How to disinfect shoes from Toenail Fungus

It has been well established that toenail fungus thrives in moist, warm spaces. And you don’t need to be an expert to figure out that shoes provide the perfect habitat for it. So, if you’ve noticed signs of toenail fungus developing, it is imperative that you eradicate the spores by disinfecting your shoes before things get worse.

Below is a brief array of the simplest and most popular ways to do so:

  • Technically, leaving your shoes to dry out in the sun may not be regarded as “disinfection”, but it truly contributes greatly to preventing fungal infections. Exposing your shoes to direct sunshine is an effective way of eliminating the fungus spores sprouting inside them, rendering them much safer to wear.
  • Obviously, the best way to disinfect your shoes is by spraying them with an anti-fungal foot spray. Foot sprays are potent at exterminating the bacteria generating fungi and preventing the disease from evolving; they also help your feet feel clean and tidy while performing your daily activities. So, after leaving your shoes out in the sun so that they get perfectly dried, take out the shoestrings and place them on a flat surface. Then, spray them thoroughly and deep, allowing the disinfectant to reach the toe areas in the front end. Since applying the spray renders your shoes damp, you need to leave them to dry in the open air as well as repeat the process at later time so as to eliminate surviving spores and maximize the method’s effectiveness.
  • Consult your podiatrist and pharmacist in order to get the optimum disinfection treatment. Potential solutions include Lysol sprays, various powders (that absorb excess moisture and carry potent anti-fungal properties), rubbing alcohol and even bleach (which can, however, turn out to be relatively harsh to the shoes themselves).
  • Vinegar is a natural, affordable and easy to apply solution that has been gaining popularity lately. Thanks to its acidity, vinegar is very effective in impeding bacterial growth. Just mix up a small amount of it with water and spray the mixture into your shoes whenever you remove them. Additionally, you can soak paper towels into vinegar and wipe your feet with them daily to further eradicate foot fungus.

It needs to be pointed out here that the effectiveness of the aforementioned methods can be severely compromised if you do not couple them with other, simple yet essential, fungus hindering methods. For example, you need to wear properly sized footwear that allows air to freely circulate around your feet, preventing fungus from reproducing. Moreover, wearing anti-fungal socks helps create a barrier between feet and shoes while soaking up excess moisture and stopping it from developing on your shoes.

Although toenail fungus can be triggered by several different reasons, adhering to basic shoe hygiene rules is essential in preventing contracting it as well as speeding up the healing process. So, make sure you regularly disinfect your shoes in one of the above mentioned ways so as to prevent foot fungus from undermining your health and compromising your daily life.

How to prevent Toenail Fungus from spreading to family

Toeanail fungus spreading to family

Toenail fungus, an infection which thrives in warm, damp environments and causes nails to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge, can turn out to be more than a nuisance within a household. Walking on the same mats and bathroom floors as well as sharing socks, shoes or towels seriously promotes its proliferation withing various members of the same family. The fact that it can’t be transmitted through the air, though, means that a handful of simple preventive measures can greatly contribute to avoiding picking up this nasty infection.

So, to prevent toenail fungus from spreading to your family, make sure you abide by the following rules:

  • Wash your feet and dry them thoroughly before putting on your socks and shoes. It has been well established that fungi burgeon in warm and humid environments. Therefore, it is vital that you wash your socks (and shoes) carefully and leave them to dry in order to protect yourself and your loved ones from a potential toenail fungus drag.
  • Don’t wear each other’s shoes or socks. Contaminated footwear is an almost guaranteed way to contract the infection from a family member or your partner.
  • Don’t share towels or bathrobes. Instead, insist on every family member using personal items and comply scrupulously with it.
  • Don’t walk around barefoot as this will almost certainly multiply your chances of contracting the infection. Instead, try putting on breathable socks or slippers so as to form a barrier between your toes and the potentially contaminated surfaces.
  • On a similar note, make an effort to frequently sterilize infected surfaces (mainly, showers or bathroom and bedroom floors) so as to keep your feet clean and stop nail fungus from spreading.
  • Don’t share foot care tools. As the fungus is extremely resilient, it is imperative that you refrain from using each other’s clippers and relevant tools or, at least, sterilize them meticulously before using them after another family member has.
  • Disinfect your shoes with over-the-counter anti-fungal products (sprays, powders etc). That obviously applies to all family members, and not just the ones already developing the disease, being a very effective way of preventing healthy people withing a household from picking up the fungus.
  • Family members suffering from ailments responsible for weakening the immune system (diabetes, HIV, cancer) or individuals dealing with nail injuries are more prone to being afflicted with toenail fungus. Subsequently, they should be the ones sticking more religiously to those preventive steps.
  • Needless to say, adhering to the “ordinary” fungus-preventing instructions is a must, if you truly want to eliminate the chances of contracting the infection in the first place. Therefore, make sure you avoid walking barefoot in public places, dry your shoes thoroughly after working out, clip your toenails straight across so the nail ends before your toetips etc.

