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How To Prevent Toe Fungus

toenail fungus
Toe fungus can be an unsightly and painful problem. Not only can it cause discolored toenails that chip easily, toe fungus can cause redness, swelling, pain, and even abscesses. While there are many treatments that can help heal this common health problem, preventing it can spare a huge amount of pain and expense. Here are the top three ways that you can prevent a fungal infection of your toes and feet.

Keep Your Feet Clean

Fungi don’t like clean feet, so keeping your feet as clean as possible can help prevent fungal infections. Wash your feet and toes carefully every morning and night, being especially careful between the toes and around toenails. Keep your toenails short and filed so there is nowhere for dirt, moisture, and toe fungus to hide.

Reduce Moisture

Fungus needs moisture to thrive, so dry toes will be less likely to get fungal infections. Choose shoes and socks carefully, selecting ones that are well-ventilated and keep your feel from becoming sweaty and damp. Nylon and wool socks tend to keep feet dry, while cotton holds moisture against the skin. Don’t be hesitant to change socks often; the extra laundry will pay off in healthier toes.

While many people with fungus try to hide it under polish and artificial nails, this can actually make the problem worse. Moisture gets trapped and is held against the nail, providing the perfect breeding ground.

Prevent Exposure to Toe Fungus

Toe fungus is highly contagious and takes hold in toes quickly if the environment is right. In addition to keeping your feet clean and dry so fungi cannot thrive, you should limit your exposure to the fungus in the first place. If you have had fungal issues in the past, consider replacing the shoes you wore. Fungus can live inside shoes for a long time. If you do not want to replace your shoes, antifungal powders or disinfectant sprays may be effective.

In addition, it is important to avoid going barefoot in public places, especially places with water. Keep a pair of flip flops for public showers and pools. Last, choose nail salons that are clean and also that sterilize all equipment that will touch a customer. If you already have toe fungus or fingernail fungus, make sure to wash your hands thoroughly after touching that area.

Preventing fungal infections is as simple as keeping your feet clean and dry while limiting exposure to fungus. No one needs to suffer with this inconvenient but preventable problem.

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