Nail fungal infection

Catching a nail fungal infection puts you at risk of spreading dermatophytes from the affected toenail to other parts of your body.1

A nail fungal infection (onychomycosis) is caused by dermatophytes, a highly contagious fungi that thrives in warm and moist environments.2

Closeup view of woman foot with beautiful and healthy nails after Canesten treatment

Nail Fungal Infection

Causes of a nail fungal infection

There is no doubt that several factors unique to modern life have resulted in an increased prevalence of onychomycosis. These include wearing fashionably tight, high-heeled shoes and large amounts of people using damp spaces such as locker rooms and gymnasiums.
Other factors that increase the risk of onychomycosis are direct trauma to the nail, including those that result from certain tic disorders (e.g., nail biting).5

Sporty man with black watch tying shoe

Treatment of a nail fungal infection

Even if the symptoms of a fungal infection, such as foot or nail fungus, or scaly skin, can be unpleasant and painful, take comfort in knowing that there are effective and easily available treatment options.

Remember: if you tackle the infection early, it's easier to get rid of it quickly.

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Preventing a nail fungal infection

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Suffering from athlete's foot? Make sure you treat it as soon as possible, as fungus can spread and affect your toenails, or other areas of the skin, causing a nail fungal infection.6,7

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Keep your toenails short and trim. The correct way to cut or file them is straight across, not in a rounded shape.

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When visiting nail salons, consider bringing your own set of accessories. Shared clippers and nail filers can contribute to a spread of fungal infections if not properly sterilized.8

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Avoid wearing tight-fitting shoes. This can damage the skin barrier between your toenails and the toes, allowing fungi to invade.9

Facts about nail fungal infection

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Globally, nail fungus is the most frequent type of nail fungal infection, and accounts for up to 50% of all nail diseases.10

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Changing rooms, public showers and unsterilized equipment in nail salons can put you at an increased risk of a nail fungal infection.11

Canesten male doctor icon

Remember to wash your hands! Direct physical contact with a person suffering from a nail fungal infection can put you at risk of catching an infection yourself.


  1. Check if it's a nail fungal infection, in:
  2. What causes onychomycosis?, in: Eisman, S. & Sinclair, R., Nail fungal infection: diagnosis and management, in: BMJ, 2014
  3. Check if it's a nail fungal infection, in:
  4. Who is at risk?, in: Eisman, S., op. cit.
  5. Preventing nail fungal infections, in:
  6. Check if you have athlete's foot, in:
  7. How you can help treat and prevent athlete's foot yourself, in:
  8. Preventing nail fungal infections, in:
  9. Ibid
  10. Epidemiology, in: Ameen, M. et al.: British Association of Dermatologists’ guidelines for the management of onychomycosis 2014, British Journal of Dermatology (2014) 171, p. 938
  11. Preventing nail fungal infections, in: