Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus – Who Gets Toenail Fungus?

Who Gets Toenail Fungus?

Who gets toenail fungus? While anyone can easily contract toenail fungus, there arePicture of word risk for post who gets toenail fungus certain risk factors that put you at a greater risk than others to develop this horrible condition.

The risk factors mentioned below ALSO pertain to many other ailments of the feet such as Athlete’s Foot (foot fungus).

If you do find that you have ANY of these risk factors, it is essential that you REALLY focus on preventative measures in an attempt to avoid contracting this miserable condition!

So… what are the risk factors for toenail fungus?

Risk Factors: What Puts You At Risk Of Developing A Nail Fungus Infection?

Some of the traits or factors that can increase your likelihood of developing nail fungus include the following:

  • Being A Male

Picture of Male Feet

Toenail fungus is more common in men compared to women. In fact, men are up to three times more likely to develop toenail fungus.

Studies are unclear as to the definitive reasoning for this, but it is thought that increased foot perspiration and the increased amount of time spent in restrictive shoe gear has something to do with this statistic.

  • Increased Age

Cartoon Picture of Elderly

We see an increased incidence of toenail fungus in the elderly versus the young.

The probable cause of this relates to many more years of exposure to the fungus as well as complications due to increased age such as decreased circulation, etc.

Click HERE to read about a product that can actually INCREASE the blood circulation to your feet!

  • Decreased Blood Circulation

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - DO NOT Smoke

Poor foot circulation is a BIG deal!

Some of the primary causes of decreased circulation include smoking, obesity, type 2 diabetes, diabetes and even a sedentary lifestyle.

Our arteries carry oxygenated blood from our heart to all parts of our bodies. This oxygenated blood delivers all of the vital nutrients that our bodies require to continue to function on a high level.Picture of Blood Flow for Revitive Circulation Booster Reviews

When we have poor circulation, then our arteries aren’t able to deliver the oxygen and nutrients as effectively.

With our feet and toes being the farthest away from our heart as any other body part, we tend to see these effects magnified.

This is a risk factor that we can work to improve!

Some of the easiest ways to improve circulation to the feet include lifestyle changes (diet and exercise) AND the use of products such as foot circulation boosters and foot massagers.

The REVITIVE Circulation Booster is an AMAZING way to get that blood pumping more efficiently!

All of these can stimulate increased circulation to the feet, thereby decreasing your risk of developing toenail fungus!


  • A Weakened Immune System

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - Decreased Immune System

A strong immune system is imperative at keeping toenail fungus at-bay. I mean, we know now that fungus is literally EVERYWHERE!

Our immune system is constantly at battle with the fungus.

When our immune system is working properly, the fungus usually loses the battle. However, when we have a weakened immune system, we begin to see the fungus gain a winning advantage.

Conditions that can cause a weakened immune system include illnesses such as HIV/AIDS and certain treatments to ailments such as cancer in adults. Children can be predisposed to weakened immune systems with medical conditions such as Down’s Syndrome, etc. But… of less severity, even a common cold or flu can weaken your immune system.

  • A Positive Family History Of Toenail Fungus (Genetics)

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - Genetics

While no definitive link has been found between nail fungus  and our individual DNA, scientists do agree that there are predispositions that can make an individual more prone to contract toenail fungus.

For example, if conditions that lead to a weakened immune system such as diabetes and other medical conditions run in your family, you are more apt to suffer secondary conditions such as toenail fungus that coincide with the other medical conditions.

  • Slow-Growing Nails

Risk Factors for Fungal Toenails - Slow Nail Growth

When you have slow-growing nails, this can predispose you to nail fungus. Why you ask?

It’s actually quite simple… the fungus has more time to grow and spread!

Did you know that toenails grow slower than fingernails? This is one reason that toenail fungus is more common than fingernail fungus.

  • Heavy Perspiration/Sweating AND The Use Of Socks, Shoes And/or Pantyhose That Do Not Absorb Sweat Or Perspiration And Prevent Ventilation

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - Sweating

Fungus LOVES a dark, warm and moist environment.

Think about those old science experiments in school where you placed a piece of bread in a baggie and let it sit. What happened? It grew fungus and mold!

Our feet naturally perspire in our shoes. Most of us experience this on a daily basis.

When this occurs AND we keep socks, shoes and/or pantyhose that don’t absorb this sweat or provide ventilation, can you see how we are setting up our toenails for disaster?

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - ShoesDon’t worry, there ARE products that can help with the sterilization of your shoes in order to diminish this risk factor!


