Does Being Overweight Make You More Prone to Fungal Infections?

Being overweight leaves you at a higher risk for many concerning health conditions like cardiovascular disease, and even cancer. However, while obesity awareness is slowly progressing across the United States, there are many effects of obesity still being discovered. One of those effects seem to be that obese people are at a higher risk of certain fungal infections.

So, what is the link between obesity and fungal infections?

Research on Obesity and Onychomycosis

The connection between obesity and fungal infections is hardly a discovery. A 2015 study published in the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology mentions obesity as one of the key factors for onychomycosis along with age and certain diseases like psoriasis and diabetes. Since diabetes and obesity often go hand-in-hand, this could be another reason for this connection.

A new Korean study confirms these findings. The scientists from the Catholic University of Korea College of Medicine, Seoul found that the prevalence of onychomycosis increases as we go up the weight spectrum. The study included more than nine million adults and concluded that the rate of infection was almost doubled among the statistically obese.

Onychomycosis Causes and Treatment

We still need more research to determine why obese people are at a higher risk of onychomycosis. The link above between diabetes and obesity could be one reason for this link. Another reason could be the fact that fungi thrive in damp and dark conditions, so sweaty, tight shoes are definitely something to watch for.

Fortunately, complications of this condition are infrequent and it can usually be treated with common medication like itraconazole and terbinafine.


While we still don’t understand it completely, there seems to be a link between obesity and fungal infections. If you have a weight problem, make sure your feet are as dry as possible and that they have enough room to breathe.

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