Prevent Toenail Fungus

In the peak of the sunny season, most people want nothing more than to let their toes free in a stylish flip-flop or go barefoot on the beach. But beating the heat and giving your feet a chance to breathe can be a challenge for those with toenail fungus. Toenail fungus can be unsightly and uncomfortable, and it's often difficult to get rid of on your own. No one should have to hide their toes or feel discomfort, especially in the summer. That's why we've made a list of seven healthy habits to help you prevent toenail fungus this summer.

What is Toenail Fungus?

Toenail fungus includes a variety of common infections that occur when a fungus or yeast infects the toenail. The affected nail may become thickened, yellow, or brittle, and it can cause pain, redness, and swelling around the toenail.

There are four primary types of fungal nail infections, such as:

  • Distal subungual onychomycosis (DSO) - The most common type, which infects the skin inside the infected nail and on the nail bed, is distal subungual onychomycosis. DSO is caused by the same fungus that causes athlete‚Äôs foot.
  • White superficial onychomycosis (WSO) - White superficial onychomycosis is the second most common type, which affects the top layer of your nail and causes a white, crumbling powder to appear.
  • Candida onychomycosis - Candida onychomycosis is a yeast infection that affects the nail and its bordering skin. These infections are more common in the fingernails.
  • Proximal subungual onychomycosis (PSO) - PSO thickens and separates the skin at the base of the nail and often leads to a foot infection. This is more common in patients with HIV.

If you wear shoes and socks that are sweaty and moist due to physical activity or other reasons, you may be at a higher risk of developing a fungal nail infection. The fungus grows in warm, damp environments, so try your best to keep your feet dry. If you notice any of these nail fungus symptoms, you should see a foot doctor for toenail fungus treatments.

Seven Healthy Habits to Prevent Toenail Fungus

There are plenty of steps you can take to avoid developing a toenail fungal infection. Some healthy habits you can practice are:

  1. 1 - Wash Your Feet Every Day

    This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's important to cleanse your feet regularly to prevent the spread of the foot fungus. Be sure to wash with soap and water, paying special attention to the spaces between your toes. Dry your feet thoroughly afterward, and don't forget to dry in between your toes as well.

  2. 2 - Keep Your Nails Trimmed

    Long nails can provide the perfect breeding ground for fungus, so be sure to keep them trimmed short. It's also important to file down any thickened or jagged nails, as these can trap moisture and lead to fungal growth.

  3. 3 - Choose Shoes Wisely

    When picking out summer shoes, opt for those made from breathable materials like leather or canvas. Avoid shoes made from synthetic materials like plastic or rubber, as these can trap moisture and lead to fungal growth. If you are showering in common spaces like locker rooms, be sure to wear shower shoes to protect yourself from bacteria. Also, rotate your shoes regularly to give them time to dry out completely between wearings.

  4. 4 - Go Easy On The Nail Polish

    While a fresh coat of nail polish can make your toes look great, it's important to take a break from time to time to allow your nails to breathe. When you paint your nails, be sure to use a base coat and top coat to protect your nails from the harsh chemicals in the polish itself.

  5. 5 - Don't Share Nail Care Tools

    Nail fungus is highly contagious, so it's important to avoid sharing nail clippers, emery boards, or any other nail care tools. If you must share, be sure to disinfect the tools before and after use.

  6. 6 - Wear The Right Socks

    When choosing socks, avoid those made from synthetic materials like nylon or polyester. Instead, opt for socks made from natural fibers like cotton or wool, which will allow your feet to breathe and prevent moisture buildup.

  7. 7 - Choose Treatments with Antifungal Properties

    When choosing socks, avoid those made from synthetic materials like nylon or polyester. Instead, opt for socks made from natural fibers like cotton or wool, which will allow your feet to breathe and prevent moisture buildup.

With these seven health tips, you can help prevent toenail fungus and keep your feet healthy and happy all summer long. If you do spot symptoms of a toenail fungus infection and need to treat it, you have access to some of the best podiatrists in San Antonio, Texas. San Antonio Podiatry Associates offers comprehensive toenail fungus treatment options to effectively eliminate the infection and keep your feet healthy.

Are you looking for a foot and ankle specialist near you? Find toenail fungus treatments or other foot and ankle pain relief fast from the podiatrists at San Antonio Podiatry Associates. With more than 145 years of combined experience, our team is equipped to provide you with an accurate diagnosis and the efficient, personalized treatment you need. Schedule an appointment today, or call 210-405-7672 for more information.