What causes onychomycosis?
Fungal nail infections are caused by various types of fungi. The most common fungus is dermatophyte, but yeasts and molds can also cause nail infections. Onychomycosis causes about a third of all fungal skin infections.
It’s more common in older people because their nails become brittle and dry as they grow older. This allows fungi to enter the cracks in the nails. Poorer blood circulation to the feet and a weakened immune system can also contribute to nail fungus. Nail fungus can also begin with athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) and spread to the nails. Athlete’s foot is a fungus that causes blisters, irritation and painful cracks in the skin and between the toes. Both athlete’s foot and nail fungus are easily spread to other people.
Who’s at risk for onychomycosis?
Onychomycosis is more likely to occur in people who: