Nail Fungus: Who Gets It And What Causes It

Nail Fungus: Who Gets It And What Causes It

Nail fungus Canada, medically known as onychomycosis, is a common condition that affects the nails, causing them to become discolored, thickened, and brittle. It is estimated that around 10% of the population worldwide suffers from nail fungus. In this article, we will explore who is most susceptible to nail fungus and the underlying causes of this condition.

Risk factors:

Certain individuals are more prone to developing nail fungus than others. The following factors increase the risk of acquiring a fungal infection:

A: Age: As we age, the risk of nail fungus increases. This is primarily due to decreased blood circulation, slower nail growth, and weaker immune systems, which make older individuals more susceptible.

B: Weakened immune system: Individuals with compromised immune systems, such as HIV/AIDS, diabetes, or autoimmune disorders, are at a higher risk of developing nail fungus. Weakened immunity makes it easier for the fungal infection to take hold.

C: Nail trauma: Any injury or trauma to the nail, such as a stubbed toe, can create an entry point for fungal infection. Athletes or individuals engaged in activities that repeatedly impact the nails are more prone to nail trauma.

D: Poor foot hygiene: Inadequate foot hygiene, such as not keeping the feet clean and dry, can create a favorable environment for fungal growth. Walking barefoot in public areas, sharing socks or shoes, and using communal showers can also increase the risk.

E: Nail abnormalities: Nails that are already damaged or have pre-existing conditions like psoriasis or nail dystrophy are more susceptible to fungal infections. These conditions weaken the nail structure, making it easier for fungi to invade.

Fungal causes:

Nail fungus is primarily caused by dermatophytes, fungi that thrive in warm, moist environments. The most common fungal species responsible for nail infections are Trichophyton rubrum and Trichophyton mentagrophytes. These fungi can enter the nail through tiny cuts, breaks, or separations between the nail and nail bed. Once inside, they multiply and cause the characteristic symptoms of nail fungus.

Other fungal infections:

Nail fungus can also result from other fungal infections that spread to the nails. For example, an athlete’s foot, a fungal infection affecting the skin between the toes, is at a higher risk of developing nail fungus. The fungus can easily spread from the skin to the nails if left untreated or through contact with contaminated surfaces or items.

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