If you have ever had a toenail fungus, you know how unsightly it is; this common infection may cause your nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. Toenail fungus usually begins as a white or yellow-brown spot beneath the tip of your toenail and can affect several nails. Fortunately, your Carmel Kyrou Podiatry Associates provider may recommend medications and self-care measures to treat your nail fungus. However, even if treatment is successful, toenail fungus often recurs. Therefore, the best thing to do is learn prevention tips to avoid catching a new case. You can easily keep fungus away from your toes using the following tips.
Choose the right footwear
Fungus thrives in dark, moist, warm places like your shoes and socks, making it relatively easy to stumble upon a toenail fungal infection. Therefore, your shoes and socks play a significant role in the health of your feet. It is best to wear roomy shoes made out of breathable material such as leather or canvas. If you need to wear socks, consider the ones made from synthetic fiber that pulls moisture away from your feet. Your shoes should not be too tight to avoid cramping your toenails.
Alternate your shoes
Investing in a few good pairs of shoes and rotating them to reduce your risk of a toenail fungal infection is best. Remember, warm and moist conditions support the growth of fungi, so avoid putting on shoes that are still damp from yesterday’s sweaty workout. Refrain from consistently wearing the same shoes for two days; let them air between each. You want to place them in the open, where they dry thoroughly.
Use an antifungal spray on your shoes each morning before you slip them, especially if you have worn them without socks. You also want to thoroughly wash your socks in hot water with bleach to kill fungi. Ensure your feet are clean and dry; clean them daily with soap and water and dry them well afterward. Pay special attention between your toes where moisture gets trapped. Your shower can also harbor fungi and bacteria, so it is important to disinfect it with a bleach-based cleanser.
Your nail clippers, files, and scissors should also be cleaned and sterilized after each use. If you get your nails done at the salon, sterilize their tools to avoid catching a fungal infection.
Use antifungal powder
An antifungal powder can help keep fungi at bay; sprinkle some of it inside your footwear, including shoes and socks. Do this before each wearing to prevent the growth of fungi spores. Although it is important to do this daily, it is especially vital in hot weather when your feet tend to get sweatier. Remember to sprinkle some antifungal powder on your feet as well; this will help keep your toes dry and prevent other fungus infections, like athlete’s foot. Although some people use cornstarch, it is best to use a medicated powder. It is also essential to check your toes regularly and see your doctor if you notice a nail color or texture change.
If you need help treating a toenail fungus, book an appointment with your provider at Kyrou Podiatry Associates.