Fungal toenail infections can spread more rapidly in warmer temperatures, but the necessary conditions for fungal and bacterial growth on your feet are present year-round. You always have to be proactive to limit your contact with these nasty little critters. When the fungi invade the area under your toenails, they have found a happy home that makes them all the more difficult to eradicate. Your toenail thickens noticeably and becomes very brittle, yellow, and may emit a foul odor, so this is obviously something you should try to avoid.
Great tips for preventing toenail fungus:
- Daily cleaning—Wash your feet regularly and change socks often, especially when they get wet. Always let your shoes air out between wearings by alternating them every other day with a freshly dried pair.
- Nail trimming technique—A nail fungal infection often begins after an ingrown toenail has broken the tender skin on the edge of the toe. Therefore, it is very important to cut your nails straight across rather than on a curve so that the edge of the nail doesn’t dig into your skin as it grows.
- Breathable shoes—In addition to breathable and moisture wicking socks made of cotton or other lightweight fabric, it is always best to wear shoes that are made with a breathable fabric like canvas, or footwear that is lined with Gore-Tex breathable and waterproof material.
- Foot protection—Public areas such as swimming pools, locker rooms, gyms and showers are hotbeds of bacterial and fungal contamination. It’s advisable to wear shower shoes or sandals to minimize your contact with infectious fungi, bacteria and viruses.
If you notice any changes in the color or texture of your toenails that often includes that telltale stinky smell, then it is important to see a podiatrist for proper treatment. Topical or oral antifungal medicines may be prescribed to kill the infection and the nail may need to be removed to adequately treat the infection. Don’t worry though, because a new, healthy nail will grow in over time.
If you are experiencing a toenail fungal infection, don’t wait too long before seeking treatment to avoid any unnecessary complications. At Podiatry Center of New Jersey, Dr. Russell Samofal treats a variety of conditions such as sports injuries, diabetic foot problems, pediatric foot conditions, toe deformities, arthritis, nail fungus, arch problems and heel pain. Equipped with advanced technologies and a dedicated staff, Podiatry Center of New Jersey provides individualized high quality care for patients all across Morris, Passaic, Bergen and Essex counties. For all your foot and ankle problems, contact our Wayne office at (973) 925-4111 for an appointment.