Q How did I get fungus toenails?
The word "fungus" has such a negative connotation because some people associate it with something being dirty. When they find out they have fungus toenails, they may be embarrassed and wonder how they could have gotten fungus toenails if they are normally so clean. It's important to realize that getting fungus toenails doesn't necessarily have anything to do with proper hygiene. Some people are just naturally more at risk than others.
People become more susceptible to fungus as they age because they've had more years of exposure, they have diminished blood circulation in their feet, and nails can grow slower and thicker as we get older. The following factors also increase vulnerability to toenail fungus:
- Men are naturally more at risk than women.
- Having a small nail injury or another infection can let fungus in to grow.
- People with a weakened immune system or diabetes are less able to resist fungal infections.
- People who have walked around barefoot in a moist public place like a swimming pool or locker room can pick up fungus.
- Individuals who sweat a lot and those who wear socks and shoes with no ventilation provide an environment naturally comfortable for fungus growth.
Fungi live in warm, moist environments, so if you are at risk, begin with trying to keep your feet dry. If you perspire a lot, you may need to change your socks and shoes a few times a day to ensure you're not trapping moisture in there. Also consider wearing sandals when you're at a public pool or the locker room at the gym.
If you are suffering from a toenail fungus infection, contact Fixing Feet Institute to schedule an appointment. You can reach our Arizona clinic by calling 623-584-5556 or e-mail at [email protected].