Toenail fungus affects nearly 20 percent of the population and is one of the most common foot conditions that is treated by your podiatrist. Characterized by thick, disfigured, yellow nails, this recurring disorder can cause the nail to grow fragile, brittle and loose, and, in some cases, to crumble away. In the most severe cases, infected nails may even cause pain or difficulty walking.
Fungi thrive in warm, moist environments and can spread from person to person. Like athlete’s foot, you can contract a fungal nail infection from simply walking barefoot in public showers or pools or by sharing nail clippers or shoes. Fungal infections can also infect fingernails, but toenails are more difficult to treat as toenails typically grow more slowly. By following simple preventive measures from your podiatrist, you can take the next step to healthy, attractive feet.
How to Prevent Pesky Toenail Fungus
Toenail fungus is common, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be easily prevented. By following these simple guidelines from your podiatrist, you can take the next step toward healthy feet:
- Wear shower shoes at public pools and locker rooms.
- Never share nail clippers or files.
- Wear dry shoes that allow air to circulate around your feet.
- Avoid injury to your nail, such as cutting it too short.
- Inspect your feet and toes regularly.
- Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenail infections.
- Wear open-toed shoes if weather permits.
- Avoid wearing nail polish and disinfect pedicure tools.
- Wear clean, dry cotton socks that provide breathing room and whisk away moisture.
And if you are unable to avoid the development of toenail fungus, a trip to your podiatrist will do the trick. Your podiatrist will work with you to determine the best treatment plan for eliminating your toenail fungus, while also offering helpful advice for ways to prevent the development of this pesky infection.