Most people are exposed to onychomycosis in public areas like the showers at the gym, or public swimming pools. These are places where people who do not have nail fungus might be coming into contact with the fungus because the majority of people do not wear shoes in these areas.

Signs of Nail Fungus

There are some common signs of nail fungus that you should be aware of.

  1. 1.      Unusually thick nails
  2. 2.      Toenails or fingernails that crumble or nails that seem brittle
  3. 3.      Ragged nails
  4. 4.      Toenails or fingernails that appear dull, or nails that do not have a healthy sheen to them
  5. 5.      Nails that are shaped abnormally
  6. 6.      Nails that are yellowed happen when the nail is separated from the nail bed. This frequently occurs when you have nail fungus. The nails may also appear white instead of yellowed. You can make certain that you do not get moisture under the nails, and keep the nail trimmed short to help combat the fungus.
  7. 7.      Nails that are dark in color may be related to nail fungus, but may also be caused by a hematoma beneath the nail.

How many people suffer with nail fungus?

In the Western countries only about ten percent of the adult population has nail fungus. The fungus is more prevalent in individuals that are over the age of sixty years. As many as twenty percent of the elderly over the age of sixty suffer from nail fungus.

Higher risks of nail fungus amongst athletes

Athletes have a much higher incidence of nail fungus than other people do. This could be because the athletic people are more likely to share public showers with others who might have the fungus. It could also be caused by athletes wearing tight-fitting  socks and shoes that allow the feet to get sweaty and stay that way. Fungus likes to grow in dark and damp places, so the sweaty sports sneakers provide the perfect growing conditions for nail fungus.

Other people who are at greater risk of having nail fungus issues

People with health conditions that weaken their immune systems often have a greater risk of developing nail fungus conditions.  These diseases include, but are not limited to:

  • Diabetes
  • AIDS
  • Certain forms of cancer
  • People taking immunosuppressive medications

How do you stop nail fungus?

There are many different creams and ointments that you can use to help you slow the progress of nail fungus. If you catch the nail fungus while it is in its early stages, then the chances of you being able to kill it with over the counter creams and ointments will be greater.

If the nail fungus is persistent, then you might have to see a doctor to get it treated. The doctor will prescribe creams and ointments that are stronger than the ones you can buy over the counter. The doctor might also need to give you an oral medication to help your body fight the fungus.