A nail fungal infection, medically known as Onychomycosis, is one of the most common foot or nail conditions. About 3 to 12% of the population is affected by it. It often occurs in the big toenails, and is less commonly seen on the fingernails.
Toenail fungus tends to stay local. Fungus, generally, can spread easily and may affect other parts of the body. Although, fungus that affects the nails tends to remain on the nail or the skin immediately surrounding it.
If you only have one nail affected, there is a chance that it could spread and develop on the neighboring nails. As it spreads to the surrounding skin, it can cause athlete’s foot. In some cases, the fungus can spread to the genital area and cause jock itch. This can happen while putting on underwear. The fungus can spread when the underwear is pulled on over and come into contact with the infected toenail. It is recommended to put socks first before putting on underwear if you have toenail fungus.
Age is a risk factor. Older people are more likely to develop nail fungus than younger people. Adults above the age of 60 are especially susceptible. This is because as people grow, the nail becomes weak, brittle and dry. The nails can crack easily, allowing the fungus to enter. The immune system also grows weak, making it easier for the fungus to thrive.
Getting injured and damaging the toenail can also lead to a fungal infection. When the toenail is damaged, the nail plate can separate from the nail bed. This allows room for the fungus to infect and grow. Once you damage your nail, look out for symptoms such as discoloration and thickness.
If you suspect to have toenail fungus, or see its symptoms, do not let it get worse. It becomes harder to treat when it develops to a more severe stage. Contact us to schedule a free consultation.