For most people, the fungus that has infected their toenails started off as a case of athlete’s foot. This is typically spread from person to person by walking barefoot in the showers at your gym or at your local swimming pool, which is why you should always wear flip flops or sandals when in any damp/wet area. This is also why treating and preventing athlete’s foot is one of the mainstays of aftercare of laser toenail fungus removal.
Left untreated, this case of athlete’s foot will continue to grow and spread across the sole of your feet and onto your toes – and this is when it will typically “jump” and infect your toenails. Normally, this is the result of some kind of trauma to the nail that will make it susceptible to the infection – such as when someone steps or drops something on your toes, or it could be the repetitive trauma on your toenails from wearing shoes that don’t fit properly. People who play certain sports like basketball, tennis, racquet ball or netball are often more susceptible to a fungal toenail infection because of the sudden stopping movements that cause the foot to slide inside the shoe.
The toenail fungus might first appear as a small patch of discoloration on one of your toe nails, typically white or yellow. Many people might even just think that it is a scratch or mark and ignore it, until it has truly had a chance to take hold of your nail, and turn it into an unsightly, thickened yellow/white brittle mess. Once you have one infected toenail, it is a lot more likely to spread from one toenail to another on the same foot or even jump to your other foot, being spread by everyday items like your socks. Just washing your socks isn’t enough to help prevent this – you need to do something in order to kill the bacteria or fungus, like laser toenail fungus removal. The most effective way to keep your feet fungus free!