Fungal toenail infections are caused by the microscopic fungi that thrive in the warm, wet conditions found in your footwear. The same fungi that cause athlete’s foot infection also cause fungal toenail infections which is why athletes often suffer with fungal toenails. However, the condition can happen in anyone.

Most people don’t even realize that they have a toenail infection at the beginning because there is no pain and the symptoms are mild. As the infection worsens, the shape, brittleness, thickness, and color of your infected toenails will change. A bad infection will also produce a rather unpleasant odor to go along with it. See your foot doctor if the condition has gotten this bad.

Steps you can take to avoid getting a fungal toenail infection include:

  • Using the correct toenail cutting technique—Cut your toenails straight across and a little longer to avoid an ingrown toenail. One of the main causes of toenail fungus infections is an ingrown toenail that spreads the fungi under your nail.
  • Keeping your feet clean and dry—Fungi thrive in warm, wet conditions, so keeping your feet clean, cool, and dry will help to kill any fungal spores. Antifungal ointments or sprays can be used on your feet and inside your shoes for any lingering bugs.
  • Protecting your feet—Public areas such as swimming pools, locker rooms, and showers are a hotbed of fungal and bacterial contamination. Always protect your feet with shower shoes or sandals to minimize contact with the microbes.

If you are experiencing a problematic fungal toenail infection, see your foot doctor for the best care. 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.