The causes of nail fungus are varied. It can be caused by a range of things including the climate we live in, inherited tendencies, choice of footwear, and a lack of attention to hygiene. One of these factors by itself will not usually be enough to result in a nail fungal infection, but two or more combined can.
Causes of Nail Fungus
I will touch briefly on the more common causes of nail fungus, below.
It seems that some people are genetically predisposed to developing nail fungal infections. At this point in time, it is unknown just how large a role genetics play, but research indicates the connection is there.
Suppressed Immune Systems:
Sufferers of AIDS, Diabetes, Cushing’s Syndrome, and other diseases that compromise the immune system can be more prone to developing nail fungal infections.
Certain medications and treatments that suppress the immune system including chemotherapy, can also result in nail fungal infections, as can some genetic diseases including Downs Syndrome.
Research indicates that people with impaired blood circulation due to varicose veins and diabetes may be more prone to developing nail fungus.
Conditions such as psoriasis and lichen can cause the nails to thicken. This, in turn, can lead to the nails separating from the nail bed and ultimately allow the fungus to get in.
Having toes that overlap or toes that are twisted and out of alignment and therefore rubbing against each other can cause toenails to become thicker or separate from the nail bed. Nail fungus is capable of developing.
Badly Fitting Shoes:
One of the often-overlooked causes of nail fungus is wearing shoes that are too tight. Badly fitting shoes can limit blood circulation in the feet and impair airflow, creating the perfect breeding ground for nail fungus. This was a contributor towards my toenail fungus, which you can read about here.
People who exercise heavily and fail to remove their socks and sports shoes afterward are also at an increased risk due to the heat and moisture their feet are encased in. Likewise, people who wear the same socks or pantyhose without washing them between wears.
Repeatedly wearing too tight or ill-fitting shoes can lead to blisters, calluses, and nicks in the skin. This, alone, increases the risk of nail fungus occurring. When combined with heat and moisture, the likelihood of it developing more than doubles.
Lifestyle and Career Factors:
Wearing closed in shoes for extended periods of time, even if they are comfortable, can lead to nail fungus. This is especially relevant for those whose feet sweat a lot and those who live in a hot, humid climate.
While removing your shoes whenever possible will help cool down your feet, don’t be tempted to walk barefoot in grass or soil as this can lead to a mold infection. Going barefoot at the beach, however, can help limit the possibility of nail fungus developing, especially if you wade in saltwater. Just be sure to dry your feet thoroughly before putting your shoes back on.
Those working in the health-care and catering industries are thought to have an increased risk of experiencing fingernail fungus due to their fingernails constantly coming in contact with water.
Public Showers and Locker Rooms:
The environment in public showers and locker rooms is typically hot and humid making them the ideal atmosphere for nail fungus. Fungi can live happily in a puddle of water. If you tread in that puddle after someone with a nail fungal infection has, you can contact the infection. If it is impossible to avoid using a public bathroom be sure to minimize the time you spend there, wear flip flops and wash and dry your feet well as soon as possible afterwards.
False Nails and Nail Varnish:
Tempting as it may be, using plastic or acrylic nails or nail polish to cover nails infected with fungus is extremely unwise. Covering infected nails may make them look better temporarily, but doing so will create an environment of warmth and moisture, the very conditions fungus thrives upon. Even for those with healthy nails, constantly wearing nail polish or artificial nails can greatly increase the chance of an infection occurring.
When choosing a nail salon, it’s important to make sure they have strict hygiene standards which include sterilizing the equipment used between treatments. If the equipment isn’t sterilized, it is possible to pick up an infection from another client whose nails have been done with the same nail file, clippers, etc.
Blood Glucose-Related Illnesses:
Greatly fluctuating blood glucose levels, as can occur in those with diabetes and hyperglycemia, increase the likelihood of a fungal infection occurring. This is due to the glucose providing nourishment upon which the fungi can multiply and grow. Diabetics are particularly at risk of this occurring due to their often impaired circulation.
Susceptibility to developing nail fungal infections increases with age, making them more common in the over 60′s age group. This is due to the fact that nails grow more slowly as we age, circulation slows and immunity is generally lower.
Injuries to the nail itself or to the toes and fingers near the nail can allow fungi to infiltrate.
If you are suffering from a nail fungal infection, I don’t need to tell you how unsightly and embarrassing it can be. Don’t for the infection to heal on its own because It won’t. I recommend you get ZetaClear. It cured my nail fungus when nothing else would. Don’t delay any longer. Buy it now and get nails you’ll be happy to show once more.
Types of Nail Fungus
There are three main types of nail fungus infections: dermatophyte, yeast, and mold. Read on to find out about the various types of nail fungus and their causes.
Dermatophyte, the most common of the nail fungal infections, is caused by microscopic fungi infecting the nail. Dermatophyte’s main food source is keratin, which is abundant in toe and fingernails. The structure of keratin is tough and insoluble, making it difficult for treatments to easily penetrate. For this reason, the infection has to grow out for the nail to revert to its normal, healthy appearance. Still, it is very important to get the infection under control as it will not go away by itself. Using an effective nail fungus treatment such as ZetaClear will mean that the new nail growth will be healthy and infection-free.
Dermatophyte is very contagious, so care needs to be taken by those who walk barefoot in and around swimming pools and saunas, or anywhere else that people are barefoot. This is because we continuously shed minute pieces of skin that can contain infected material. If our feet come in contact with a surface an infected person has recently been on, we can pick up their infection. Wearing flip flops will help prevent this, as will washing and drying the feet thoroughly as soon as possible after being in this type of setting.
Dermatophytes can also infect the hair and skin, with an athlete’s foot and jock itch being prime examples…
Yeast infections, aka Candida, occurs in around 8% of nail fungus cases. In actuality, this type of infection is usually an infection of the skin beneath or surrounding the nail. Those most likely to be affected are people whose nails are often exposed to moist conditions or who wash their hands frequently, for example, medical practitioners, hairdressers, and food caterers. Yeast infections are also responsible for thrush and diaper rash in babies.
Mold infections are the least common of the types of nail fungus. When they do occur it is usually in the toenails and is most often from microscopic fungi infiltrating under the toenails while walking barefoot in the garden or bare soil. Those most affected are the elderly and people with weakened immune systems. This infection can cause a lot of discomfort as the skin surrounding the infected nail often becomes dry and itchy.
Whatever type of nail infection you have it is important that you treat it as there is almost zero chance it will resolve by itself. If you want to try some DIY remedies, check out my posts natural remedies for nail fungus and more natural remedies for nail fungus. Some people claim to have successfully treated their nail fungus with these methods. As for me, the only thing that worked was ZetaClear. Check it out now. The sooner you start treatment, the sooner you will eliminate your nail fungus infection.