Often times when people think about toenail fungus, they automatically assume it is due to dirty feet and toes. However, there are many reasons one may suffer from toenail fungal infections, and there are several ways you can prevent them from happening to you.
What Causes Toenail Fungal Infections?
Some common reasons patients suffer from toenail fungal infections include the following:
- Tiny, microscopic cuts on feet that have allowed bacteria to seep in
- Warm, moist environments
- Walking barefoot in public places
- Heavy foot perspiration
- Family history of fungal toenail
Symptoms of toenail fungal infections include toenail discoloration, breaking or crumbling nails, as well as nail brittleness.
Tips For Preventing Toenail Fungal Infections
1. Keep your feet dry. Since toenail fungus likes to grow in environments that are warm and moist, it is best that you keep your feet clean and dry, allowing your feet ample opportunities to receive the necessary air, as well as ensure you are avoiding wearing shoes that are wet. Wet shoes will expose your feet to more moisture, which can cause moist areas for fungus to develop.There are also powders that are available to help reduce the moisture that is created by your feet.
2. Change your socks regularly. It is important that you are changing your socks at least once throughout the day or as needed after workouts, sweating, etc. If you really feel the need to wear socks constantly, then try investing in socks with a moisture-wicking design.
3. Wear appropriate shoes. If your shoes are too tight, or they are not allowing your toes to breath, then you are making it easier for fungus to develop under the toenail. Shoes that are too tight can also limit the ability for your foot to breathe, which can lead to warm and moist conditions.
4. Cut your nails. When trimming your nails, it is critical that you ensure you cut the nail straight across. Trimming the edges in a more round shape may be lead to an ingrown toenail, which can lead to a fungal infection. Trimmed nails can also reduce the likelihood of suffering an injury to the nail bed as well.
If you are experiencing issues due to a fungal infection, and you have not been able to properly treat it, contact the Foot and Ankle Specialists of Illinois to explore our treatment options today.