Causes

How did I get nail fungus?

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What causes nail fungus?

Nail fungus is typically caused by a dermatophyte fungus. Fungi are a type of tiny living cells called “microscopic organisms.”

Nail fungus is caused by tiny living cells called microscopic organisms

These microscopic organisms:

  • Can survive without sunlight.
  • Flourish in warm, moist environments such as swimming pools and showers.
  • Can penetrate your skin through tiny visible or invisible cuts or through a small space between your nail and nail bed.
  • Cause problems when your nails are persistently exposed to warmth and moisture – conditions that promote the growth and spread of fungi.

Can a skin condition affect my nails?

If you have psoriasis that extends to your nails, your risk of a nail fungal infection might be heightened. About 35% of people with nail psoriasis may also have a nail fungal infection.

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Why are toenails more affected than fingernails?

Toenails are often trapped in an environment that is ideal for the production of fungi – the inside of your shoes.

Risk factors