Aging is the most common risk factor for nail fungus for several reasons, including:

  • Diminished blood circulation
  • More years of exposure to fungi
  • Nails may grow more slowly and thicken with age, making them more susceptible to infection

Nail fungus tends to affect men more often than it does women, particularly those with a family history of this infection.

Other factors that can increase your risk of developing nail fungus include:

  • Perspiring heavily
  • Working in a humid or moist environment
  • Having the skin condition psoriasis
  • Wearing socks and shoes that hinder ventilation and don't absorb perspiration
  • Walking barefoot in damp public places, such as swimming pools, gyms and shower rooms
  • Having athlete's foot (tinea pedis)
  • Having a minor skin or nail injury, a damaged nail, or another infection
  • Having diabetes, circulation problems or a weakened immune system
Aug. 25, 2011