Finally, and despite the aforementioned preemptive measures providing a buffer between the infected and the healthy ones within a family, it goes without saying that entirely eradicating the fungus is the safest way of staying fungus-free. Therefore, make sure you waste no time the moment you spot the first signs of infection: seek appropriate treatment and protect yourself, your partner and your family from having to endure this nasty fungal infection.

Can Toenail Fungus spread internally?

Most of us are familiar with the image of discolored, brownish, brittle toenails that may go as far as even eventually separate from the nail bed. But toenail fungus can turn out to be more than just a cosmetic issue: if not treated properly, the infection may spread primarily to other toenails, then to surrounding skin (an ailment known as athlete’s foot) and even work its way to other parts of the body, the bloodstream or genitalia!

how contagious toenal fungus is

Here’s a brief list of the potential internal toenail fungus hazard spots:

Fingernails

Although less common compared to toenail fungus, fingernail fungus is a possibility. Two particularly worrisome aspects of it are the speed in which fingernail fungus can spread and how difficult it is for the sufferer to conceal the problem.

Body & Skin

Toenail fungus can lead to ringworm developing. The disease manifests itself through red rashes which can affect large patches of your skin and body. Apart from the evident cosmetic issues, ringworm is a hazard to other people, since direct contact with others can pass it on easily.

Bloodstream

Severe toenail fungus cases, poor treatment, weak immune system owing to HIV or diabetes issues might enable the fungus to seep into the deeper skin and enter the bloodstream, ultimately bringing about issues like fatigue, fever and flu-like symptoms. Still, it can get far worse by triggering blood poisoning (or septicemia): if bacteria levels soar, the condition can even claim the patient’s life! And despite the chances of a healthy person ending up with a fungal blood infection (let alone dying from it) being relatively low, there is no point in a toenail fungus sufferer ignoring a problem that can have such dire consequences.

Genitals

Putting on underwear that occasional touches infected toenails does raise the likelihood of the infection growing and affecting a patient’s genitals. Known as jock itch, this disease mostly affects men and may diffuse to the groin area and sometimes the inner thighs, necessitating proper treatment.

Bones

Although it is deemed unlikely for an otherwise healthy person with toenail fungus issues to develop a bone infection, it is still possible for nail fungus to invade someone’s bones (an ailment known as osteomyelitis) and generate severe health issues.

Toenail fungus is not a superficial health problem that will eventually recede on its own. If left untreated, it can progress to a real nuisance, inducing pain and even lead to some of the aforementioned alarming conditions. So, if you suspect you have been infected, consult a dermatologist or a podiatrist who can identify the problem and work out the best possible solution (whether that would be prescription medication or OTC drugs) for curing it.

Is Nail Fungus contagious to others?

Most people are familiar with the unapealing look of brittle, yellowish, discolored and flaky nails that fungal infections are associated with. Nail fungus can be a source of tremendous embarrassment, forcing millions of people worldwide to avoid showing up barefooted, wearing sandals or engaging into fun activities. Furthermore, it can bring about distress and pain while the possibility of total nail loss, in more extreme cases, can not be ruled out. But how likely is it for people to contract that infection? Is nail fungus really that contagious?

Is it really that easy to contract nail fungus?

