Risk factors

Could you be at risk for nail fungus?

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The most common risk factor for contracting nail fungus is aging

Age is a risk factor for several reasons, including: reduced blood circulation; increased years of exposure to fungi; and slower nail growth and thickened nails, both of which make nails more prone to infection. Up to 50% of people over 70 years of age may be affected by a nail fungal infection.

50% of adults over age 70 may be affected by a nail fungal infection Up to 50% of adults
over age 70 may be affected

Additional factors that increase a person’s risk of nail fungus include:

Working in a humid or moist environment

Or working a job where your hands are often wet, such as at a bar or a pool.

Suffering from athlete’s foot

The fungus that causes athlete’s foot can infect the nail (and vice versa).

Walking barefoot in damp public places

For example, swimming pools, locker rooms and public showers. Nail fungus is contagious and can be contracted from contact with an infected surface.

Being a man

Especially if you have a family history of nail fungus.

Having a minor skin or nail injury,

a damaged nail or another infection.

Perspiring profusely

Sweat creates a humid, damp environment – ideal conditions for fungi to thrive.

Living with psoriasis

About 35% of people with nail psoriasis may also have a nail fungal infection.

Learn more about psoriasis

Having diabetes

Circulatory problems and/or a weakened immune system make it harder for your body to fight infection.

Wearing socks and shoes that do not breathe

Footwear that does not absorb sweat also increases risk of infection.