The Dirty Dozen: 12 Tips To Help You Avoid Toenail Fungus

Posted on: 24 November 2014

Toenail fungus is a common but annoying condition that often is a recurring issue. It can thrive in moist, closed-in environments and can spread to other nails. If left untreated, toenail fungus can cause pain and permanent damage.

Anyone can have toenail fungus, but people with health problems such as diabetes and circulatory issues have an even higher risk of contracting it. The fungus can then lead to a widespread infection and other problems.

The following 12 tips can help reduce your chances of getting toenail fungus:

  1. Avoid going barefoot. If you're in a public shower area, wear flip-flops. The surface may look clean, but it can still harbor fungi. Even at home, it can be a good idea to wear socks around the house. If one family member unknowingly has an infection, it can be easily spread to another.
  2. Wash your feet often, taking special care between your toes. Antibacterial soap is a good choice. Make sure to dry them thoroughly, especially before you put on socks and shoes.
  3. Use anti-fungal powder, cornstarch, or antiperspirant on your feet before you put socks and shoes on. This will help keep your feet dry.
  4. Change socks – and shoes, if possible - during the day. This is especially important for people whose feet tend to sweat a good bit, but it can also be helpful if you're caught in a rainstorm.
  5. Wear socks that help keep your feet dry. Ideally, choose a synthetic blend that's made to wick moisture away from your feet.
  6. Avoid wearing toenail polish and acrylic nails in particular. It may also be best to avoid salon pedicures. If you do choose to have them, skip anything that involves soaking your feet, and bring your own pedicure tools.
  7. Clean your nail clippers and other pedicure tools after each use, and don't share them with other people.
  8. Keep your toenails well-groomed and trimmed straight across. Don't round the corners. Your nails should be relatively short, but not so short that you cause nicks or cuts when you clip them.
  9. Don't wear the same pair of shoes every day. Alternating pairs can give them a chance to thoroughly dry before you wear them again. And when you're not wearing your shoes, make sure they're in a ventilated area where they can thoroughly dry. A shoe bag or gym locker should be avoided.
  10. Wear shoes that aren't too tight so your feet have more room to "breathe." Sandals are a good choice when the weather is warm enough. Particularly avoid high heels that cause your toe area to jam tightly into the front of your shoe.
  11. If you're already had a problem with toenail fungus, you might want to discard any old shoes or socks, since they could still harbor the fungus. At a minimum, change the insoles and spray your shoes regularly with antifungal spray. Wash your socks in hot water and bleach.
  12. Clean your tub and shower regularly with bleach. And don't neglect the bath mat, since it harbors germs and moisture. It should be washed regularly in hot water.

Inspect your toenails regularly for any changes so you can spot any indications of fungus early. Some of the first signs can include white spots or streaks on the nail surface or yellow streaks on the underside of the nail or in the nail bed. If you think you may have toenail fungus, it's best to seek treatment before it gets worse.

To learn more, contact a company like Advanced Foot Clinic with any questions you have.