Is Toenail fungus contagious?

In essence, a fungal nail infection is not considered extremely contagious; however, it is still fairly likely for people to get infected if they’re being sloppy when it comes to properly following personal hygiene rules or have a weak immune system. Moreover, if the infection manages to reach the nail bed, it can become very tenacious and burdensome. All the more reason then for doing everything you can to avoid picking it up in the first place as well as spreading it!

How can someone contract it?

Obviously, the prevalent belief is that nail fungus can be picked up directly from another person’s toenail. Indeed, getting into direct contact with someone’s toenails, or even with the skin surrounding them, may prove to be enough to get infected.

However, this is not the most common way to catch nail fungus. You see, a fungal infection is more likely to develop from a dermatophyte associated with existing conditions, and especially athlete’s foot. We know that fungi thrive on moist areas, like shower rooms or swimming pools, and that these places are extremely hazardous when it comes to attracting dermatophytes. In that case, those parasitic fungi can spread from the soles to the toes and toenails, thus triggering the onset of the infection.

How contagious is your nail fungus?

Another reason that can lead to fingal infection (especially a toenail one) is the presence of openings through which dermatophytes can sneak in. Knowing that nails actually serve as protectives that overlay the openings, it comes as no surprise that damaged nails (after an foot injury, for example, that has destroyed a nail) prove to be less resistant to all sort of bacteria and germs which may find their way in and set off an infection.

Furthermore, apart from suffering a nail injury, the sturdiness of your nails can be severely undermined on a slow but consistent bases, in case let’s say you have adopted harmful habits such as wearing tight or moist shoes; that can gradually cause wounds and crack to appear, thus increasing the chances of a fungal infection developing.

Finally, certain medical conditions such as diabetes or psoriasis can severely amplify the likelihood of getting nail fungus since they significantly compromise the immune system’s effectivenes, thus rendering people more vulnerable to infections.

Simple precautionary measures

Here is a short list of preventive steps which can help you limit the chances of getting an infection as well as those of passing the fungus onto others:

  • Wear shoes, slippers or flip flops at all times
  • Thoroughly dry your feet
  • Wear clean socks and comfortable shoes
  • Take good care of your nails, cutting them from one corner straight across to the other
  • Don’t share clothes
  • Don’t share shoes and socks and avoid using them if they’re not completely dry
  • Don’t share towels as their fabric tends to retain microbes which can then be transmitted to other nails or other parts of your skin
  • Avoid sharing a bed with another person, or if that’s not possible, wear clean socks to diminish the chances of an infection
  • Don’t share nail clippers, or if that’s not possible, make sure you disinfect them meticulously prior to using them
  • Use anti-fungal powders or sprays

Any final word of advice?

You need to remember that prevention is the safest way to avoid getting or spreading nail fungus. However, if by any chance you get infected, there is a wide range of home remedies and over-the-counter treatments that can help you control and eradicate it. But no matter what the case is, consult your podiatrist, who can help you out of any further complications. And remember: if left untreated, nail fungus can become both a strain and a health hazard to friends, relatives or companions.

How to use Lavender Oil for Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus is an infection that affects tenths of millions of people worldwide. If you happen to be one of those individuals suffering from the unattractive, vexing and sometimes painful symptoms through which the disorder manifests itself, you’re obviously interested in finding an effective, natural and affordable solution to it. Lavender oil, a substance extracted from certain species of lavender plants with numerous health benefits, has lately emerged as a potent anti-fungal remedy, able to combat fungi such as dermatophytes and candida, which are responsible for compromising skin and nail health, thus giving rise to nail infections.

how to use lavender oil for toenail fungus

Lavender Oil main benefits

  • Organic nature inducing no side effects
  • Effective in eradicating skin-pathogenic strains by exterminating fungal cells
  • Potent at preserving the integrity of the skin
  • Relieves pain
  • Helps healthy new nails replace the infected ones
  • Prevents future infections from appearing
  • Soothing and demulcent smell

How to apply Lavender Oil

lavender oil

Treating toenail fungal infections with Lavender oil is relatively straightforward, provided it’s performed with care. But considering it gives off a soothing and pleasantly fragrant aroma, that can turn out to be a satisfying task that may actually become your favorite daily habit!
First, you need to make sure that you shop for quality Lavender oil that hasn’t been diluted, as lesser grade oils added at times severely compromise its effectiveness.

