Are You at Risk for Toenail Fungus?


The word fungus alone is enough to make most people cringe.Toenail fungus sounds even less appealing. The medical term for toenail fungus is onychomycosis. It’s an infection that starts beneath your nail bed. If it’s not cared for properly it can spread to other nails and skin as well. Therefore, it is essential that you learn what is considered abnormal and how to prevent a fungal infection.

Fungus Loves Moisture

Wet areas are in an invitation to fungus. Showers and swimming pools are prime examples of areas that are prone to develop mold or fungi. Make sure to dry yourself properly when leaving these areas. Wearing sweaty socks for long periods of times can develop fungus. Try pouring a little antibacterial foot powder in between your toes and a little in your socks and shoes. This will keep moisture to a minimum. Some podiatrist’s recommend adding a capful of Lysol disinfectant to the end cycle of your dirty sock load, to combat any bacterial fungi.

Soaking your nails in vinegar routinely will also decrease the possibility of fungus, because fungus cannot survive in an acidic environment. Soaking your feet for about 10 minutes in a pint of water with two teaspoons of salt is another preventive method suggested by the experts. Above all else, be careful. Cutting your toenails can leave room for fungus. Many us have been guilty of cutting them too short and causing some bleeding. Stubbing your toe against a solid object can also cause a toe injury. Open wounds are always an avenue for infection.

If you sometimes treat yourself to a pedicure, make sure that the equipment being used have been sterilized. It is a law that unfortunately not all salons implement. Chronic medical conditions can also make you more susceptible to Toenail fungus. Those suffering from immunodeficiency, autoimmune diseases, diabetes or circulatory disorders are less capable of combating the bacteria before the damage is done.

It’s best to be proactive and adhere to the many ways you can prevent or treat an occurrence of fungi. Always assess the appearance of your toenails. Toenail fungus can go undetected for years due to lack of severe discomfort or pain. You should seek a medical evaluation at the first sign of abnormality.

An infection should not be treated without the guidance of a podiatrist. There are topical creams, oral medication, treatments and surgical procedures that can tackle the fungus according to it’s progression and severity. Look for signs of yellowing or white spots at the tip of your nail, darkening of your nail bed or an emanating foul odor. One of these signs is enough to raise a question of concern. A visit to your podiatrist can eliminate your concern or commence treatment for the bacterial growth.

Veronica Davis