What is nail fungus?
Nail fungus are common infections of the fingernails or toenails that can cause the nail to become discoloured, thick and more likely to crack and break. Nail fungus can affect fingernails, but it's more common in toenails. The scientific name for a fungal nail infection is “onychomycosis”.
What are the symptoms?
Fungal nails are often:
A fungal nail infection usually isn’t painful unless it becomes severe
In some cases, fungus further infects the areas between your toes and the skin of your feet, which is commonly known as athlete's foot (tinea pedis).
What are the causes of nail fungus?
Fungal nail infections are caused by various fungal organisms (fungi). The most common cause is a type of fungus called dermatophyte. Yeast and molds also can cause nail infections.
Small cracks in your nail or the surrounding skin are the primary cause of nail fungus, as they allow these germs to enter your nail and cause an infection.
Fungal nail infection can develop in people at any age, but it's more common in older adults. As the nail ages, it can become brittle and dry. The results are nail cracks, which, like said, allow fungi to enter and cause an infection. Other factors — such as diabetes, reduced blood circulation and a weakened immune system — also may play a role.
Nail fungus can develop from athlete’s foot, and it can spread from one nail to another.
Nail fungus can spread from person to person by sharing towels, socks, etc. In these cases, the fungi are transferred, not necessarily the infection, so it is rare for you to get an infection from someone else.
A summary of risk factors
In short, here’re the factors that can increase your risk of developing nail fungus:
Now, back to our main concern: what if you have nail fungus? Should you still get your nails done?
There’re three reasons why we don’t recommend getting your nails done when having nail fungus
To protect your health and the community health, we recommend re-visiting our nail bars once the nail fungus had been remedied.
What I should do, otherwise, when developing nail fungus?
If you develop a fungal infection, it’s best to see your family doctor, a GP, or a doctor who specialises in skin conditions (dermatologist) or one who specialises in finger and toenail conditions (podiatrist) to receive the best advice and treatment.
Our tips to prevent fungal nail infections:
Visit our Tips & Advice section for more informational blog posts that cover nail health and well-being.