Fungal Toenails or Onychomycosis - also known as tinea unguium - is a contagious fungal infection of the toenails. Fungal infections occur when fungi gain entry to the nail, typically through a small trauma, and grows / spreads in the warm, moist environment in socks and shoes.
Fungal nails show discolouring of yellow, white or brown and can also change in appearance so look out for swelling, thickening, roughness or crumbling of the nail. There is a possibility of streaks and spots appearing down the side of the nail and a strange odour can develop when they are cut.
Causes of Fungal Toenails?
Fungal toenails are caused by fungi particles but the conditions for the particles entering the nail can be caused by the following:
A trauma that allows the fungi to enter the nail or nail bed
- Not drying your feet after exercise or bathing
Wearing tight socks and shoes that do not allow your feet to breath
Not regularly washing your feet, especially after exercise, and thoroughly dry them whenever they become wet
- Sharing shoes, socks or towels
- Not wearing protective shoes in public showers, pool areas and gyms