead to nail infection too.
There are also some other risk factors that might make you more prone to getting nail fungus infection. People who have a bad habit of biting their nails, are using cosmetic nails, smoking and living in a climate (warm and wet) are at higher risk of getting this infection. Also the type of job you work might also make you more prone to getting this condition especially if you work in moist and humid environment. For example people whose job involves keeping their hands in water for long time might have damaged skin, which might lead to infection.
Since fungus is a more common infection in toenails than fingernails it is important to pay more attention to what kind of shoes you wear. It is very important to choose both socks and shoes that allow proper ventilation and avoid footwear that is too tight. This is important because it will not allow for a moist and warm environment to be created, which is perfect for fungi to thrive and grow. Also people who tend to perspire heavily should make sure that their shoes and socks don’t absorb perspiration.
In case you have small cuts on your skin or nail injury you might be at higher risk of getting this fungus infection too. For this reason it is might be worthwhile to avoid walking barefoot in public places like showers, locker rooms, and swimming pools if you have even the smallest skin or nail injury.