Why fungal infection is more common in winter?
Fungal infection of the toenails are an unpleasant, common problem. Fungus thrives in warm, moist, and dark environments. It’s natural to try keep your feet warm in colder months, but wearing closed-in footwear, thick socks, and having sweaty feet creates the ideal environment for fungus to grow. Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus are uncomfortable, annoying, and difficult to get rid of. If you have diabetes, it can also lead to serious medical complications. In addition, places such as gyms, saunas, public pools, showers and nail salons also create an environment where the fungus can easily spread from foot to foot.
For an infection to occur, the fungus must come in contact with the nail, and infection must start without the body’s immune response clearing the infection first. Certain conditions make people more susceptible to infection. These include: • Poor circulation • Increased age • Male gender • A compromised immune system • Previous trauma/injury to the feet and nails • A family history of infection • Diabetes
The symptoms you see are a result of the byproducts of the fungus eating away at the keratin in the nails. The nails can appear: • Brittle • Crumbling/flaky • Thickened • White/yellow/brown discolouration • Worm-eaten appearance
However, with saying that, some skin conditions and medical problems manifest themselves by changing the appearance of your toenail to look like fungal infections. It is important to obtain a correct assessment and diagnosis.