Have you ever noticed yellowish, brittle nails that have an unpleasant smell? If so, you might have nail fungus. Nail fungus is a common fungal infection that can affect both toenails and fingernails, and it’s more common than you think. Therefore, knowing the risk factors is important to prevent yourself from getting this condition. From diabetes to artificial nails, let’s look at the most common nail fungus risk factors.
People with diabetes must take extra special care of their nails since they are more likely to develop nail fungus. This is due to poor circulation, as people with diabetes do not have the same level of blood flow as someone without the condition. Poor circulation decreases the body’s ability to fight off any infection, including fungal ones. Diabetic patients must follow excellent nail care, hygiene practices, and treatments from reputable online sources like Anytime Doctor to avoid and treat nail fungus.
Psoriasis and eczema
People with skin conditions such as psoriasis or eczema can be at an increased risk of developing fungal infections in the fingers and toes. This is due to the poor circulation they often experience, which interferes with the flow of oxygen delivered to their body’s extremities. Fungi thrive in environments with reduced oxygen flow, meaning individuals with these conditions are far more likely to suffer from a fungus-related infection than those without them. It is, therefore, important for those with skin diseases like psoriasis or eczema to inspect their hands and feet regularly for signs of these infections and seek medical advice if necessary.
History of athlete’s foot
For those who have previously suffered from athlete’s foot, there is an increased chance of developing a nail fungus. It’s important to be aware of the possibility of this type of infection, as it can have serious implications for individuals and their loved ones if left untreated. Athlete’s foot is a fungal infection that causes redness, dryness, itchiness, scaling and peeling in between the toes and is highly contagious – meaning it can spread easily to other parts of the feet, such as your nails. Recognising the symptoms early and taking proper preventative measures, such as changing socks regularly, will help to ensure a nail fungus does not form.
Wearing artificial nails
Unfortunately, those beautiful artificial nails can have higher risks of developing a nail fungus due to their surface, which easily collects dirt and debris. Since artificial nails promote an ideal environment for fungi and bacteria growth, it is especially important to pay attention to the cleanliness of artificial nails by following good cleaning techniques. Additionally, the moisture created under artificial nails increases the risk of infection-causing organisms growing due to its non-ventilated environment. Therefore, it is recommended to have proper hygiene practices and occasionally check your nails’ health to avoid such circumstances.
Over the age of 65
Older adults have a higher chance of getting nail fungus than younger adults due to their weakened immune systems and slower growth cycles of their nails, making them more prone to infections. Make sure that your elderly loved ones check their nails regularly for any signs of discolouration or thickening so they can take care of any potential issues right away before they get worse.
Weakened immune system
If you have any autoimmune disorder or are undergoing chemotherapy, chances are that your immune system isn’t functioning properly, which puts you at risk of developing a nail fungus infection. Keep an eye out for any changes in texture or colour in your nails so you can catch them early on before it spreads further down the finger or toe.
Wet fingers or toes for an extended period
It’s best not to keep your feet, especially the toes, wet for too long because this could potentially cause a fungal infection due to the moist environment fungi thrive in. Instead, always air-dry your feet after a shower or swimming session, so your skin stays healthy and free from unwanted visitors.
Taking proper precautions, such as keeping your hands and feet dry whenever possible, will go a long way towards preventing any fungal infection from occurring on either fingers or toes. Stay informed about these risk factors and practice good hygiene to ensure your nails are free from fungus.