7 Toenail Fungus Causes You Should Definitely Know

7 Toenail Fungus Causes You Should Definitely Know

Several changes in toenail and fingernail may cause people to think that they have toenail fungus infection. In medical term, it is called tinea unguium or onychomycosis. Toenail fungus is a common issue that starts as a yellow or white spot under the tip of the toenail or fingernail.

When the toenail fungus goes deeper, the fungus infection may cause your toenail to thicken, discolor or crumble at the corner. If your toenail condition is mild and you are not getting bothered then you may not need any treatment for this.


If your toenail fungus is painful and it has caused thickened toenails then self-care steps may help. However, if your toenail fungus treatment is successful then this fungus infection may not come back.

But have you ever thought why toenail fungus occurs? Well, if you don’t know then don’t worry because here in this blog, you will learn different toenail fungus causes. But before that, let us first have some common signs and symptoms that show that you have toenail fungus infection.

Symptoms of Toenail Fungus Infection

You can easily identify that you have toenail fungus infection if you notice any of these:

  • Yellow or white streaks on the toenails
  • Scaling under the toenail
  • Flaking white areas on the toenail’s surface
  • Yellow spots at the bottom of the toenail
  • Loss of the toenail
  • Thickened or brittle toenail
  • The odor coming from the infected toenail
  • Distorted toenail

After knowing the symptoms, you may now look at some common reasons that may lead to toenail fungus infection.

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Causes of Toenail Fungus

You can look at the below causes of toenail fungus infection. All these causes may lead you to face toenail fungus infection. So, if you come across any of these causes then try to get rid of it as soon as possible to avoid having toenail fungus.

Cause #1: Toenail Injury Or Trauma

toenail trauma

Two types of trauma can cause on the toenails, they are blunt trauma and acute trauma.

Blunt Trauma: This type of toenail trauma occurs when something heavy falls on the toenails or you bang them into something with a lot of force such as stubbing your toe. You could also instantly be more susceptible to toenail fungus even if it is a one-time occurrence. So, it is very important to keep the track of how the toe looks after the injury.

Acute Trauma: This type of toenail fungus takes place when the toenail is affected again and again. Generally, this happens with athletes and runners who used to wear ill-fitting shoes. When you take a step in a shoe that is very tight, you could be banging your toenails against the inside of the shoe.

Both these injuries can be very painful, but they can turn to yellow. If you get repetitive trauma then it can weaken your toenails which can make your toenail prone to infection.

Cause #2: Walking Barefoot in Public

barefoot in public places

Toenail fungus generally starts when moisture gets underneath the toenail. If you walk barefoot in some places then it makes it very easy for fungus infection to take place.

This is also a contagious infection. So, if you walk barefoot in public places then you are putting yourself at an even higher risk of getting fungus infection.

The two most common public places are swimming pools and showers. If there are already germs on the floor and you are walking barefoot, that means without any foot protection then you may get toenail fungus infection.

If you walk barefoot in a safe place then it is very beneficial for your toes because it gives your toenails a chance to air out. But when it is done in public places, then it gives you opposite reaction.

So, it is very important to protect your feet as much as you can while walking barefoot in public places. This is because a fungus can linger on surface area for up to six to seven months, makes it very easy to get a fungus infection.

Also Read: White Spots on Toenails – Symptoms, Causes, Home Remedies, Prevention & More

Cause #3: Artificial Nails


Using fake or artificial nails can also be one of the most common toenail fungus causes. If it is done professionally or you try it at home then artificial nails can increase your risk of getting a fungus infection.

This is because artificial or fake nails don’t give your real nails a chance to air out or breathe. As already mentioned that fungus is caused by moisture which gets trapped under the toenails. If you have fake nails then it is more of a risk because a fungus could be growing under the toenails.

Apart from fake nails, nail polish can also be a culprit that can increase the risk of getting toenail fungus infection. However, if you love polishing your toenails then you can try to give yourself time with just your natural toenails for a few days between each time you paint them. You can also make use of antifungal nail polish.

 Cause #4: Athlete’s Foot

athletes foot

Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus are generally referred to the same issue. Athlete’s foot can also trigger a toenail fungus and vice versa. It is a fungal infection that grows on the skin. It is very common between the toes and can also create burning and itching sensation.

If you left athlete’s foot untreated then it can easily spread to the toenail and can further cause fungus infection. Athlete’s foot is very common in people who are more active like runners, athletes.

However, apart from runners and athletes, other people may also get this issue or sometimes you may also get this from another person. People who have athlete’s foot are more likely to get toenail fungus infection due to the environment they put their feet in. So, you can avoid having athlete’s foot by following some prevention tips.

Cause #5: Pedicures


Women love to get a pedicure or manicure in order to make their feet and hands more beautiful. It is a very nice way to feel pampered and can also make your nails look great.

However, the pedicure can sometimes put you at risk of getting toenail fungus infection because nail salons can be breeding grounds for fungus if things are not properly sterilized at salons.

Most probably, there is a great risk to have a fungal infection is with tools that are used during this procedure. Such tools can spread infection quickly if it has been used recently.

So, to avoid getting toenail fungus infection, you can try to give yourself home pedicures. Different kits and tools are there that can be used to do a pedicure at home.

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Cause #6: Circulatory Issues

circulatory issues

Those who have very weak foot circulation like diabetic patients have a higher risk of getting fungus infection. But, also people with circulatory issues are more prone to foot conditions than other people.

The circulatory issues, sometimes, makes difficult to notice the issues going on with the toenails and feet. Generally, diabetics have nerve damage and so it is very hard to see damage in the toenails until it gets severe.

Sometimes, poor circulation in the feet also helps to weaken the toenails and also affect the healing process. Your toenails become quite susceptible to a fungal infection and it may also become harder to treat.

If you have circulatory issues then make sure that you examine your feet every day. If you notice any bad smell or yellowish color then you can take an action in treating the infection as soon as possible.

Cause #7: Immune Health

immune system

Toenail fungus can start from within. Some of the most common causes listed in this guide may not affect someone who has a robust immune system.

The immune system is quite essential for everyone when it comes to fighting against toenail fungus and prevents it in the first place.

A suppressed immune system can be caused due to anything from a poor diet to an underlying health condition or some medications.

If your immune system is weak then it makes it very easy to spread to other areas of the body and can cause even greater health problems. So, it is very important to keep your immune system healthy.

Also Read: Repair Cracked or Split Toenails (Onychoschizia) – Causes, Treatment & Preventions


Toenail fungus infection can be very irritating and everyone wants to get rid of it as soon as possible. Because when the infection once gets underneath the nails, it takes so long to heal.

However, there are several reasons that cause toenail fungus infection and in the above sections of this blog, you might have noticed the causes one by one.

But, it is very important to get rid of toenail fungus to avoid any further health issues.  However, when it comes to treating toenail fungus, you can make use of EmoniNail to cure toenail fungus infection. This is very effective and easy to apply the method to cure toenail fungus.


7 Toenail Fungus Causes You Should Definitely Know
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7 Toenail Fungus Causes You Should Definitely Know
If you have toenail fungus infection then you should definitely know its causes. Cause 1: toenail trauma, cause 2: walking barefoot in public places, cause 3: artificial nails…. Cause 7: Immune health. You can also try EmoniNail to cure toenail fungus infection.
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Cure Toenail Fungus
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