Before starting applying the oil, wash your feet and let them dry completely to enable it to be properly absorbed and permeate into your nail so as to maximize its effectiveness. Moreover, you have to make sure the infected, damaged nails are cut off as much of as possible. As toenail fungus builds up deep in the nail bed rendering the nails thick and flaky, it is vital that you remove the infected nail areas prior to spreading the oil. Therefore, you need to gently polish the nail surface so that the brittle part get as trimmed as possible.

Apply a drop of lavender oil onto the affected nails. Rub it gently but meticulously so that is seeps into the area underneath the nail itself. Wait for it to be absorbed and dry out before putting socks or shoes on.

For maximum effectiveness, it is recommended that you administer Lavender oil twice a day, ideally in the morning and before you go to bed.

Going the extra mile

The synergistic action of powerful blends can either speed up Lavender oil’s therapeutic value or help combat more serious infections. For example, mixing Tea Tree oil or Coconut oil with Lavender oil can bring about sounder and faster results. Moreover, you can opt for special soft socks made of cotton or wool so as to round off the oil’s curing power. For safer and more rapid results, we suggest you consult a dermatologist who will help you take full advantage of the Lavender oil anti-fungal properties and properly deal with this troublesome nail infection.

Puriya Wonder Balm Review

Puriya Wonder Balm
Puriya Wonder Balm

Puriya Wonder Balm is claimed to be one of the top anti-fungal treatments currently on the market, helping sufferers combat ailments such as nail fungus, athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch, cracking, inflammation, blisters etc. It is intended for individuals following active lifestyles who happen to frequent gyms, showers, saunas or public pools, getting inevitably exposed to a variety of infections.

Puriya Wonder Balm has managed to gain popularity thanks to the wide range of anti-fungal and anti-microbial ingredients it contains. So, let’s find out if its promising formula of can deliver the results it’s been credited for.

A 100% all-natural ingredients blend

Puriya Wonder Balm does away with synthetic substances and artificial additives, incorporating exclusively natural ingredients which practically guarantee the lack of side effects. The list includes several therapeutic, plant based ingredients like Grade Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Beeswax, Olive Oil as well as Vitamins C and E, Macadamia Nut Oil and Rose Geranium Oil. It’s worth mentioning that many of the above mentioned ingredients have been utilized by several civilizations in the past in curing a broad range of ailments and disorders. As a side note, potential customers should be warned that Wonder Balm has a strong scent, which obviously isn’t to every user’s liking.

What is so special about Puriya Wonder Balm?

Puriya Wonder Balm boasts a blend capable of combating a number of skin conditions related to exposure to warm and moist environments. Its synthesis is capable of soothing itchiness, decreasing swelling and hindering clogging of the skin pores while creating a barrier between contaminated surfaces and your skin, shielding athletes as well as dynamic individuals from contracting skin diseases.

How does Puriya Wonder Balm soothe from infections that effectively?

A feature that truly makes Puriya Wonder Balm stand out is that its formula is specifically developed to stay on your skin and nails longer than other conventional treatments, thus securing skin repair and protection as well as forming a shield against fungi and bacteria. In addition, its potent natural ingredients can effectively heal ailments like athlete’s foot, ringworm, jock itch and other fungal infections.

The four-stage healing process

Part of the product’s strength lies in its four-stage healing process, which delivers a thorough remedy for sufferers. More specifically, the antibacterial properties the formula bears greatly alleviate from irritability and itchiness, paving the way for stage two: the treatment stage, which is taken care of by Macadamia Nut Oil and Beeswax that soften and moisturize the skin while removing spots and rashes. Subsequently, as the sophisticated stay-on formula remains on the skin longer than ordinary cosmetic products and creams, skin repair carries on persistently and efficiently. Finally, Puriya Wonder Balm enters phase 4 (dubbed the “re-occurrence prevention”): its powerful blend creates a mighty barrier against potential future infections.

