Summer is struggling to get here, but before you know it you will wish for nothing better than to cool off at one of the local pools or splash pads or at our wonderful beaches on Georgian Bay. Take care, though. These types of public places are often home to a type of microorganism that can infect and wreak havoc with your toenails. Here are our top 6 tips for preventing nail fungus from taking hold in your feet:
- Keep your toes clean. Wash them every day, and pat dry over the surface and between your toes. If a nail is already infected, wash hands after touching it to prevent spreading the fungus to other toes or places on your body.
- Keep your feet dry. Wear socks that absorb and transfer sweat away from your skin. Shoes should be breathable as well, to let moisture escape. Take extra socks to change into if the first pair gets too damp.
- Keep your nails properly trimmed. The right cut (straight across and just shy of the tip) works to protect your toe, while too short or too long nails encourage damage to the tissue under them. Be especially careful at nail salons, which are notorious for hygiene violations.
- Use antifungal products on your feet and on the insides of your shoe, to kill the fungus before it burrows under your nail.
- Wear protection in damp public spaces. Flip flops, sandals, and swim shoes all help keep the fungus that thrives in these conditions away from your feet.
- Don’t share with others. We know it doesn’t sound kind, but sharing towels, socks, shoes, or pedicure tools with someone else puts both of you at risk. You can carry the fungus without having symptoms, so protect yourself and others and stick to using your own things.
If you already have a fungal nail, call the staff at Abbott Foot & Ankle Clinic by dialing (705) 444-9929 and set up an appointment as soon as possible at our Collingwood, ON office. We feature laser treatment for fungal nails as well as more conventional medications. The sooner you can start treatment, the better your chance of nipping a fungal infection in the bud.