7 Tips To Prevent Toe Nail Fungus

Toe nail fungus is unpleasant, uncomfortable and unsightly. There are many treatments on the market today to help with this problem.  Some of these treatments are medical while others are at-home remedies.  The best remedy that anyone has ever found for toe nail fungus, however, is prevention.  By preventing the infection before it has a chance to grow, you will save yourself the discomfort, the embarrassment and the headache of this problem.  While there is no guarantee that you'll be able to prevent nail fungus completely, these 7 tips are certainly worth trying.  They can't hurt!

1. Clean Feet Are Happy Feet

Wash your feet with soap and water every single day and make sure that you dry them well.  If you tend to sweat a lot, or you work in a moist environment, try to use drying powders to keep your feet dry throughout the day.  Avoid corn starch which helps bacteria and fungi to grow.  There are many products on the market that help to keep feet dry.  Try one of them and see if you feel a difference.

2. Select the Right Shoes and Socks

Shoes and socks can make a large difference in preventing toe nail fungus.  Make sure that you own good shoes and socks, that don't suffocate your feet and create a moist environment.  Your feet need to breathe throughout the day to keep them from sweating, creating moisture, and helping fungus to grow.  Avoid cheap plastic shoes and shoes that are too small for your feet.  Buy socks that allow your feet to breathe and that are made for active people.  Synthetic socks wick away moisture, while cotton and wool socks don't allow your feet to breathe as much.  Most sporting good stores sell high end socks - there really is a difference in the types of socks that you buy.  Shop around and find the right shoes and socks for your needs.

3. Keep It Under Wraps In Communal Areas

If you frequent a pool, a gym, or a spa you need to be very careful with your feet in these public places.  Wear rubber shoes or shower clogs at all times when walking by a pool, when showering in a communal area, or when frequenting wet locations.  When you come out of the wet area, dry your feet well and change your shoes.  Put on socks that allow your feet to breathe and shoes that will allow your feet to air out.  Stay vigilant with these activities as these locations are ripe with bacteria and fungi waiting to grow!

4. Enjoy Apple Cider Foot Baths

Some people recommend bathing your feet each day in equal measures of apple cider and water.  Enjoy a foot bath in the morning or the evening for fifteen minutes with this mixture.  Apple cider has properties in it that can help to prevent the build up of bacteria and that can keep nail fungus at bay.  It's worth a try and it's a great way to relax!

5. Be Selective About Salons

If you love to have your nails done, be sure that you're going to a healthy nail salon.  Tools that are used on fingernails and toenails can easily carry bacteria from one customer to the next.  The salon needs to be certified, as does the person doing your nails, and they need to sanitize all equipment in between customers.  Stay away from nail salons all together if you are particularly at risk for nail fungus or are worried about it. Alternatively, you can bring your own tools to the salon for them to use or do your nails yourself at home and enjoy!

6. Cut Nails Carefully

You can help to prevent nail fungus in the way that you cut your nails.  You should keep your nails short and clean, trimming the nails straight across and filing down thickened areas.  Don't cut them too short and expose the nail bed by accident.  Be careful not to cut the skin around the nails as well.  Be careful not to pick at the skin around your nails. Any of these things can give germs access to your nails and your skin.  Simply keep your nails short and clean for the best chance at preventing problems.  

7. Wash Often and Use Gloves

Nail fungus is infectious, and the easiest way to spread the infection is within your own body.  If you have an infected nail, be very careful not to touch it to your other nails and not to pick at it.  Wash your hands if you've touched an infected nail and stay vigilant about this.  Similarly, if you wash the dishes a lot or work around water, always wear rubber gloves.  Turn the gloves inside out to dry after you've used them, and use them every time that you are working with water.