How should I apply the product?

Putting on Puriya Wonder Balm is an effortless procedure provided it is carried out with care. First, the infected area needs to be cleaned in order to prevent the infection from spreading as well as optimize the results. Then users should apply the product directly onto the infected skin areas. Nail fungus sufferers should make sure they apply the product on nails clipped as close to the nail bed as possible. Needless to say, you should meticulously wash and dry your hands before and after applying the balm onto the infected areas. Depending on the condition being treated, patients may use the product once or twice a day without discontinuing even if the infection appears to be receding so as to stop it from reoccurring.

Does Wonder Balm treat all cases?

Well, not exactly. Puriya Wonder Balm aims at eliminating several foot, body and facial skin ailments but can’t do wonders for more extreme cases, which might need to be tackled by the patients consulting a medical experts. For example, eczema sufferers may not be able to see the results they want. In addition, feedback from acne sufferers doesn’t seem to be that supportive, either. In any case, you have to remember that persistent infections such as nail fungus or athletes foot take time to heal, so you need to have realistic hopes, while, in most severe cases, you may need to consult your physician and opt for more powerful solutions.

Are there any side effects?

Bearing exclusively organic ingredients, Puriya Wonder Balm is almost devoid of side effects. Still, some users have reported mild irritation, while those very natural constituents can trigger some moderate allergic reactions. Therefore, we recommend you go through the ingredients listed on the label to find out if the ones you may be allergic to as well as apply the product on a small patch of your skin before making more extensive use of it. Pregnant women should also expect no adverse reactions related to using Puriya Wonder Balm, although they should consult their doctor before proceeding to using it.

Where can I shop for Puriya Wonder Balm?

The safest way to purchase Puriya Wonder Balm is through Amazon. However, potential buyers can also get the product on eBay, Walmart, or Walgreens. What matters the most, though, is the 180-day refund option the product is available with, which attests to the manufacturer’s faith in its effectiveness. The cost in itself is an issue, as Puriya Wonder Balm isn’t deemed a particularly affordable treatment; still, the 2-oz package can see most users through for at least six months of daily use.

Our Verdict

All in all, Puriya Wonder Balm can significantly relieve sufferers from a number of skin and nail issues. Its powerful, all-natural formula can efficiently combat those ailments with no worrisome compromises on your overall health status. Drawbacks do exist, in the form of the relatively strong smell, the possibility of itchiness or mild allergic reactions, and probably the price tag. Moreover, there is always a chance of the blend not working for every single user, while some people ailed by more abnormal conditions may need to have them dealt with by professionals. However, the final verdict is undeniably reassuring, making Puriya Wonder Balm a product suitable for a wide range of skin conditions.

Are you looking for the best nail fungus treatment? Read our reviews on Zetaclear.

Athlete’s Foot

What is athlete’s foot?

Athlete's Foot

Athlete’s foot (tinea pedis) is a contagious fungal infection that develops between the toes and can affect (especially the little toe and the toe next to it) and can affect toenails as well as surrounding skin. The name stems from the fact that it commonly harasses people who have a dynamic lifestyle and engage into sports, swimming and similar activities which subsequently can result in sweaty feet wrapped around in tight shoes – a suitable place for fungal infections to materialize.

What are the main causes?

Athlete’s foot springs from a range of fungi that are classified as “dermatophytes”. These flourish in warm and moist environments such as showers, pools, locker rooms, and obviously, tight training shoes and have the tendency to multiply fast, causing skin cells to degenerate. The disease is also transmissible, meaning one can pick it up by sharing towels and shoes or by walking barefoot on contaminated surfaces.

Who is likely to develop the infection?

Sadly, almost anyone can contract the disease. Still, some precipitating factors or particular habits can further contribute to someone being more easily afflicted with it. These can be:

  • Genetic predisposition
  • Weak immune system
  • Poor nutrition
  • Leading a very active lifestyle
  • Walking barefoot on locker room and shower floors or around swimming pools
  • Small skin or toenail injuries
  • Sharing socks, shoes, towels or even clippers with other people
  • Not taking proper care of personal hygiene
  • Wearing tight snickers

How can someone tell they have athlete’s foot?

