The goal is to never acquire a toenail fungus in the first place. Nail fungus infections are often very difficult to get rid and there is no reason to risk having to deal with the treatment process. Depending on your work environment, personal hygiene habits and daily routine, there are ways that people put themselves in high risk situations for nail fungus infections. By following the practices discussed further along in this article, anyone can lessen their chances of dealing with this irritating affliction without too much effort.
Let's begin with what causes toenail fungus. Nail fungus, or onychomycosis, is a condition that is caused by the presence of a fungus living in and underath the nail bed of a finger or toe. The fungus houses itself within the nail bed making it difficult to reach and therefore difficult to eliminate. The cool and protected area underneath a nail provides the perfect growing condition for this type of fungus. It is extremely important to understand that skin fungus that is commonly found on the feet can very easily turn in toenail fungus. Perhaps the most common way that a person contracts toenail fungus if from an existing skin fungus condition that simply waits for a crack in the nail or weakness in the nail bed to attack.
The fungus starts by attacking the nail and causing the nail plate to turn yellow, cloudy or dark-colored as it dies. If the fungus is not treated quickly, the fungus will multiply as the condition worsens and will cause the heavily affected nails to either thicken or become brittle and ever crumble apart.
Once affected, nails must be treated for a fundamental period of time before all of the fungus has been eliminated. The suggested treatment time to kill all of the nail fungus infection once the nails have been affected is a minimum of 6 months with most treatment times longer. These times will also vary immensely from one treatment to another and depending on the severity of the infection. And despite the most disappointing fact about nail fungus infections lies in the fact that not all treatments work the same on similar type infections. So what worked as a wonderful toenail fungus treatment for one person, will not need to work for a different person with a similar type of nail fungus. Yet another reason to be diligent using these methods for prevention!
Fungal infections under the nails or between the toes is caused by a fungus that grows best in warm, moist areas. The best way to prevent the skin fungus on the feet and ultimately toenail fungus is to take proper care of those areas regularly. So, here are some great ideas to keep your feet and toenails fungus-free:
– Do not ever walk barefoot in public-access places such as gymnasiums, locker rooms, pools, bathrooms, recreation areas and fields and and in around changing rooms. Use shower sandals or some form of open-air shoe that keeps your feet from contacting the ground. Fungal agents can live for up to 48 hours on damp floors in the proper conditions.
– Wear a fresh pair of socks every day. Socks should be made out of natural fibers such as silk, wool or cotton. These fibers allow moisture to pull away from the foot and circulate air around the foot and toe area. If your feet become damp during the day or your socks become soaked by sweat, take them off as soon as possible, dry your feet with a clean towel and put on a fresh pair of socks. It is best to avoid wearing socks and shoes all together when trying to prevent foot fungus. This leads us to our next step in fungus prevention.
– We wear the same pair of shoes, day after day can take a toll on your feet and expose you to bacteria and fungus. When storing shoes make sure they stored in a well ventilated area for complete drying time. Consider owning multiple pairs of fitness sneakers and rotate those pairs for optimal drying time. And again, wear flip-flops or slippers when entering a gym locker room or shower area. This is a breeding ground for mold and fungi that cause toenail fungus and other bacterial infections.
– If you go to nail salons, there are ways to help your nail technician do their best in preventing toenail fungus before it starts. The first suggestion is bring your own nail polish. This is an easy way to regulate what fungi goes directly on your nail bed. You avoid serious fungal infection and get to pick out your favorite polish color. The second suggestion is make sure all the equipment the nail technician is using on you is sterilized. Each instrument should be disinfected and properly stored. Lastly, avoid the pedicure whirlpool bath. This is a pool of germs and bacteria just waiting to inhabit your toenails. Without you can be certain that the tub was cleaned with the proper disinfectant or bleached after every client. Our recommendation is to avoid it at all costs.
– Recurrent fungal infections are a common sign of a depressed immune system. Supplementing your diet with nutrients and vitamins can certainly help prevent and keep "bad" bacteria at bay. Introduce more garlic into your meals. Garlic tablets can be ingested 2-3 times daily helping to neutralize most fungi. Tea tree oil is also a natural anti-fungal cleanser. Clean the foot and toenail area with a full strength tea tree oil formula. Black walnut extract can work as well in preventing foot fungus externally.
– Sharing items can lead to toenail fungus infections. Fungi can spread from person to person and other areas of the body when an item is shared and not disinfected first. For maximum prevention, do not share towels, shoes, clippers or scissors with anyone else.
Keeping these habits and behaviors in mind is not to difficult a task. And what it saves you is lifetime of fighting nail fungus infections, which are among the more irritating and hard-to-eliminate afflictions. Making some fairly easy changes to your life will lower your risk for contracting nail fungus immensely.