What Causes Nail Fungus and How Do You Stop it From Spreading?
When you first see signs of fungus growing on your fingernails or toenails, you may not be too worried. You may not even realize what is happening to your body or why you should be concerned. The problem is fungus will continue to grow, and can become a serious problem that leads to physical pain and embarrassment. If it is left to grow out of control, you could find it interferes with your social life and makes your life more complicated than it should be.
Once nail fungus has started to grow, you have to take action to stop the spread immediately. Once you find a nail fungus cure and have eliminated the problem, you will need to learn what causes the growth of that fungus so you can prevent it from coming back. If you are not yet suffering with a fungus problem on your nails but are worried about it for some reason, then the best thing you can do is learn about all potential nail fungus causes and start to prevent the problem.
Some of the most common causes of fungus growth on the nails are:
- Reduced blood circulation to the toes
- Wearing sweaty shoes for long periods of time or on a consistent basis
- Exposure to swimming pools, spas, and other warm environments
- Wearing gloves over sweaty hands
- Small cuts or sores around nail beds
Anytime you expose your nails to warm, moist conditions, you are at risk of developing a fungal problem. This is because the fungi that grow on nails thrive in moist, warm environments. This means you can pick up fungi in the locker room at the gym, a hotel hot tub, or even your local swimming pool in summer. Simple actions like wearing thick gloves to the point your hands sweat or wearing shoes with sweaty feet can also lead to a nail fungal infection. Sweating in an enclosed environment, such as inside shoes or gloves, creates the perfect condition for fungal infections to set in and spread.
Reduced blood circulation to the toes is a serious cause of toenail fungal infections. The lack of blood flow down to the toes means the body is less likely to detect the fungi and mount an effective attack to kill it off. This allows the fungi to grow out of control rapidly, creating a severe infection that can be difficult to treat. Those with circulatory problems in the lower body are at increased risk for fungal infections on the feet.
These fungal infections are closely related to other infections, like athlete’s foot. That is why it is so common for those suffering from toenail infections to also suffer from athlete’s foot. The infections are very similar and can be picked up in all the same ways, so one can easily lead into the other. This is why it is so important to take action and relieve fungal infections as soon as the symptoms are recognized.
How to Protect Yourself
Now that you understand the type of environment fungi need to thrive, how can you prevent this type of infection from setting in on your nails? There are many things you can do, including the following:
- If you have circulatory problems, check your feet regularly for signs of fungus or infection. Also have your doctor check for signs when you go in for checkups.
- Keep your nails dry as much as possible.
- Wear water shoes or slippers when in public spaces with water. This includes swimming pools, hot tubs, and public shower stalls or bathrooms.
- Wash your shoes regularly, allowing them to dry completely before wearing them again.
- If you wear gloves regularly, take them off and clean the hands of sweat routinely. Sweat-wicking materials are also recommended.
- Avoid placing your nails in warm, moist environments as much as possible.
- Avoid shoes that make you sweat or gloves when you have gloves or blisters around your nails.
- Take care of other infections immediately, so they are less likely to spread into larger infections.
In general, you want to protect your nails from moisture and heat. If you have sores, cuts or infections on your feet or hands, make sure they are covered so they are less likely to pick up bacteria or fungi that can lead to infection. If you are in a public space where people generally go barefoot, it is a good idea to wear some type of shoe to protect your feet. You should also wash your hands regularly when in public spaces.
Are You Already Infected?
If you are already struggling with a fungal infection on your nails, you still need to be aware of these causes. You can protect others from the spread of your infection by protecting your own feet when in public spaces. You can also ensure that you protect against future infection once you find a cure for your fungal infection.
The only way to completely stop the cycle of fungal infection is to learn the causes and protect yourself. While you are exploring potential cure for your current infection, it is important to start protecting your feet and hands from future infections. This will also help stop the spread of your current infection, making it much easier to find a cure.