Causes & Symptoms of Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is most commonly caused by shoes, and it often develops first in the big or little toe of the foot. Shoes cause the problems when they're too tightly fitting. Adults who wear athletic shoes for instance, often wear these shoes for hours each day. The shoes are closed in, dark, and become quite moist from the feet sweating in them.
That environment combined with the rubbing of the shoes on the toes is most often how nail fungus develops. The shoes rub against the toes and create tiny scratches and abrasions which allow the fungus organism to get beneath the skin
and nails. The fungus then starts feeding on the protiens the nails are made up of, and since it's in the perfect environment with plenty of food, it begins to thrive, grow, and multiply.
There are other causes of toenail fungus too however. Not taking care of and cleaning your feet properly is one way it can develop, and wearing too much toenail polish can also be a cause. When you layer thick, dark toenail polish on, it prevents your nails from being able to breathe properly. It also creates the darkness fungus thrives in.
Kids and adults alike can also develop nail fungus by running around barefoot in public areas such as gyms, swimming pools and locker rooms. Running barefoot in general could make a person more susceptible to the fungus growth, because your feet are more at risk for scratches and other injuries when they're not protected by shoes. Using public facilities such as gyms and showers though, can cause you to catch the fungus from another person who is infected.
People who are sick or have diseases which compromise the body's immune system will also be more prone to developing nail fungus problems. Diabetes for instance, and HIV are examples of diseases which can weaken the immune system. There are also a variety of prescription drugs which supress the body's immune system, and these can put you more at risk for developing fungal related problems too.
Nail fungus symptoms can develop in different ways, but one of the most common ones you'll see is when the nails become discolored. They may turn black, yellow, brown or purple for instance, and sometimes they can look like you have a bruise on your nail. Some types of nail fungus will start as dark streaks in your nails too, and sometimes all that will happen is the nails start getting very thick.
Over time there is usually a build up of debris, which is flaky, crusty material under or around your nails too. Sometimes the nails may smell bad, and over time the nail might actually start crumbling away and if the fungus gets bad enough, the nail could fall off completely.
Note: Some statements in this article may not be approved by the FDA. This article is for informational purposes only and should not be taken as professional medical advice.
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