Nail Fungal Infections | Causes & Risk Factors


Who gets fungal nail infections?

Anyone can get a fungal nail infection, but these infections are more common in adults older than 60 years of age. They are especially common in people who have diabetes or circulation problems. Men are more likely than women to get fungal nail infections.

Why did I get a fungal nail infection?

It may be hard to know where or how you got a fungal nail infection. A warm, wet place is a good place for a fungus to grow. If you often wear heavy work boots that make your feet warm and sweaty, a fungus can grow around your toenails. If you often walk barefoot in locker rooms, you can pick up a fungus from the warm, wet floors.

People whose hands are often wet (for example, dishwashers in restaurants and professional house cleaners) are more likely to get fungal fingernail infections.

Sometimes several people in a family will get fungal infections in their nails at the same time. This can happen because their immune systems aren't able to fight off the infection very well or because the infection is being passed when they use the same towels.


Treating Onychomycosis by P Rodgers, M.D. and M Bassler, M.D. (American Family Physician February 15, 2001,

Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 04/14
Created: 02/01