Toenail fungus, while embarrassing, is a common condition that makes up 50% of nail abnormalities and affects up to 18% of adults. While it can affect just about anyone, it’s more common in adults, with 25% of adults experiencing some type of nail fungus by the time that they are 40. Additionally, the chances of getting a fungal infection increases as you age, being more prevalent in those above the age of 60. People with certain health conditions, such as diabetes and a weak immune system, are also more likely to get it.

While it doesn’t go away on its own, nail fungus is highly treatable, so there’s absolutely no shame in getting treatment, especially in the case of recurring nail fungus. In fact, 1 out of 4 people who experienced successful treatment suffer from nail fungus recurrence. There are many factors that cause nail fungus recurrence, so if you’ve previously suffered from a fungal infection, it’s best to take precaution. Here are some easy ways on how to prevent nail fungus recurrence.

Observe proper hygiene.

Wash your hands and feet regularly. If you’ve touched an infected nail, clean your hands thoroughly with soap and water, and, if possible, use a disinfectant so as not to spread the infection to other nails or parts of your body. This is especially important if you have a weak immune system. A fungal infection on people with weaker immune systems takes longer to cure. Make sure to take extra care in keeping your hands and feet clean and dry.

Trim your toenails.

These is a right way to trim your nails. Trim them straight across, and use a nail file or emery board to carefully smooth any jagged edges. Avoid digging into the nail corners to avoid damage to the nail bed. Keep your nails short as much as possible by trimming them at least every other week. Disinfect your nail clippers after each use. However, use a different nail clipper, one you can dispose of, when handling an infected nail. Avoid sharing nail clippers.

Choosing the right footwear.

If you’re fond of closed-toe shoes, choose ones that are made of breathable material like canvas or leather. Synthetic materials have a tendency to make your feet sweat more, potentially leading to the growth of fungus. Your shoes should be a perfect fit as opposed to ones that are much too tight. Shoes that are too tight can cause damage to the nail bed, allowing bacteria to penetrate the nails. In terms of socks, wear sweat-absorbing ones, or change them throughout the day. Finally, make sure your feet are completely dry before putting on your socks and shoes.

Throw away old shoes.

Discard old shoes, especially ones which may still be infected with fungus. Using them may cause recurring nail fungus. While you can also have them cleaned and disinfected before use, it’s still better to simply dispose of them, just in case, especially considering fungus thrives in such environments. Use an anti-fungal spray in your newer shoes every morning before slipping them on. Since fungus spreads quickly, avoid sharing shoes or socks with other people.

Refrain from walking barefoot in public spaces.

If you spend a lot of time in damp, public areas such as bathrooms, shower rooms or swimming pools, wear shower sandals or flip-flops instead of walking barefoot. Fungus thrives in moist, warm places, and spreads easily from one person to the next.

Avoid using nail polish.

It may look pretty, but as much as possible, try not to wear nail polish. While it’s not the nail polish itself that causes the fungal infection, it does trap moisture underneath the nail bed. Because fungi thrive in warm, moist environments, this can worsen the infection or cause recurring nail fungus.

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.