  • Walking Barefoot In Heavy Traffic, Public Areas That Are Damp

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - PoolDamp areas such as public swimming pools, gyms and communal shower areas are thriving with fungi! Needless to say, these are usually the areas that we can be found walking barefoot in.

  • Living In A Wet Environment That Is Moist And Humid

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - High HumidityAre you getting the picture here?

Fungus LOVES warm and moist environments!

Any place that you go that fulfills this living condition adds a greater risk for contraction of this disease.

  • Living With Someone That Already Has Toenail Fungus

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - FamilyNail fungus is contagious.

When we place ourselves within environments where we know it exists, it is definitely time to put our preventative measures in place. Period.

It will only be a matter of time until you will contract this disease through small, microscopic cracks within your skin.

  • Working In A Humid Or Moist Work Environment Or In An Environment Where Your Hands Are Constantly In Water, Such As Dishwashing, Etc.

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - Dish Water

  • History Of A Previous Injury To The Toe And/or Toenail

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - InjuryWhether your injury is due to a nail bruise, laceration, ingrown toenail, etc., an injury makes you more susceptible to developing toenail fungus.


When the injury occurs, large and/or small cracks interrupt the solidity of your skin layer. When this occurs, it creates an entry zone for fungus.

  • Repetitive Minor Trauma To The Area (Exercise, Shoes That Are Too Short, etc.)

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - Small ShoesWearing shoes that are too short for your feet not only causes pain in your toes, but you will also experience micro-trauma from repetitive rubbing of your toes on the end of these shoes.

This micro-trauma creates small cracks on the skin of the end of your toes. These are usually invisible to the naked eye!

Well… guess what?

Fungus can easily enter these small, microscopic cracks and begin to multiply thereby stimulating a fungal infection.

  • Having Athlete’s Foot (Foot Fungus) Or A Skin Condition Like Psoriasis

Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus - Foot FungusNail fungus is a very common complication of Athlete’s Foot (a.k.a. foot fungus).

In fact, about one-third of all people with athlete’s foot develop toenail fungus. WOW!


With foot fungus, the skin on your feet and toes begin to crack and peel.

This cracking allows the fungus associated with your Athlete’s Foot to enter into the nail bed thus causing toenail fungus as well.

HELP… I Have Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus! – Now What?

So… you see yourself within some of the above categories of risk factors for toenail fungus.

What now?

How can you decrease the likelihood for developing this condition?

Causes of Toenail Fungus - Help

Ultimately… you have to do your best to eliminate the contact of the fungus with your feet!

You have to utilize methods to prevent toenail fungus!


While this is not as easy as it sounds, there are certain products on the market that can aid us in doing so!

A few of my favorite ways of achieving this is through the use of Antifungal Nail Polish (as a preventative measure) and Shoe Sanitizers.

These products can help to STOP fungus in its tracks BEFORE it has a chance to set up home within your toenails.


Go to next section: Causes of Toenail Fungus

Skip the educational information and go straight to MY TREATMENT RECOMMENDATIONS FOR TOENAIL FUNGUS!!!

24 thoughts on “Risk Factors for Toenail Fungus – Who Gets Toenail Fungus?

  1. I hate my toenail fungus because if it grows under my toenails and specifically at the sides of them it builds up and starts to hurt after a while.

    When I try to cut my nails it seems to attach itself to the nail as if it is skin but I know it isn’t then trying to get that bit of nail free makes it bleed.

    It is a messy and painful business especially when you have to be a bit of a contortionist to do it yourself. Saying that, I am afraid to let anyone else touch my nails.

    The natural products that you recommend sound really good, I do really like essential oils and I am intrigued about the spray you put under your tongue in Zeta Clear Nail Solution. What sort of ingredients are in that and how can it help?

    I want to try and get rid of my problem before I am too stiff to bend and reach my toes, it is a struggle now.

    Does it take very long to be effective?


    1. Hello Andi and welcome to my page!!! I am truly sorry that you are struggling with this condition!

      I have included the link to my post addressing the ingredients within ZetaClear – both the topical solution and the spray: What is in ZetaClear that Truly Makes It Work? I hope you find this post to contain everything you are wanting to know!

      ZetaClear typically takes 4 months (way less than the available prescriptions) to work and can be purchased at the cheapest available price via the official Zeta Clear Website which you can reach by clicking HERE.

      Thanks for visiting my page and I hope I answered all of your questions! Please feel free to comment with any other questions or concerns and I will return the comment! Also…should you decide to purchase ZetaClear, PLEASE keep us updated on your treatment progress! I know you will be amazed!

