What Causes Foot Fungus?

Foot with corns and calluses

The symptoms of nail fungus usually begin as a yellow or white spot appearing under the nail. As the fungus grows and deepens, it can cause yellow-brown or whitish discoloration. The affected nail may thicken and become brittle and crumbly. A distinctive foul smell can also emanate from the affected area.

This condition can spread across several nails. Although it is normally found on the toenails, nail fungus can also develop on the fingernails. If the fungus infects the area between the toes and skin of the foot, it is commonly known as athlete’s foot. Nail fungus is an unsightly and embarrassing ailment, which can also cause significant pain if left untreated. Unfortunately, nail fungus can be a difficult condition to remedy, as it will often return.

Causes of Nail Fungus

Several factors influence the likelihood that nail fungus may develop. First, older people are more susceptible to developing the condition. This is due to advanced age bringing about reduced blood flow to the foot, and the fact that the nail will grow more slowly, allowing the fungus to settle. The simple fact that the elderly will have had more time to suffer exposure to foot fungi is also factor.

People who engage in sporting activities are at increased risk of suffering from nail fungus. Increased feet sweat due to running or other activities provides the perfect breeding ground for fungus. In addition, spending time barefoot in communal areas like gyms, pools and shower rooms increases risk of exposure to the fungus.

Medical conditions can cause a predisposition to nail fungus. Circulation problems, a weakened immune system or diabetes restricts the body’s ability to combat the fungus before it becomes endemic. Small injuries to the nail or foot area, or chronic skin conditions like psoriasis, give the fungus more opportunity to develop on the body.

If left untreated, nail fungus can be very painful and may permanently damage your nails. It can lead to more serious infections, such as cellulitis, particularly if you have a weakened immune system. Do not hesitate to address your nail fungus problem. Contact Medical Dermatology Specialists today.

Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.
5730 Glenridge Dr, Suite T-100
Atlanta, GA 30328
(404) 939-9220

Monday – Thursday 7:30 AM – 5:00 PM

Posted on behalf of Dr. Jamie Weisman, Medical Dermatology Specialists, Inc.