Although everyone knows gratitude should be a year-round habit, few months are as tied to the idea of “giving thanks” as November. People actually make a conscious effort to be thankful for the people and things in their lives. Even with individual differences, most people are grateful for very similar things—and health ranks pretty high. No one enjoys being sick, hurt, or having some kind of foot problem. At Podiatry Associates, P.C., we’re definitely grateful that there are ways to treat foot problems, or better yet, prevent them. That’s certainly the case for fungal toenail infections.
No one wants a case of toenail fungus. It’s an unpleasant infection that leads to all sorts of uncomfortable, unsightly side effects, from yellowed and discolored nails to thickening and crumbling keratin to an increased risk for ingrowing and other problems. Unlike injuries that cause black toenails, though, this is something preventable. Since the infection is so hard to eliminate once it takes hold, it's much better if you make the effort to do so, too.
Fortunately, preventing fungal nail infections is easy. Here are a few things you can do to protect your toes from damage:
- Wash and dry thoroughly – This eliminates old sweat and grime from your skin. Drying your feet well minimizes the moisture there, too.
- Wear the right socks – Stick to styles that wick moisture away, so it’s not trapped against your skin.
- Rotate through shoes – Wearing different shoes day-to-day allows yesterday’s perspiration that’s trapped in your shoe fabric to evaporate before you wear them again.
- Refuse to share – Sharing isn’t caring with fungus, so don’t share your footwear with others, especially if they have fungal nails.
- Avoid walking barefoot – The infection is contagious, so don’t walk barefoot in high-risk places like community bathrooms or pool decks.
- Pretreat your feet – Use anti-fungal sprays or powders on your toes regularly to kill any fungus early.