Onychomycosis or better known as nail fungus infection is a very common and well-known nail disorder. It is believed that it is responsible for 50% of all nail infections. You were probably dealing with this at some point of your life, or someone you know has had this problem. However, are you aware of the cause of the nail fungus?
What Are The Risks Of Nail Fungus Infection?
Below are some of the major risks of nail fungus infection.
Fungal Skin Infection
Athlete’s foot, which you’ve probably heard about before, causes the skin between your toes to become itchy, red and flaky. This problem is a very common one that causes nail fungus infections. To put it all in perspective and numbers, about one-third of people with athlete’s foot become infected with a nail fungus as well. Athlete’s foot and Onychomycosis are caused by dermatophytes, and the infection can easily spread from the skin to the toenails.
Damaged Nail Or Skin
Are you a nail biter? Because if you are, know that a repeated trauma, old injuries and tiny cuts in the skin around the nails can also increase the risk of fungal infection. Besides damaging your nail you are also damaging your cuticles like that. Stop with this bad habit if you want to avoid looking like a fungi mess.
What Causes Nail Fungus?
As the name says, the disease is caused by fungi, which is a tiny parasitic organism that can be found in warm environments and feeds off of keratin. You know by now that keratin is the main protein in your nails, hair, and skin. Nail fungus makes too much of keratin in the nail bed, which thickens your nail as well it separates it from the nail bed. If you are experiencing this problem, you are about to learn a lot more about it. Did you know that your feet have got nearly 200 types of fungi? That is way more than anywhere else on your entire body but lucky for you, not all of these fungi are harmful. Two types of nail fungi exist, such as dermatophytes and yeasts.
Your cuticles, since they are so soft and sensitive, may also become damaged if you keep them in water for too long. Try to take quick showers and to avoid the water. But, if you are a big fan of long baths and pool swimming activities, we recommend you to add healthy oils after you are done soaking yourself. Hand creams, as well as cuticle oils, might save you, that is if saying no to water is not an option.
2. Moisture & Humidity
Fungi really love the warm and moist environments, and they thrive in swimming pools and showers. Did you know that swimmers are three times more likely to contract the disease compared with the general population? Talk about bad luck. Besides being totally up in the humidity area, nail fungus can be found pretty much anywhere public. The worst part about this is that it is contagious, so you better be extra careful when using public showers and walking barefoot across the floor in a locker room.
3. Tight And Uncomfortable Footwear
Onychomycosis is more common in the toenails departments than it is for the fingernails. That is mostly because of the dark environment that is happening in your shoes. That type of environment provides the perfect breeding ground for fungi. Shoes are also restricting circulation for your feet, and your immune system can’t fight off the infection. If your feet start to sweat you are in trouble, my friend.
4. Diseases And Medications
Taking Antibiotics: When you are sick your immune system gets weaker due to the illness and because of the medication that you are on. But unfortunately, you can’t do much about it. It’s better to get recovered from your illness than it is to stay sick just so you could avoid fungi. Take that antibiotic and you will figure out the fungi problem once you are recovered.
Onychomycosis becomes more common on people that are older, mostly on people who are over 70. To be precise, 50 percent of them gets affected. That is probably because older people have poor circulation but super thick and grown out nails.
6. Be Careful
Because this condition can spread easily, there is also a chance that someone may pass it on to you, or that you can pick it up somewhere. If you use the same showers as well as shampoos, towels and other items that have fungi on them there is a chance you will be affected too.
There have been recorded many smokers with fungi infection. You should try to quit smoking, or at least to cut it down. Luckily for us, women, men are the ones who suffer more of the nail fungi infection, caused by the cigarets than us.
How Can You Prevent Nail Fungus?
Some lifestyle changes may be just enough for you to prevent fungal infections, such as:
- Trim your nails properly and often in order to avoid infections.
- Try not to injure the skin around your nails.
- If you are going to wet your hands while doing the dishes, it’s better to wear gloves.
- Use anti-fungal sprays.
- Dry your feet as soon as you get out of the shower, especially your toes.
- Getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons.
Watch video: How to get rid of nail fungus
Overall fungi infection can be a handful process, but the most important part is that it is not dangerous. It may be a process to get rid of it, but don’t give up. For some people, a fungal infection of the nails can be difficult to cure and the first round of medication might not work. Know that the infection isn’t cured until a new nail that’s free from infection has grown in. Open your eyes widely and listen to your body, this is the only way that you will be nail fungus free.