A fingernail or toenail infection that is caused by
a fungus is called onychomycosis (say: "on-ee-koh-my-ko-sis").
Toenails are more likely to become infected than fingernails.
This infection can make your nails thick and discolored.
You may even have pain in your toes or fingertips.
Anyone can get a fungal nail infection. These infections
are more common in adults older than 60 years of age.
They are especially common in people with diabetes or
circulation problems. Children hardly ever get fungal
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 barefooted in
locker rooms, you can pick up a fungus from the warm,
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.