Tips To Prevent Fungal Nail Infections
Making a few simple lifestyle changes can help prevent a fungal infection of the nails. Taking good care of your nails by keeping them well trimmed and clean is a good way to prevent infections.
Also avoid injuring the skin around your nails. If youre going to have damp or wet hands for an extended amount of time, you may want to wear rubber gloves.
Other ways to prevent fungal infections of the nails include:
- washing your hands after touching infected nails
- drying your feet well after showering, especially between your toes
- getting manicures or pedicures from trustworthy salons
- avoiding being barefoot in public places
- reducing your use of artificial nails and nail polish
Products to help you avoid nail fungus
If youre prone to excessive moisture around your fingernails or toenails, consider buying:
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Keep Your Nails Trimmed And Straight
While you may like the look of rounded or tapered toenails, keeping your nails straight is better for your foot health. Cutting your toenails straight across keeps them strong and helps you avoid ingrown toenails.
Youll also want to keep your toenails short. Short toenails help minimize debris buildup and help reduce your chances of snagging or breaking your toenails. This is important because when your toenails are broken or damaged, theyre more vulnerable to infection.
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When Should I Call The Doctor
In rare cases, toenail fungus can cause an infection called cellulitis. Without prompt treatment, cellulitis may pose a serious danger to your health.
You should seek treatment guidance from a trusted healthcare provider if you have:
- Circulation problems.
- Redness, pain or pus near the toenail.
- Weakened immune system.
Dont Use Nail Polish On Infected Nails
Youve probably heard all the benefits of how to prevent toenail fungus but did you know that keeping proper hygiene is also important? This article will provide you with some basic information on keeping your nails healthy.
The roots of the nails get into the crevices and the infection may start there and spread out from there. Prevention is better than cure, so try to keep your nails clean and free of debris. Never polish your nails if they are wet because this will increase the chances of bacteria growing and making an infection worse.
Watch your water consumption. If your body cant properly absorb water through your skin then the water will end up trapped under the nail where it cannot be eliminated.
When you see a toenail that looks discolored, you should immediately visit your doctor to inquire about how to prevent toenail fungus. Your doctor will check the problem, scrape the nail and allow it to dry for 24 hours. Once the nail is dried it will return to its natural color.
Dont wait to get rid of a toenail fungus. Keep your nails free of excess debris and bacteria. If you do this you will be able to protect them and keep your nails healthy.
Nail polish that contains chemicals is something you shouldnt use because they irritate the skin around the nails. If you notice that your nails are peeling, cut them off if they are cracked or bleeding. If your toenails have a bad odor, cut them off if they are black, blue or yellow. This is caused by fungal growth.
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/6toenail Infection Is A Contagious Disease
Toenail fungus also known as onychomycosis is a common infection of the toenail. This contagious disease can be very painful and can even spread to other parts of the body, if not treated immediately.
The most common symptom of the toenail infection is a white, brown or yellow discoloration of one or more toenails. It may spread and even cause the nails to thicken and crack.
Traditionally, anti-fungal treatments such as terbinafine or fluconazole are used to cure toenail fungus, but these treatments have some serious side effects like upset stomach, dizziness, and jaundice. Most people opt for home remedies to cure this disease.
You can also try these popular home remedies, if your toenail is troubling you.
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What Causes Toenail Fungus And How To Prevent It
Unfortunately, the warm and moist environment inside your shoe can make you vulnerable to fungal infections. When these occur on the toenail, doctors call the condition onychomycosis. Fungal skin infections commonly called athletes foot can often affect the foot as well.
One of the you get a fungal toenail infection is when fungus invades small cracks in your toenail. Some people are at greater risk for this occurring, including those with:
- circulation problems, especially related to the feet
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Take Care Of Your Feet
We know that regular foot care is an important part of maintaining overall good health, and its also important to the foot health of everyone around you, whether at home, in locker rooms, gyms, and at public pools. Sanitizing and disinfecting nail clippers and all pedicure tools is very important. And dont forget to keep your socks and shoes clean and dry. Fungal infections love damp socks and the company of their kind in an infected shoe!