Athlete’s foot usually manifests itself through easily discernible signs that typically involve:

  • Itchiness coupled with burning sensation between the toes
  • Thickened soles skin
  • Peeling skin between the toes and on the soles
  • Itchy blisters
  • Thickened and brittle toenails
  • Toenail discoloration (white or yellow)
  • Painful fissures
  • Repulsive smell

At times, coming up with your own diagnosis can be slightly trickier since some of the aforementioned symptoms can be also triggered by other reasons. In that case, a skin test may be needed to determine if you actually are afflicted by athlete’s foot.

Is there any more to it?

Unfortunately, yes. As mentioned earlier, the infection, no matter how mild it may initially appear, should not be overlooked because it can spring unwanted complications. For instance, an allergic reaction can bring about blistering on someone’s hands. Moreover, the fissures in the skin provide bacteria with a wide entry point which can increase the risk of developing cellulitis. And if a bacterial infection spreads into the lymphatic drainage system, it may induce swollen nodes.

Prevention tips

As the old adage goes, prevention is better than cure. So, here is a list of the simplest safety precautions you can follow so that you limit the chances of athlete’s foot ensuing in the first place:

  • Shop for footwear made of breathable materials which prevent moisture from developing inside them
  • Disinfect your shoes using special products such as sprays
  • Apply anti-fungal powder on your feet on a regular basis
  • Avoid walking barefoot in locker room showers and public areas
  • Frequently wash your feet with soap, drying them carefully and emphasizing in the areas between your toes
  • Avoid sharing socks and shoes with other people
  • Opt for a dry pair of socks whenever sweat build up inside your shoes
  • Wash your socks in 150°F water
  • Clip your toenails carefully using your own nail clippers
  • Refrain from scratching the rashed areas; aim at soothing your feet by soaking them in cool water instead
  • Try use two or more pairs of trainers when working out so that you always slip into some nice dry shoes before your training begins

Treatment

Despite athlete’s foot not being regarded as a very serious skin infection, it shouldn’t be left untreated since it can spread to other areas of the body and bring about unexpected complications. The most common ways to do that are initially several OTC (over-the-counter) products, topical or oral drugs obtainable on prescription or home treatments and alternative remedies.

OTC medications

The most common way to combat the condition is using OTC anti-fungal products. You can purchase products like ointments, gels sprays or powders and apply them on the affected areas of your feet daily or twice a day for as long it takes to eliminate the rash (typically, the remedy needs to be continued for an extra week or ten days after the infection subsides). The most common OTC anti-fungal agents are miconazole, clotrimazole, terbinafine, tolnaftate, butenafine etc.

Prescription medications

There can be cases where OTC medications fail to do the trick, so here’s a list of the most standard drugs, either topical or oral, your doctor may prescribe:

  • topical clotrimazole or miconazole
  • topical medications aiming at diminishing soreness
  • oral anti-fungal creams and powders (itraconazole, fluconazole, terbinafine)
  • oral antibiotics

In general, topical medicines are the more appropriate solution. Treatment usually takes a full month before the symptoms abate. If the infection persists, oral antifungals are the next stop, while treatment may take up to two months and is determined by the severity of the condition.

Needless to say that prescription medications’ use should abide by the guidlelines your doctor designates. Since some of the aforementioned medications can lead to side-effects, it is imperative that you follow your physician’s mandates to lessen potential side effects.

Alternative remedies

There is a number of homemade remedies that have been gaining popularity over the years and can help you deal with the infection in an effective and natural way. For example, you can soak your feet in salt water or diluted vinegar so as to kill the root of the infection and reduce inflammation; alternatively, you can apply the remedy on the affected area. There are also essential oil remedies (such as lavender, tea tree oi, which you can rub onto the skin so as to alleviate itching and swelling, clove, oregano, garlic, which is very effective in killing bacteria, etc.) that can help fight fungal infections. A special reference should be made to coconut oil, which is a superb way of nourishing dry skin and help it regenerate while also boosting your immune system.

