As the saying goes “prevention is better than cure” and this article provides 7 useful tips to prevent toenail fungus. To help prevent nail fungus and reduce infections from recurring, practice good hand and foot hygiene by following steps below:
1. Maintain short nails and keep them dry and clean. When cutting the nails, trim them straight across and file down thickened areas. After showers, dry your hands and feet thoroughly (including between your toes)
2. Avoid walking barefooted in public places. Often wear shoes around places such as public pools, showers and locker rooms. This is to avoid your feet from picking up the fungus on the floor as toenail fungus is infectious.
3. Apply anti-fungal powder or spray. Spray or sprinkle anti-fungal powder on your feet and the insides of your shoes. This will help prevent moisture and create an environment not favorable for growth of fungus.
4. Wearing shoes and socks that don’t hinder ventilation. You should be wearing socks and shoes that don’t hinder ventilation, well aerated and made with materials to absorb the perspiration such as synthetic socks that wick away moisture keeping your feet dryer than do cotton/wool socks. Change your socks often. Occasionally, take your shoes off to allow more breathing space and wriggle your toes as well.
5. Visit only reputable manicure and pedicure salon. Even for reputable ones, you should also ensure that the salon staff sterilize the instruments to eliminate bacteria and not leaving nail files on tables/chairs after serving other customers and use them on your nails.
6. Wear rubber gloves to reduce overexposure to water. If you hands have very frequent exposure to water, wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from overexposure to water. As nail fungus thrive in moist environments, dryer and cleaner conditions will decrease their chances of survival. When not using the rubber gloves, turn the rubber gloves inside out to dry. Dispose them when the gloves are torn that allow water to seep through.
7. Avoid trimming or picking at the skin around your nails. This may cause cuts and increase chances that give nail fungus access into your skin and nails resulting in infection. These tiny microscopic organisms are invisible to the naked eye and they are also infectious.