Who's at Risk of Toenail Fungus?

Everyone is at risk for toenail fungus, but some are more at risk than others. Onychomycosis spores live in warm puddles of water in public pools, showers, locker rooms, hotel rooms and bathrooms. This means that the more you use these types of facilities without foot protection, the more at risk you are to toenail fungus. Athletes and military personnel often use these types of public facilities, which puts them at more of a risk than the general population. Also, athletes tend to get sweaty feet more often than others (from training), so this increases the risk of onychomycosis.

Another risk factor for toenail fungus is age. Onychomycosis is more common in an elderly population than among younger people, in part because older adult nails grow more slowly and thicken with aging; this makes infection more likely. Nail fungus also affect men more than women, and those with family histories of fungus infections are also more susceptible.

The elderly, smokers, and people with diabetes are also more likely to develop toenail fungus than others because their circulation can become restricted.

Of course, if you happen to have nail trauma, a fungus infection will have an easier time taking hold of your nail as well.

Overall, you are at a higher risk to toenail fungus if you have any of these conditions:

  • An abnormal pH level of the skin
  • Trauma of the nail
  • Immunodeficiency or HIV
  • Candida overgrowth or infection (candida is a type of yeast)
  • You have diabetes
  • You perspire heavily (Hyperhydrosis)
  • You have Ahtlete's foot (Tinea Pedis)

Also, if you fit into any of these categories you are at a higher risk of toenail fungus (especially if you fit into multiple categories):

  • You work in a humid or moist environment
  • You wear ill-fitting, non-breathable shoes
  • You are elderly
  • You are a male
  • You are a smoker
  • You have poor hygene

If you belong to one of these higher risk groups, make sure to closely follow steps to prevent fungus from attacking your nails.