Nail fungus, or onychomycosis (on-ih-koh-my-KOH-sis), is an infection underneath the surface of the nail caused by fungi, more specifically, 17 different bacteria and microbes. These organisms take over, and the nail becomes discolored, thickens, flaky, and/or exudes a foul odor. These microbes survive in warm, moist environments and spreads through direct contact with the fungus.
Anyone is capable of getting a fungal nail infection. However, there are a few factors that can increase your chances of contracting onychomycosis such as:
- Having Type 1 or Type 2 Diabetes
- Injuring your toe
- Increased Age
- Immune System Disorders
- Circulatory Disorders
- Having Athlete’s Foot
- Wearing shoes with increased warmth and moisture
Nail fungus is completely preventable! Some are much more prone to getting it, however.