Avoiding Onychomycosis and Athletes Foot is always easier than eliminating these conditions, and maintaining healthy nails and feet demands good foot hygiene.
Regular use of Doctors Kline + Greens Clear+Restore is also recommended in order to prevent toenail fungus, as well as treat dry cracked toenails and other symptoms.
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How To Stop Toenail Fungus From Spreading
Once you discover the signs of toenail fungus, you may be concerned about giving it to people you are close to. Toenail fungus is contagious, and can easily be passed along between people. It is particularly easy for the fungus to spread between people who you often share spaces with, like family members or close friends. The fungus is not only contagious, but difficult to get rid of once caught. It is important to take steps to prevent the spread of toenail fungus immediately once discovered.
The most important thing to do to prevent the spread of toenail fungus is identify objects and areas where the fungus could easily gain access to. This includes socks, nail clippers, and other objects that come in contact with the toes. To stop toenail fungus from spreading from person to person, these objects should be kept hygienic and not shared by multiple people. When tools like nail clippers are shared between a family, the fungus can use the object as a medium to infect other nails. These measures should be taken at all times, even before signs of the fungus are noticed. This way, you can actively stop the spread of toenail fungus at all times, even before you notice your own fungus.
Symptoms often develop slowly over time. A nail with a fungal infection may:
- Turn yellow, white, or brown.
- Get thicker.
- Crumble or split and may separate from the skin.
An Abundance Of Pseudoscience
A tough problem that embarrasses people makes for a fertile breeding ground for pseudoscience and old wives tales which Liz found when researching online.
Hydrogen peroxide, bleach. I mostly use tea tree oil and lavender, she said.
The abundance of miracle cures touted online makes Tracey Vlahovics life difficult at times.
Oh, dont get me started. If I had a dollar for everything I had heard, Id be a millionaire at this point, she said. From benign treatments such as essential oil, vinegars and mouthwash to the noxious bleach option, Vlahovic has seen it all. Its not just about applying something to the nail, it has to be something that will get through the nail plate and into the nail bed where the infection is. So, it doesnt matter what you use, it has to be able to penetrate.
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Top Prevention Strategies For Toenail Fungus
For these reasons it’s important to take the necessary precautions to prevent a fungal nail infection. These recommendations will also help reduce the chance of spreading the infection to your other toenails and other people and is best practice when you get toenail fungus treatment.
Don’t use the same nail trimmer or file on healthy nails and infected ones .
Keep your toenails short. When your toenails get long and start to hit the top of your shoe, the nail bed is more likely to lift and letting in fungus.
Wear socks made of wicking material to draw moisture from the skin (an excellent sock is the Copper Anti-bacterial Antifungal Low Cut Socks these are wicking and anti-microbial. If you’re a hiker a sock liner from Fox River will keep the moisture away from your feet. Avoid wearing cotton.
Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or your feet get wet.
Wear clean, dry socks every day and apply over-the-counter antifungal powder inside socks to keep feet dry.
Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area .
Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms .
Top 5 Steps To Prevent Nail Fungus From Returning
Because of the reasons mentioned above, post-treatment care should not be neglected. Nail care after treatment must be a combination of good hygiene, continuous application of treatment on the infected nail, and treatment of other fungal infections. Here are 5 easy ways to avoid nail fungus recurrence:
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Wear Shoes In Public Places
Dont forget to use shoes in places such as the gym, beach, pool, and in public showers and saunas. Walking around barefoot is one of the easiest way to contract a toenail infection.
Public places may not be as clean as you think. Thats why wearing open shoes is preferable to walking barefoot, not only for sanitary reasons, but also to avoid being cut by sharp objects on the ground.
A good idea is to have a pair of shoes for each individual place. For example, you can have shoes for the beach and a different pair for the gym.
What Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider About Toenail Fungus
If you have toenail fungus, you may find it helpful to ask your provider:
- What type of infection do I have?
- Do you recommend I treat it? Why or why not?
- How long will I need treatment?
- What steps can I take to stop it from coming back?
- Should I be aware of any potentially serious complications or treatment side effects?
