Toenail fungus, while a common condition, can be unsightly and embarrassing. Don’t wait for the condition to get worse before seeking treatment. In the first place, the symptoms are generally easy to spot. However, if you can, it’s best to avoid the condition altogether. Here are ways on how to prevent toenail fungus:

1. Trim your toenails regularly and correctly.

Use properly sanitized clippers when trimming your nails. Cut your them straight across to avoid ingrown nails and associated toenail fungus. Use a nail file to gently file any sharp or ragged edges. Keeping your nails short reduces the risk of getting toenail fungus, and prevents the spread of infection. Remember to NEVER cut your cuticles as it acts as protection from infection. Always clean your clippers before each use, and avoid sharing nail clippers.

2. Keep your feet clean and dry.

Many neglect their nails while bathing, but the simple use of soap and water to clean your nails can help defend against any form of infection, including fungal infections. Invest in a nail brush to thoroughly clean your toenails of any potential germs that may be taking up residence underneath. After, dry your feet completely using a clean towel, taking special care to dry between your toes where moisture usually gets trapped.

3. Choose breathable footwear.

Fungus thrives in warm, moist environments including the hot insides of your shoes and socks. Make sure your shoes have enough room and aren’t too tight, especially around your toes. Wear socks that either minimize or absorb moisture, and are made of synthetic fiber as opposed to ones made of hot material such as cotton or wool. Change your socks regularly, and alternate between wearing your shoes to give them enough time to air out. Wear sandals or open-toed shoes whenever possible.

4. Avoid going barefoot in public facilities.

This should especially be the case in warm, wet locations such as shower rooms, public pools, and gyms. These places make it especially easy for fungus to spread from person to person. Instead of walking around barefoot, wear slippers, sandals, or shower shoes. Clean your feet thoroughly after being exposed to such places.

5. Protect your toes from injury.

Injuring your nail bed or the skin around your nails creates an opening for fungus. Immediately treat any form of injury to avoid the risk of an infection. Also, remember to never rip or pull off a hangnail, and avoid biting your nails.

6. Be careful of nail salons.

As much as possible, skip wearing nail polish and acrylic nails as both can trap moisture under the nails, creating the ideal place for fungus to grow and thrive. If you must get a manicure or pedicure, however, make sure you choose a clean and licensed nail salon with experienced nail technicians, and where they regularly sterilize their equipment and tools. If you can, bring your own bottle of nail polish and sterilized tools.

7. Use antifungal creams, topical solutions, sprays or powders.

Use antifungal spray or powder in your shoes and on your socks before putting them on. This is to control the collection of sweat that can cause toenail fungus. This step is especially important before a workout and during the hotter seasons. Meanwhile, using over-the-counter antifungal creams and topical solutions can prevent the recurrence of toenail fungus.

8. Disinfect regularly.

Clean your bathroom regularly, once a week if possible, making sure to thoroughly scrub the bathtub and shower walls, and then disinfect the area with a bleach-based cleanser. Aside from antifungal sprays, make sure to also spray your shoes with antibacterial solutions, especially if you’ve worn them without socks. Wash your socks in hot water with bleach to kill any fungi.

Author's Bio: 

This website was created to help the over 35 million people suffering from finger and toenail fungus. For most, nail fungus is an uncomfortable subject to talk about. If you have the condition you know how painfully embarrassing it can be – distorting your nails from clear and smooth to dark, yellow, black, and misshapen. This website is committed to creating and aggregating useful, honest information on how to address this condition. We are here to help.