Toe Nail Fungus: the Basics

Toe Nail Fungus

No matter how neat you are, or how much you spend on self-care or foot care, anybody can suffer from a fungal toe infection.

However, even though these infections can happen to anyone, they are more likely to affect diabetic patients.

While you can seek help from a health care professional, there are a few things you can do to manage or treat toenail infections. In this article, I will be sharing tips on how to identify and prevent toenail infections in the future.

Why does toenail fungus occur?

According to information made available by Medical News Today, fungal toe infection is the most common type of toenail problems – as much as 50 percent of finger and toenail deformities are a result of fungal issues.

Apart from genetics, the primary reasons why fungus finds their way into your toe and make it a comfortable breeding ground include the following:

Poor blood circulation

If your toes are always not as warm as the other parts of your body, then bear in mind that it will make a cooler and more conducive area of skin for fungus to thrive and bother you.

Moist conditions

A lot of us have to deal with sweaty toes, we put on socks that are made from non-breathable cloth, and we expose our toes to damp conditions such as a public pool floor very often than needed. All of these can prompt the growth of fungus in our toenails.

Crowded toes

Wearing footwear that is ill-fitting or too small can also cause toenail fungus. This is difficult for air to properly circulate around your feet and toes, making them more vulnerable to fungal infections.

Specific exercise

Certain exercises can regularly cause trauma to the toes. Take people who run marathons, for example, will more likely lose a toenail or more during training or race.

This trauma from constant racing can weaken your toenail and skin, which makes it easier for toenail fungus to find a home right in your toes.

How can I prevent toenail infections?

Preventing a toe infection is not so easy as it involves several steps, and a regular foot care routine.


Trying to keep your foot clean and dry is vital to the prevention of infection. It is recommended that you always wash your feet or at least one time per day, making sure that you thoroughly dry the feet with a towel.

People who are more vulnerable to infections may also be considered rubbing organic solutions like coconut oil, tea tree oil, or any other skin-drying agent on your toes to keep them dry almost all the time.

Putting on the right kind of socks

Having a pair of socks that allow air into your shoes to circulate nicely around your toes is vital to keeping them free from moisture.

Cotton, nylon, and polyester fabrics, as well as combinations of these fabrics, are usually considered as the most breathable options.

There are specific socks that are also made with good materials that wick sweat away from your skin and can function well for toes that are more vulnerable to fungal infections.


If you have a weakened immune system, it can often cause poor blood circulation, most notably to the extremities such as the fingers and toes.

One of the best ways to promote blood circulation is by maintaining a healthy diet that contains a lot of vitamins C and Vitamin E.

Giving yourself a regular foot massage, or getting one at least a few times a week can also help with a more even blood circulation. Having blood circulate more evenly through your foot, or using a compression sock can also assist with more effective blood flow.

Have you tried out other options for managing toenail fungus? Please do not hesitate to share them with us in the comments section.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.