How did I get toenail fungus?

Apr 4, 2016

When the weather is warm here in OKC and you are ready to start sporting sandals and open-toed shoes, you don’t want to hide your toes under layers of socks and shoes. Unfortunately, individuals who live with toenail fungus will want to do exactly that, and we get it—your nails become discolored, distorted, and embarrassing! Understanding the causes of fungal toenails is the first step in being able to prevent it from happening to you or your loved ones.

Recognizing the condition is rather straightforward. Toenails that are yellowed or otherwise discolored, brittle, crumbly, ragged, and/or dull are likely infected. If you aren’t sure, though, simply come see us at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma and we can provide a proper diagnosis for you.

Even healthy people can be infected by fungi that can be found in moist, warm areas. Communal showers, like the ones you find at swimming pools and gyms, tend to be a rather common source. When you use these areas without wearing a pair of shower shoes or sandals, you place your feet at risk for picking up the offensive fungus.

Nail salons that inadequately sanitize their instruments (clippers, filters, foot tubs) place their patrons at risk for infection. If you are visiting one of these establishments, be sure to carefully check them out before you let them do anything to your feet or toes!

When a family member has fungal toenails, you have a greater chance of developing an infection. This won’t usually happen via direct contact (unless performed for extended periods at a time), but rather as the fungus expands from host foot to shower to new host foot. Making sure your family member or roommate is receiving proper treatment can lower this risk. Failing that, be sure to wear shower shoes in your home bathroom.

Athlete’s foot and tight shoes can lead to a greater risk of toenail fungus, especially for those who participate in physical activities.

Knowing how this issue arises is a key step in preventing it from happening in the first place, but an infection is not going away without treatment. If you or any of your loved ones require fungal nail treatment, Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma can help. We provide effective treatment options, so give us a call at (405) 418-2676 for more information, or simply schedule an appointment online with our OKC office today.

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Oklahoma City, OK 73114

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