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Avoiding Nail Fungus

  • Dr. Bruce Zappan
  • September 08, 2017

Nail fungus can cause an infection under your toenails that can smell terrible and may eventually lead to the complete removal of the nail if treatment isn’t started early. Fungi tend to thrive in warmer, wetter environments, which is why they love our warm, sweaty feet. In fact, the same fungi that cause athlete’s foot are the ones that can spread under the nail, resulting in a thick, brittle, crusty appearance and that telltale foul smell.

Some tips for avoiding nail fungus contamination include the following:

  • Nail care—Always try to keep your nails trimmed straight across rather than on a curve. This also helps to avoid ingrown toenails.
  • Daily cleaning—Keeping your feet clean will help to avoid spreading the fungus around. Always dry your feet completely before putting on socks and footwear.
  • Breathable socks and shoes—Lightweight socks and footwear made with breathable fabrics like Gortex can help keep feet cooler and dryer.>
  • Powders and lotions—Sprinkle antifungal powder on your feet and inside your footwear. Antifungal creams and lotions can also be effective.
  • Don’t share clippers—Sharing nail clippers, files, etc… can spread the fungi.
  • Protect your feet—When using public facilities such as locker rooms, gyms, and swimming areas, always wear sandals or shower shoes to help avoid coming into contact with fungi and other microorganisms.
  • Properly fitted shoes—Shoes with a wide toe box that won't cramp your toes together will increase breathability and decrease dampness.

If despite your best efforts you still develop a toenail fungus infection, there is an innovative laser treatment available that can clear up your nails and kill the fungus in a fast, effective procedure that usually works in one or two sessions with no recovery time required.

For any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles it is important to see a foot specialist to receive the correct care. Bruce B. Zappan, D.P.M., P.C., of Medical Arts Podiatry Associates in Philadelphia, is an expert in proper evaluation and recommendations for treatment. Please feel free to contact us with any questions or make an appointment with our office at 215-563-2560.