A fungal toenail infection causes the nail to become discolored, thick, and brittle and as the condition progresses an offensive odor is often released as the fungi feast on your feet. The microscopic organisms that cause fungal toenail infections are very common in the environment and they also thrive in the moist, warm conditions that are found in your footwear. You can help avoid fungal toenail contamination by cutting your toenails correctly and by limiting your contact with the microbes in the first place.

3 excellent ways to avoid a toenail fungus infection include the following:

  • Cut your toenails properly—You can help prevent the fungi from getting underneath your toenails by making sure you cut them properly. Always cut them a little longer and on just a slight curve to help avoid an ingrown toenail or other skin injuries that can allow microbes to enter.
  • Keep your feet clean and dry—Carefully wash and dry your feet at least daily, being sure to catch the areas between your toes where infections tend to start. Wear fresh, clean socks and switch your shoes every other day to allow them to air out. Wear lightweight, moisture-wicking socks and shoes made with breathable fabric to aid in evaporation.
  • Protect your feet from microbes—Wear shower shoes or sandals in public areas such as locker rooms and showers. Use antifungal and antibacterial sprays or powders on your feet and inside your shoes to kill microbes before they can spread.

If you do get an infection you can try over-the-counter remedies that may appear to work initially, but the fungus often returns due to incomplete treatment. Laser therapy for fungal toenails is a painless and quick procedure that can completely kill the fungus to avoid reinfections.

If you notice any color or texture changes in your toenails be sure to see your foot doctor for the proper diagnosis and treatment. At Atlantic Foot and Ankle Specialists, Dr. Melissa Robitaille and Dr. Todd Newsom treat virtually all types of foot and ankle disorders including bunions, hammertoes, ingrown toenails, and heel pain. Equipped with leading-edge technologies such as extracorporeal shockwave therapy (ESWT) and laser surgery for toenail fungus, we provide specialized, compassionate care for patients in Pooler, Georgia (Chatham County). For any pain and discomfort you are experiencing with your feet and ankles, contact us today at (912) 988-3323.

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