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Toenail fungus is an incredibly common infection that can be difficult to treat. The condition usually isnt painful, but it may make you feel self-conscious about how your foot looks. If it bothers you, talk to your provider about your treatment options. A trained specialist can provide guidance on whats most likely to address your concerns while protecting your overall health.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 12/17/2020.
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The Danger Of Waiting To Treat The Fungus
The greatest danger of not treating the foot or toenail fungus is that it can spread to other parts of the body, such as the hands and groin.
If for some reason you cant treat your toenails or your feet right away, at least use an antifungal topical cream on the surrounding skin, Dr. Ng says. That will help keep it from spreading and keep the skin intact.
What Is Toenail Fungus & Its Causes
Toenail fungus is a localized infection of one or more toenails caused by fungal organisms. The most common of these is called dermatophyte. Yeast and mold can also cause infection. Most of these infections begin when the agents that cause athletes foot spread into the nail. It is unusual to get an infection from someone else, but damp areas such as locker rooms can spread them.
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Tips For Preventing Stubborn Toenail Fungus This Summer
Do you know that toenail fungus is an infection caused by microscopic organisms? Even if you dont understand the cause, youre probably familiar with the effects of these tiny invaders.
Most toenail fungal infections start with a small yellow or white spot beneath the nail. As it develops, the fungal infection can cause other symptoms, including:
- Nail discoloration
- A foul smell
- Pain or discomfort
Your toenails have many layers and the microorganisms that cause fungal infections can get between these layers. This means that once they take root, toenail fungal infections can be challenging to treat and can spread to other nails or even the skin on your feet.
At South Sound Foot & Ankle in Olympia, Washington, our team can help with hard-to-treat fungal infections. That said, prevention is often the best medicine. To prevent stubborn toenail fungus this summer,, recommends taking these five steps to stop fungus before it starts!
Sizing Up Risk Factors
People who have chronic athletes foot are at risk for developing toenail fungus, and there seems to be a genetic predisposition. Sometimes the fungus gets into the nail bed after the nail was cracked or cut too short. The fungus also lurks in shared showers, around pools and a lot of Vlahovics patients tell her their troubles started after getting a pedicure.
The very place where people go to beautify their feet and toenails is often responsible for spreading disease, says Tennessee podiatrist Dr. Robert Spalding. He has written a book called Death by Pedicure and has been on a decade-long crusade to make nail salons safer.
They use contaminated instruments, in some cases, or they dont take the time to properly disinfect and follow their state protocols, Spalding said. Nail fungus and other microorganisms are really tough to kill, and Spalding says the only sure-fire way to sterilize the instruments is to use something called an autoclave.
An autoclave is basically a pressure cooker, he said. Its steam under pressure, for a certain amount of time. Its how instruments are cleaned for surgery.
The foot-soaking tubs are another cesspool of infection that Spalding says some salons are eliminating. Now they are going to tubs that have liners. They dont use the jets as much. And they are coming up with something called a dry pedicure, where they just take hot towels and soak the feet, Spalding said.
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What If It Does Happen Again
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, a fungal infection can return. The good news is, you likely know what to look for in your nails by now, and catching it early will most likely mean a much easier and shorter treatment time than your first go.
Our treatments, including Lunula laser therapy, are ready for you when needed. We will be perfectly happy if we never have to use them for you again, however.
If you ever have any questions or suspicions regarding a potential fungal nail infection, please do not hesitate to reach out to us. Call our Princeton office at or our Roselle Park office at . You also can consult our free downloadable guide on fungal nails for some more tips!
Why Does My Nail Fungus Keep Coming Back
A fungal infection starts out small enough usually a white or yellow spot appears on your toenail. All too soon, your entire nail is consumed by the fungus and your neighboring nails become infected, too. This leaves you with crumbling and unsightly toenails that youre forced to hide. These types of infections are notoriously difficult to get rid of, but not impossible, especially if you get the right treatment.
At Neuhaus Foot and Ankle, our team of foot health experts knows all too well how difficult it is to fight toenail fungus once it takes hold. Yet, with the right medical care, as well as patience on your part, we can not only prevail in your current battle against toenail fungus, we can prevent it from recurring in the future.
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