Toenail fungus, also known as onychomycosis, is a common condition that affects many people, especially older adults. The exact cause of toenail fungus is not fully understood, but there are several factors that can increase the risk of developing this condition. Here are some of the known causes of toenail fungus in elder adults:
1. Weakened immune system: As we age, our immune system becomes weaker, making us more susceptible to infections, including toenail fungus.
2. Poor circulation: Elder adults may have poor circulation in their feet, which can make it harder for the body to fight off infections.
3. Diabetes: Diabetes can cause nerve damage and poor circulation in the feet, which can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus.
4. Trauma to the nail: Elder adults may be more prone to injuring their toenails, which can create an opening for fungus to enter.
5. Poor hygiene: Poor hygiene, such as not washing the feet regularly or wearing dirty socks and shoes, can increase the risk of developing toenail fungus.
6. Fungal infections: Elder adults may be more likely to have other fungal infections, such as athlete's foot, which can spread to the toenails.
7. Medications: Certain medications, such as antibiotics and steroids, can weaken the immune system and increase the risk of developing toenail fungus.
It is important for elder adults to take steps to prevent toenail fungus, such as keeping their feet clean and dry, wearing breathable shoes and socks, and avoiding walking barefoot in public places. If toenail fungus does develop, it is important to seek treatment from a healthcare professional to prevent the infection from spreading and causing further complications.
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