Conclusion

Athlete’s foot is an infection that, though not very distressing initially, can be quite annoying, persistent and painful if left untreated. In most cases, anti-fungal treatment is the sure way to go, delivering sound and dependable cure. However, the likelihood of the infection reappearing can not be ruled out, so it is necessary to keep in touch with your doctor for optimum results.

Toenail fungus and why you shouldn’t wait before taking action

The majority of people afflicted with toenail fungus typically choose to downplay the issue by thinking it’s exclusively related to their nails appearance or that it’s going to fade away on its own. Sadly, this particular approach is flawed; not only does toenail fungus usually come with an array of accompanying ailments which extend way beyond aesthetics, it can also have much more serious and long lasting repercussions than just a few yellow or thick nails – if left untreated. Therefore, seeking medical treatment early is the only way to prevent the condition from deteriorating and posing severe health hazards.

Do you suffer from nail fungus? Don't wait, act now!

So, which are the possible ramifications of toenail fungus?

Pain and discomfort

A typical symptom of a fungal infection is soreness caused by the affected nails becoming brittle and deformed. If the situation is not dealt with in a timely manner, then things can only get worse. Having difficulty walking, wearing shoes or even standing for prolonged periods of time is very likely to ensue, interfering even with simple everyday activities.

Permanent toenail deformity, discoloration or loss

Failing to deal with toenail fungus typically results in nail discoloration and deformation, which can be a nasty spectacle that will ruin your feet look. Still, further ignoring the issue can cause even more unpleasant developments; the fungus can lead to the nail plate getting detached from the underlying or the lateral supporting structures (a condition known as onycholysis). In most cases, the separation occurs gradually without inducing pain. However, if the nail doesn’t fall off on its own and the fungal infection persists, a surgical procedure may need to take place for the entire nail to be extracted permanently.

Spreading to adjacent nails (or to others!)

Another issue associated with not treating the fungus appropriately is that it can spread to the surrounding skin, ultimately affecting the rest of your toenails. This in turn can bring about more dermatological issues, skin infections and itchiness, severely compromising a person’s everyday life. Furthermore, there is a remote, yet not entirely improbable, scenario where the infection spreads to people closest to you, such as family members, roommates or friends, raising another reason why the infection should be dealt with early, preventing others from contracting the disease.

Extensive infection

The most alarming consequences of not taking timely care of a toenail fungus infection, though, can affect individuals suffering from diabetes or other chronic conditions which undermine the effectiveness of the immune system. Then, the fungus can permeate in the skin, weakening its integrity and allowing for bacteria to penetrate into the bloodstream, which in extreme cases can develop into a bacterial skin infection called cellulitis. Cellulitis should in turn be dealt with antibiotics, otherwise it can lead to added trouble in the form of drastic drop in blood pressure that can even induce death. Other complications of a nail fungal infection include jock itch (scientifically known as ringworm), causing patches on a person’s skin to manifesting inflammation and become itchy. In general, given that a fungal infection may potentially spread to other parts of the body, it should be tackled as soon as you notice the first worrisome signs.

All in all, if you suspect that you have been afflicted with a toenail infection, we suggest you consult a specialist as soon as possible. Contrary to common belief, the infection can only deteriorate over time – and ignoring it can have a dramatic impact on your daily life. It is only with anti-fungal treatments (which are usually free of serious side effects) and proper preventive measures (keeping your feet as clean and dry as possible, avoid walking barefoot in places where the fungus thrives etc) that you will be able to properly fight it off and enjoy healthy, attractive feet.

8 Factors contributing to the development of Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus (also know as onychomycosis) is an infection that afflicts toenails causing them to appear cracked, discolored, thick and brittle, while it can sometimes even affect their shape and texture. If ignored or not treated properly, the situation may become fairly cumbersome, leading to pain, discomfort or even result in pieces breaking and falling off. Although almost anyone can end up contracting this infection, specific groups of people are more likely to develop it, since a wide range of factors can trigger its appearance and intensify its progress. Let’s have a look at them as well as a couple of tips that can help you stop this infection.

