Toenail fungus is usually caused by a microscopic organism that lives in the environment around you. It thrives in warm, damp, dark, and enclosed spaces. Your feet and nails can develop the infection any time you are exposed to the pathogen and your lower limbs foster a fungus-friendly environment. This, of course, means there are things that you do that could actually increase your toenail fungus risks.
Here are a few things you might be doing that makes it more likely you’ll get nail fungus:
- Wearing shoes that don’t allow air to circulate.
- Keeping shoes in dark, enclosed spaces after wearing them.
- Wearing hosiery that traps moisture around your feet.
- Using the same pair socks a couple days in a row.
- Walking barefoot in public places like pool decks, communal showers, locker rooms, saunas, and gyms.
- Working in humid environments.
- Sharing footwear or nail tools with someone who has nail fungus.
There are, of course, risk factors that are outside your control. Being an older adult, very young, male, or having conditions like diabetes or poor circulation also increase your risk for the problem. People who naturally sweat more than normal have a higher risk as well. Although these are factors you can’t change, knowing you have a higher risk could help you take precautions to offset your odds of getting infected.
There are ways to prevent fungal nails, and minimizing your toenail fungus risks is the right place to start. Let Carolina Podiatry Group help. Make an appointment at one of our South Carolina locations. You can use our website or call directly: (803) 548-FEET for Indian Land, or (803) 285-1411 for Lancaster.