What Causes Toenail Fungus?
Fungal nail infections can develop at any age, but older adults are most susceptible to toenail fungus. As people age, their nails become dry and brittle, resulting in cracks that allow the fungi to thrive. Other factors that can cause toenail fungus include a weak immune system, diabetes, nail injury, moist fingers or toes, or shoes with closed toes.
However, if you’ve ever had nail fungus, you know how it turns your nails thick, discoloured, and cracked. Plus if you don’t take care, there’s a possibility that you invite a more serious infection. So, how do you stop toenail fungus from coming back? Here are 7 effective things you can do to avoid recurrent fungal nail infections:
1. Keep Your Toenails Clean & Dry
Wash your feet with soap every day and dry them off thoroughly after washing. Clean and dry toenails are least likely to attract fungal nail infections.
2. Trim Your Nails Daily
Regular trimming minimises the surface area where nail fungus can survive and thrive. It also decreases the dirt and moisture that can get trapped in long nails, and this is the easiest way to stop toenail fungus from coming back.
3. Wear Breathable Footwear
Breathable footwear facilitates air circulation between the toes and around your feet. Fungal infections thrive easily when your feet remain cooped up in snug socks and tight shoes. Choose breathable materials for shoes like leather or canvas and socks made from synthetic fibres, so they wick away moisture and keep your feet dry.
4. Avoid Walking Around Barefoot
Public areas like gyms, locker rooms, swimming pools, or showers are hotspots for fungal nail infections. So, avoid walking around barefoot, especially in public areas. Always wear your flip-flops when you're in a humid environment to avoid toenail fungus.
5. Disinfect Regularly With An Antibacterial Foot Spray
Disinfect your socks and footwear insoles with an antibacterial foot spray. Wash your socks in hot water and dry them thoroughly afterwards to make sure there's no moisture trapped.
6. Alternate Your Footwear
This is the most effective way to stop toenail fungus from coming back. Make sure you alternate your shoes and footwear. Don't wear the same pair for 2 days in a row and allow them to air out in the open when you're not wearing them.
7. Try A Manuka Soap
How do you know when toenail fungus is gone? Many other skin infections can affect your nails and mimic the signs of nail fungus. So, diagnosis is the only way to be sure. Meanwhile, you can continue using a manuka soap with antifungal properties. Manuka soap is suitable for daily skincare, and it's highly beneficial in treating skin that's affected by fungi or bacteria. If you’ve had fungal nail infections before, this soap may help avoid recurrent fungal infections.
If preventing nail fungus isn't your top priority, it should be. And the best thing that you can do to avoid toenail or fingernail fungus is to follow these tips!