Most people take their fingernails and toenails for granted and are not overly concerned with their condition unless they contract a nail fungus. Onychomycosis, the medical term for a nail fungus, may cause nails to become extremely unattractive and sometimes cause a foul-smelling odor. Even though the fungus can occur in fingernails, it is more likely to affect toenails. Nails with a fungus infection become thickened, discolored, brittle, and may appear distorted. The fungus infection may be present in only one nail or it can affect several nails at the same time. Sometimes this condition may become painful and require treatment, especially if it spreads and infects the areas between the toes. Athlete's foot is probably the most serious nail fungus. Dermatologists report that even though the tendency for contracting a nail fungus may be an inherited trait in some people, there are ways to prevent and treat these infections.
Fungus is a survivor that can be found almost anywhere in the world. It flourishes and grows in a warm and moist environment. Because it can survive indefinitely in a contained environment with little light or ventilation, people who frequent locker rooms or public showers or restrooms in their bare feet are highly susceptible to contracting a fungus infection. It is extremely contagious and easily spread from one person to another. It can enter the body through small, almost invisible cuts in the skin. It attacks the nail bed and enters through the tiny space between it and the nail. A nail fungus thrives under certain conditions and can be found in many different environments.
There are several easy ways to avoid getting a nail fungus by being aware of where a nail fungus is most likely to exist and taking proactive steps to prevent being infected.