A fungal nail infection occurs from the overgrowth of fungi in, under, or on the nail.
Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, so this type of environment can cause them to naturally overpopulate. The same fungi that cause jock itch, athlete’s foot, and ringworm can cause nail infections.
Fungi that are already present in or on your body can cause nail infections. If you have come in contact with someone else who has a fungal infection, you may have contracted it as well. Fungal infections affect toenails more commonly than fingernails, likely because your toes are usually confined to shoes, where they’re in a warm, moist environment.
If you get a manicure or pedicure at a nail salon, be sure to ask how the staff disinfects their tools and how often they do it. Tools, such as emery boards and nail clippers, can spread fungal infections from person to person if they’re not sanitized.
Common signs of a fungal nail infection include:
A distorted nail that may lift off from the nail bed
An odor coming from the infected nail
A brittle or thickened nail
Please be aware that many conditions can mimic fungal nail, have a look to our damaged nails page to learn more!