5 Tips For Preventing Toenail Fungus

Progressive Podiatry PLLC Toenail Fungus Discoloration Distorted shape Thickening A foul smell Pain or discomfort

Toenail fungus is a common issue caused by a fungal infection in your toenails. Several different microscopic organisms can trigger these infections.

In most cases, the first sign of a toenail infection is a small yellow or white spot beneath your nail. But as it progresses, it can cause additional symptoms, including:

Once you develop this type of infection, it can be challenging to treat. That’s because your toenail has several layers, and microorganisms can get in between them, penetrating deep into your nail. They can also spread quickly to other toenails and skin on your feet.

The fungus that triggers toenail infections is nearly everywhere, and it can be highly contagious. Because anyone at any age can get these infections, Dr. Evan Breth and Dr. Neha Khanna at Progressive Podiatry PLLC recommend taking these five steps to prevent getting infections. If you’re already experiencing toenail fungus symptoms, they offer several treatment plans at their three locations in the Brooklyn borough of New York City.

1. Trim your nails straight across

Tapered and rounded toenails may look pretty, but cutting your toenails straight across does a better job of keeping them strong and helping you avoid ingrown toenails. You should also keep your toenails trimmed short. This will reduce debris buildup under your toenails and minimize your chances of snagging them on something or cracking them. When your toenails are broken or damaged, they are more vulnerable to infection.

2. Choose the right footwear

Toenail fungus loves moist, warm, and dark areas, which makes your hot and sweaty toes an ideal environment. When selecting your footwear, make sure they’re breathable, and choose moisture-wicking socks that can prevent moisture from getting trapped against your skin. It’s also essential to make sure that your shoes fit comfortably and have plenty of toe room.

Each day, wear clean, dry socks, and alternate the shoes you wear so they can completely air out between uses. To make sure your feet have time to breathe, try to wear sandals whenever possible.

3. Use powders or antifungal sprays

When it comes to toenail fungus, you want to keep your feet as clean and dry as possible. If you’re about to face hot weather or a sweaty workout, keep your feet comfortable in advance by spraying or sprinkling antifungal medications inside your socks or shoes. These over-the-counter medications can help prevent fungal infections by controlling sweat and inhibiting the growth of fungus.

4. Practice good foot hygiene

Toenail fungus is highly contagious, so you shouldn’t share grooming supplies or shoes with someone else. If you get pedicures in a nail salon, bring your own tools or make sure they thoroughly sanitize and disinfect foot baths and nail clippers and files before each use.

5. Avoid being barefoot in public

Because of the contagious nature and ability of toenail fungus to thrive in moist, warm places, don’t walk barefoot in public areas. This includes public pools, showers, and locker rooms, which are loaded with microscopic fungal organisms. In environments like these, protect your feet by wearing sandals, flip-flops, or shower shoes to minimize your exposure.

For more information on preventing toenail fungus, or to get treatment for an existing infection, call Progressive Podiatry PLLC or schedule an appointment online today.

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