Toenail fungus

1. Other Health Conditions

The chances of someone contracting toenail fungus depend greatly on pre-existing ailments. Therefore, individuals suffering from diabetes, HIV or poor circulation and other health conditions are more likely to develop onychomycosis, since an ineffectual immune system and reduced blood flow to the toes significantly favor the growth of the fungus. Previous nail injuries or nail surgeries can also play a role. Needless to say, age too –despite not being a health condition in itself– stimulates the development of the fungus due to prolonged exposure to fungi as well as the reduced blood flow it is associated with.

2. Swimming

Swimming is an excellent way of jeeping in shape, but what about its repercussions on your toenails health? Well, as we established, fungi thrive in wet and humid areas, so swimming pools unfortunately pose a substantial hazard. Although a chlorinated pool is in itself a relatively safe place, that can not be said about locker rooms and showers. Therefore, it is vital that you not walk barefoot there, as infections can spread easily from person to person. Hygienic discipline is the key word in these places; wearing special shower shoes or flip flops as well as showering and drying your nails carefully before putting on your shoes is of major importance.

3. Jogging

As mentioned earlier, moisture aids fungal infections. It’s no wonder then that runners are habitually afflicted with toenail fungus. Sweaty feet in tight sneakers for prolonged periods of time is a sure recipe for picking up the infection. If you enjoy jogging, make sure you utilize footwear and socks that prevent excessive humidity from evolving while trying to ensure your sneakers are thoroughly dried before you put them on.

4. Wearing socks and pantyhose

This point is related to the previous one. Even if you’re not a professional or an amateur athlete, chances are you do wear socks or pantyhose during your day. And since the latter is usually made form nylon which is excellent in trapping moisture, the danger of a fungal infection is extremely high. Therefore, avoid wearing them pantyhose, or, if that is not on the cards, use some antiperspirant or powder to keep your feet as much dry as possible during the day. As for socks, opt for those made of synthetic fiber (instead of cotton or wool), as they’re able to diffuse moisture much more effectively.

5. Wearing Heavy Boots

Laborers of all kinds are a group in greater danger of picking up a toenail fungal infection due to the special workwear they are ordinarily required to use. Although no one can argue against the level of safety they provide, work apparel and footwear usually fail to provide ample ventilation, nurturing toenail fungus in the moist environment they create. The pressure applied to toenails due to heavy boots is another contributing factor. So, if you are a construction worker or a farmer, make sure you avoid wearing the same pair of work boots every day; an extra pair, left to dry between work days, is just what you need to diminish the chances of getting the infection.

6. Wearing Tight Shoes

Even if you don’t wear professional footwear, casual shoes also play a big role in aiding the condition in coming about. Closed and tight shoes prevent your feet from breathing properly, while they sometimes squeeze them so hard that can undermine their integrity, rendering them more prone to the infection. So, shop for shoes made of materials that enable your feet to breathe – or even wear flip-flops as much as possible!

7. Polishing Nails

Undoubtedly, nail polish look great on your feet; however, it can turn out to be detrimental in the long run. This is because it is likely to impede light from reaching your nail, thus promoting fungal expansion. Suffice it to say, applying polish onto possibly infected nails can spread the infection to the healthy ones. Furthermore, getting them polished in beauty salons also puts them at risk. Finally, if you’re already dealing with fungus nail issues, do not opt for covering the problem with nail polish; seek medical advice instead!

8. Sharing Clippers

Keeping your toenails well-trimmed will definitely help prevent infections. And clipping them straight across to keep them from extending beyond the toe tip is a fine piece of advice. But you’d better not do that unless you’re using your own clippers as the fungus can be transferred that way! It is also advisable that you disinfect your clippers on a frequent basis for further protection.

All in all, if you happen to belong to one of the aforementioned categories, it is important that you take good care of your feet to stop the ailment from occurring. Moreover, if you notice any symptoms, consult a physician in order to confirm you have a fungal infection so as to proceed to the appropriate cure.

Seven Tips to Keep Toenail Fungus at bay

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.

Best tips to prevent nail fungus

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.

If you’re already suffer from nail fungus these tips won’t fix the problem! Read our unbiased reviews on the best nail fungus treatments available.