What causes fungal nails? Can they be prevented? - ProProfs Discuss
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What causes fungal nails? Can they be prevented?

Asked by Lila Hamm, Last updated: Mar 15, 2021

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Marco Peters

Marco Peters

Marco Peters
Marco Peters

Answered Feb 20, 2021

Fungal nail infections are mainly caused by a variety of fungi, yeasts, and molds. The common type of yeast fungi responsible for fungal nail infection is Candida. Fungal infections are more common in poor communities and areas of the world where sanitation isn’t the best.

Certain risk factors also make you more likely to get fungal nails. Risk factors include age, obesity, and certain health conditions. Older people are more likely to develop fungal nails, and conditions like HIV and diabetes also put you at a higher risk for fungal nails. The reason being that age, obesity, and medical conditions can weaken your immune system and reduce circulation to the extremities of your body, making those areas more vulnerable to infections.

As for where the fungus themselves come from, it’s often hard to pin down the original source of a fungal infection. Fungal spores are almost always present in the air around us, and certain spots we visit can also be breeding grounds for various fungi. Mold and other types of fungus thrive in dark and moist environments, so they are commonly found in public bathrooms, public showers, public pools, and recently flooded areas.

Preventing fungal infections comes down to two main strategies. First, you should avoid getting in contact with areas where large volumes of fungal spores are likely to be present. These include the areas mentioned before: swimming pools, flooded areas, public showers, etc. Although most well-kept public spaces will use chemicals to prevent fungi from taking thriving in that environment.

The second strategy is to take care of your hygiene. Washing your toes and toenails regularly and thoroughly can help prevent fungal infections from taking hold. Making sure your toenails are properly trimmed can also be beneficial.

If you do spot signs of a fungal infection, you can treat it with the help of podiatrists in Sydney, which you can find here. It’s often easier to treat the infection if it is caught early.

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