  2. Toenail fungus is really a common problem. Many people have it but don’t care to get it treated. Thanks for the comprehensive list of causes – I have always thought it’s only caused by sweaty feet. Never knew that other health issues also cause it. What are the different types of toenail fungus, by the way? I heard that toenails which break off easily are also indication of a fungus growth.

    1. Thank you so much for your comment!

      There are actually four main types of toenail fungus (I will commit to doing a page discussing this in the future)! The four main categories of toenail fungus are:

      1. Distal Subungual Onychomycosis

      2. White Superficial Onychomycosis

      3. Candida Onychomycosis

      4. Proximal Subungual Onychomycosis

      Brittle nails can be a sign of toenail fungus but can be due to other factors as well! Usually with the fungus, you will notice what we call “subungual debris” which can cause an appearance of little pieces of the toenail flaking off!

      Thanks for visiting the page and feel free to comment again in the future with any new questions! ((: Have a fabulous rest of the weekend!

  3. You mentioned that one of the ways of improving circulation to the toes is by using foot massages and foot circulation boosters. Can you offer me some good options in this regard?

    Your article was an amazing eye opener to read. I was stunned to find out that small cracks can be a risk factor to an ongoing fungal infection.

    I am guilty of neglecting my toes. I guess its because I think that I am young and that nothing will happen. However, as you had mentioned, fungus grows slowly over time.

    I will certainly be giving my toes more attention from now on.

    Thanks for the interested and educational read.


    1. Thank you for visiting my site Roopesh!

      I am currently working on some product reviews of foot massagers and circulation boosters, but I can go ahead and tell you which products that I recommend.

      The REVITIVE Circulation Booster is the absolute best tool for increasing blood flow to the lower extremity and the Sunpentown Infrared Blood Circulation Massager is also great as well as offers more of a massage to your feet!

      You may also be interested in reading my post about Shoe Sanitizers, which are so important even if you have healthy toenails, to ensure that you are doing everything you can do to prevent the occurrence of toenail fungus.

      I am glad that you enjoyed my article and encourage you to feel free to comment below should any additional questions arise!

  4. Over the years, I never paid much attention to my toes, except the usual keep clean, keep dry routines. About 2 years ago I got an ingrown nail on my right big toe which seemed to go away. I no longer have discomfort there, but the side of the nail is dark and this discoloration doesn’t seem to be going away.I wonder now if I should be treating it as a fungus ?

    1. Hey JJ! Thanks for your comment. Ingrown toenails are a VERY COMMON way for fungus to enter into the nail bed. What you are experiencing could very well be the result of a fungus. I am soooo sorry.

      Usually it will latent with the minor signs/symptoms and then one day it just starts to explode and can affect the whole toenail as well as other toenails and fingernails.

      It is definitely best to act FAST! If you let is go then it will not only take longer to treat, but can also affect other nails. NOT GOOD!

      Please check out my page on the different Treatment Options for your condition. Good Luck!

      Feel free to comment should you have any additional questions or concerns!

  5. I’ve always tried to ensure that I wear footwear that allows my feet to breath, but I had no idea that I was more susceptible to foot fungus as a male.

    My dad had athletes foot for years so it is great to find a site that will help me to have the knowledge to keep that in check. Keep up the good work! Great Website.

    1. Hello Nick! Thank you for visiting my site! Yes… simply being a male does put you at a greater risk to develop fungus. Not fair, right?

      But… there are products that can help in preventing the occurrence of this unsightly condition. One of my favorites is the SteriShoe UV Shoe Sanitizer. This is an amazing product that not only helps prevent many bacterial and fungal infections, but also can solve the problem of smelly shoes and feet due to perspiration and just everyday wear!

      Thanks again for your visit! My hope is that you learned something that you can take with you! If you have any additional questions or concerns, please feel free to comment below and I will get back with you!

      Merry Christmas!

  6. Very informative, and thorough article on toe nail fungus. I didn’t know it was contagious. Another reason to dislike it. With all of this helpful info that I am now armed with, if I get toe nail fungus, I will have no one else to blame. I have heard that wild oil of oregano is good for this because if it’s anti-fungal properties. Are you aware of this?

    1. Hello Tom! Thank you for the kind comments!

      Most people do not realize that toenail fungus is contagious! You can contract it from other people, from the environment (it is literally EVERYWHERE) OR other toenails and/or fingernails can contract it from one infected nail.

