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What Causes Nail Fungus? Find Out Here

April 09, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 91

Although more common in toenails, nail fungus can also occur in fingernails. The reason fungus is more common in toenails is not because of any special feature of toenails themselves but in how we use our hands and feet differently. For example because our toe nails are often damp and covered up compared to our toenails, it is more likely to occur on toenails due to the ideal environment for fungi to grow.

Infection results when micro-organisms known as fungi manage to enter the soft skin tissue underneath the nail, known as the nail bed, through small cracks in the hard surface of the nail. They will then attempt to colonize the skin and feed off the keratin. When the body detects these invading fungi it triggers an immune system reaction in an attempt to kill off the infection before it can take hold. For this reason, people suffering from deficiencies in the functioning of their immune system from diseases such as cancer, diabetes and AIDs have a much higher chance of being infected with nail fungus.

Bad blood circulation can also prevent a proper immune system reaction to fungi so it is best to avoid anything that causes blood flow to be restricted, such as tight shoes. Because tight shoes can also break nails, opening a gap for the infection, they are one of the main villains involved in the spread of nail fungus.

Although fungi will not spread easily from one person to another, if there is a suitable environment where it can thrive this can act as a medium for the spread of a fungal infection. Fungi require warm, moist and preferably dark places to grow making showers, bathtubs, swimming pools and locker rooms the main places for people to be exposed to the risk of getting nail fungus. These environments also have the added problem of being places where people use little to no covering as protection.

Beauty saloons are another place of high risk as they sometimes do not properly sterilize equipment. This is likely the main reason women are more prone to develop fingernail fungus than men, the other reason being the habit of having longer nails and therefore more easily broken fingernails.

Toenail fungus on the other hand affects both genders equally. The nails of the feet are more susceptible to infection because the warmth, darkness and humidity within shoes offers an ideal environment for fungi to thrive. Also, because they are hidden from view, there is less attention paid to maintaining proper hygiene and cleanly cut nails. Aside from that, feet are also subject to a far higher level of stress from day to day activities, causing nails to break more often.

Nail fungus is the single biggest health issue affecting the nails and once infected it is very difficult to completely get rid of it. People will usually accumulate infections with age, so the older you are the more likely you are to have a problem with nail fungus.

In a nutshell, what causes nail fungus is having in your body and environment in a situation which it can thrive along with being in an environments where it is already present.

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Source: EzineArticles
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