Toenail fungus prevention may not be on the very top of your list of things-to-do list, but it ought to be. Fungal infections are commonplace in our surroundings, particularly in dark, humid, warm locations, such as within your shoes. It is, therefore, relatively easy to find a toenail fungal infection (onychomycosis ).
How Toenail Fungal Infections Develop
Toenail fungal infections are frequently caused by microscopic organisms known as Dermatophytes. They feed on keratin, a protein found in nails and hair.
A variety of factors can increase the likelihood of developing a fungal infection. “Most people contract toenail fungus from a fungal skin infection such as an athlete’s foot that transfers to the nail,” the doctor Dr. Monique Muronda, DPM. Unfit footwear can affect your feet. For instance, in the case of toenails, if they are swollen by pressure from inappropriate shoes, they’ll be weaker and more vulnerable to fungus.
Toenail fungus can cause nails to thicken as well as discolored and brittle. “If the nail becomes thickened, it can be painful and cause pressure on the underlying nail bed,” Dr. Monique Muronda, DPM declares. “The nail bed can develop an ulcer, especially as someone ages and the pressure increases.” Toenail fungus may cause the toenail to break and split with the bed of the nail. This could be very painful and can cause problems walking.
Getting rid of fungal infection can be a challenge because it is resistant to treatment, requiring months. “Prevention is important because once the fungal infection gets into the nail, it becomes much more difficult to treat,” Dr. Monique Muronda says.
Healthy habits to Prevent Toenail Fungus
The health of your feet is dependent on proper hygiene, and it’s vital to keep your feet clean and clean. Follow these tips to prevent a fungal toenail infection:
- Cut your nails correctly. Cut your toenails using clean nail clippers or scissors to ensure that you make cuts straight along. Doctor. Monique Muronda says it’s okay to employ a nail file to trim sharp edges and use it gently.
- Make sure you wear shoes that are correctly fitted. “Shoes shouldn’t be touching your toenails in any way,” Dr. Monique Muronda says. “Avoid sliding into shoes that are too big and jamming your toenails into the end of the shoe.” It is recommended that the American Academy of Family Physicians suggests buying shoes that have a wide toe box to prevent your toes from getting cramped.
- Select breathable shoes—more air in your boots, drier, and less prone to fungus. The best choice is shoes composed of breathable materials such as canvas or leather, as per the American College of Foot & Ankle Orthopedics & Medicine.
- Alternate the shoes you wear. Inputting damp shoes due to sweating from the previous day’s workout will increase your toenails’ risk of contracting a fungal infection. Therefore, you should buy a few pairs and alternate the team. “Don’t wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row,” Dr. Monique Muronda says. “Allow them to air out between wearings.” Make sure that they’re put outside in a place where they’ll dry completely.
- Be careful not to walk around in public spaces. The locker room, the public pool showers, and similar areas are full of fungi waiting to reach your feet. “Always wear flip-flops, sandals, or shower shoes in a moist environment,” Dr. Monique Muronda says.
- Cleanse frequently. Clean your shower and then disinfect it using bleach-based cleaner Dr. Monique Muronda says. Spray your footwear with an antibacterial spray, mainly if you’ve worn them sans socks. Then, wash your socks in hot water using bleach to eliminate any fungus. Also, clean your feet regularly, and be sure that you dry them thoroughly following the wash, especially between your toes, where moisture could get stuck.
- Dust your footwear. Make use of an antifungal powder to stop fungi from taking over. Sprinkle the powder into your shoes and socks before every wear to prevent the development of fungus spores. This is particularly important as your feet are more sweaty in hot temperatures.