Fungi are nearly everywhere which makes athlete’s foot and nail fungal infection easy to stumble upon. Both are ugly, itchy and can make it difficult to walk. Sidestep athlete’s foot and toe fungus and keep your feet healthy with these prevention tips.
Keep your feet dry. Moisture is one environmental factor for fungal growth. Wash your feet every day, including between the toes. Dry your feet completely before putting on socks. If you have sweaty feet, consider an antiperspirant to minimize wetness. Wear loose fitting socks, made of natural material that allow your feet to breathe.
Keep your toenails clean and trimmed short. Be sure to use properly sanitized nail clippers and make sure to cut them straight across. Use a nail file gently for any sharp edges. If you have crumbly material under your nails, gently scrape away. Remember to wash your hands every time you touch your feet and clean your nail clipper with alcohol before using again.
Wear properly fitted shoes. Shoes should never touch your toenails. Avoid sliding in shoes that are too big and avoid shoes that are too small, which jam your toenails into the end of the shoe. Look for shoes with a wide toe box so they don’t cramp your toes.
Choose breathable footwear. The more air that can circulate, the drier your feet and the less likely you will develop a nail fungal infection. Choose shoes made of breathable material like leather or canvas. When you are inside, go barefoot.
Alternate your shoes and socks. Even if you wash your socks frequently, the fungus or spores can contaminate your footwear. If you wear yesterday’s shoes, which are still damp from yesterday, this will increase your risk of toe fungus. Buy a few good pairs of shoes and rotate them. Allow them to air out before you wear them again.
Avoid going barefoot in public areas. Locker rooms, public pools, showers and other public areas are loaded with fungi. Always wear flip-glops, sandals or shower shoes in a moist environment.
Don’t share footwear. Fungal infections can spread from one person to another quickly. Wearing another person’s footwear for just a few hours can be sufficient enough to transfer the fungus.
Avoid nail polish. Nail polish can weaken your nails and irritate the surrounding area of your skin. This may give the fungus an opportunity to infect your toes. If you are having problems with toe fungus, try stopping nail polish and pedicures for a few months.