Winter weather conditions means layering up and wearing thick, protective boots. It’s key to staying warm and avoiding cold issues like frostbite when you’re outside in a state like Colorado. Unfortunately, though, there is a downside to wearing warm and protective winter footwear for months on end: it could potentially increase your risk for fungal toenails. The good news is that you can take steps now to reduce your risk and prevent unsightly toenails from developing before sandal season rolls around again.
Fungal toenails thrive in warm, damp, enclosed environments. Sweating in thick, layered socks and the same winter boots for months on end is an excellent recipe for unsightly, discolored nails. Preventing this problem isn’t hard, though, if you know what you should do. Here are some easy steps to help you keep your toenails looking their best, even in the winter:
- Keep your nails trimmed – Keep your nails clipped appropriately short. Properly trimmed nails are healthier and less likely to get infected.
- Wash your feet daily – Warm water and soap removes the old sweat, germs, and grime from the surface of your skin.
- Choose moisture-wicking socks – These help pull moisture away from your skin, so your feet become less hospitable for fungus.
- Air out boots between uses – Don’t throw your boots into a closet when you take them off. Open them as far as you can to allow air to flow in and dry out old sweat.
- Pre-treat feet and footwear – Use anti-fungal sprays or powders on your feet and shoes regularly to discourage potential fungal growth.