6 Steps to Help Prevent Fungal Toenails

Oct 24, 2016

Discolored, distorted growths, odd smells, and unpleasant sights are a staple of Halloween time, adding a spooky atmosphere to the season. At the same time, though, you never want to see monster-like discoloration, distortion, and fungal growth on your toenails, no matter the time of year. Fungal toenails are an unpleasant infection that can be pretty difficult to get rid of. However, there are plenty of things you can do to help prevent fungal toenails from scaring you this fall.

The type of microorganism that causes fungal nail infections is pretty common in nature and thrives in warm, damp environments. More than that, it’s contagious, so coming into contact with it—either through other people or contaminated surfaces—sharply increases your risk for infection. It’s highly likely you’ll be at least exposed to nail fungus at some point.

That doesn’t mean unsightly nails are inevitable, however. A few basic preventative techniques can go a long way in eliminating the problem:

  • Wash your feet – Take time every day to wash off the sweat and grime your feet have accumulated. This helps eliminate potential pathogens and make your feet less fungus-friendly.
  • Practice nail hygiene – Don’t forget to scrub your nails and keep them properly trimmed. This lower your risk for infection.
  • Wear good socks and shoes – Stick to socks that wick moisture away from your skin and footwear made from materials that allow air to circulate. This reduces a fungus-fostering atmosphere in your shoes.
  • Forget about sharing – This is one time when it’s smart to not share. Don’t share your socks or shoes with others, since they could potentially pass on an infection.
  • Protect your feet in high-risk environments – Always wear sandals or shower shoes in places like locker rooms, pools, and saunas, where the risk of fungal contamination is high.
  • Try pre-treating – Use anti-fungal products on your feet and in your shoes to kill off any stray microorganisms.

Fungal toenails are an unpleasant and creepy infection, but not an inevitable one. You can prevent them and get your Halloween scares another healthier, more pleasant way! If you’re prone to toenail fungus, or you’re concerned you may develop it, let our team at Foot & Ankle Center of Oklahoma help you take care of your nails. Contact our Oklahoma City office online or by calling us directly at (405) 418-2676. You don’t have to accept your nail infections at any time of year.

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