Toenail fungus may be a fairly common infection but it usually proves troublesome. A matter of great annoyance – as nails become discolored, thick and susceptible to cracking –, it is also a severe health issue that may take several months to treat. However, there is good news too; the fungus is actually not that hard to prevent. And as it often is the case with health disorders, prevention is better than cure. So, here are a few simple suggestions that can help you keep your feet robust and fungus-free.
1. Keep your feet dry. It is well known that fungi prosper in humid areas, so it is vital that you thoroughly wipe your toes – focusing especially on the areas between them, as they tend to trap moisture – before you put on your socks and shoes. In general, make sure you keep your feet nice and dry by avoiding wearing socks or pantyhose for prolonged amounts of time; if that is not possible, try to protect your toes by frequently airing your socks. Same goes for footwear; avoid putting on the shoes you wore the previous day while jogging, as they can only enhance the possibility of a fungal infection. It also goes with out saying that you should never share shoes with other individuals.
2. Select airy footwear. This particular tip is actually closely related to the previous one: shop for breezy shoes made of materials such as leather, which enable air to pass through and prevent sweat, thus keeping your feet dry and therefore less prone to develop the fungus.
3. Select the fitting footwear. Sensible shoes obviously isn’t just about the material; size does matter too if you want to ward off the fungus. Therefore, buy shoes that won’t squeeze your feet and toes, giving your toenails some breathing space. Badly shaped or cramped shoes can really give your nails a hard time, contributing to the fungus developing.
4. Eradicate the fungus from the get-go! Use an anti-fungal powders to spray your shoes with. Sterilizing your socks and shoes using anti-bacterial sprays on a regular basis is a great way of stopping fungi spores from growing, substantially hindering the infection from occurring in the first place. Washing your socks in hot water is another step to the same direction, which ensures that fungi are thoroughly eliminated before you put them on.
5. Take precautions when in public. As mentioned earlier, fungi thrive in damp and moist environments, and that makes locker rooms, public pools, gyms and showers exceptionally unkind to your foot health. In these fungus-infested areas, walking barefoot makes picking up the infection almost unavoidable. Therefore, a pair of sandals, flip-flops or shower shoes can turn out to be an invaluable ally in these environments.
6. Take proper care of your toenails. First off, you need to use appropriate, specially designed nail-cutting tools you can pick up from a pharmacy. Then, you should ensure you cut your nails straight across after you’ve sterilized your clippers by soaking them in boiling water, scrubbing off remaining dead skin cells, soaking them in rubbing alcohol and carefully drying them with a paper towel. Needless to day, DON’T share your nail clippers with other people!
7. Build up your immune system. Fungal infections are far less likely to successfully attack your organism when coming up against a sound immune system. Therefore, watch what you eat, opt for nourishing meals, work out sensibly and try to stick to regular sleeping patterns that will enable you to be fit, vigorous and less receptive to the infection.
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