      Oil of Oregano is definitely anti-fungal. I have a small discussion of this HERE!

      I hope that you never face the pitfalls of toenail fungus, but if you do… I can definitely recommend safe and effective products that actually work!

      Thanks again for your comment! Should you think of any other questions OR have any concerns with your feet, please feel free to comment again! I am here to help!

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  7. Haha the being a male stood out as the first thing. I guess I am more a risk for that. Fortunately, I do work at home, so I do not have to wear my shoes all the time. But for some reason, I have a habit of sleeping with my socks on. I don’t even remember when I started doing it, I just don’t take them off before I go to sleep. Will that increase the risk for fungus?

    1. Hello Ben!

      Yes… I hate it, but it’s true. Men ARE at an increased risk for toenail fungus versus women. ):

      Working at home and not having to wear shoes ALL of the time is definitely a good thing. It allows your feet to breath and ventilate! My question to you is… When you are at home throughout the day do you wear socks? I know that you said that you sleep in socks! As long as you are allowing some time throughout the day where your feet are just open, that should not pose any threats. But… if you NEVER take your socks off, you could be setting yourself up for some complications and increasing your chance of developing fungus!

      Hope I helped! Should you think of any other questions or concerns, please feel free to leave me a comment and I will get back with ya!

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

  8. I can confirm that way more men than women have toenail fungus! As a massage therapist who’s seen thousands of feet this is something I’ve had the privilege of noticing 🙂 Of course, I’m female, and I also have it, and so I’m so glad I stumbled on this site.

    1. Penelope… thank you for visiting my site! People just don’t realize how prevalent toenail fungus actually is!

      Also… people do not realize why you should treat toenail fungus. This disease can quickly spiral out of control!

      Feel free to refer your clients to this website! My goal is to truly help people fight this unsightly condition before complications from this disease occur!

      For yourself… TREAT YOUR TOENAIL FUNGUS NOW! I can definitely recommend products that actually work! Don’t wait… it will only get harder to treat!

      Should you have ANY questions, I am here to help! Just comment below and I will get back with you!

      Good luck to you! I hope you have a very, Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

  9. I am so glad I don’t have foot fungus. That would be ew. I wash my shoes once a month and always wear clean socks.
    I am scared to go in public showers at beaches or pools. This may sound a bit weird but sometimes I won’t even step in hotel shower without sandals on.
    I’m also glad girls have less of a chance then getting nail fungus. My girlfriend has pretty nails and feet is why. =)

    1. Hello! I am so glad that you have not experienced fungus as well!

      Continue to take good care of your feet! You only get one pair to last a lifetime! ((:

  10. This is one the nicest article I have ever read. It gave me an idea of how toenail fungus is really contagious even in a simple, moist and humid environment. Also, I never thought that an ingrown toenail could also be one of the causes of toenail fungus. At least I know by now how I will protect my toes from toenail fungus . Thanks for this article. It really helps.

    1. Celeste… thank you for the kind words! I am glad that you found my article to be educational!

      Feel free to comment at any time with any questions or concerns! I truly am here to help!

      Have a very, Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year!

  11. This is one the nicest article I have ever read. It gave me an idea of how toenail fungus is really contagious even in a simple, moist and humid environment.

    I never thought that ingrown toenail could also be one of the cause of toenail fungus. At least I know how will I protect my toes from toenail fungus.

    Thanks for this article it really helps.

    1. Thank you for the kind words Maria! My goal is always to provide you with the information necessary to hopefully prevent any adverse conditions. Should you have any further questions or concerns regarding your feet, please feel free to comment and I am more than happy to get your questions answered.

      Thanks again and Merry Christmas!

  12. This is kind of scary- I definitely have some of the risk factors for toe fungus. It actually seems like everyone might.

    The risk factor that bothers me the most is “living with someone who already has toenail fungus”. If you think about it, you could come across it when you go to a hotel or if you get pedicures.

    I am so glad that you included some ways to prevent getting toenail fungus especially since it seems like everyone has some level of risk.

    1. Good morning! Yes… toenail fungus is a scary thing! NOBODY wants thick and yellow toenails!

      You are correct in your comment that to some degree, EVERYONE usually does fall into some category of the risk factors for toenail fungus! We see contraction of toenail fungus from hotels and pedicures ALL of the time! I cannot stress just how important early treatment is. The earlier you treat, the easier it is to treat! Treatment options for toenail fungus ARE out there and aren’t as cumbersome as one might think!

      Please let me know if you have any questions or concerns! I am definitely here to help!

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