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How to Prevent Toenail Fungus

Anyone can suffer from toenail fungus, although it's more prominent in diabetic patients. When you have this condition, it makes it challenging to wear sandals or flip-flops in public. Luckily, you can take plenty of steps to prevent fungus from returning.

At Beltsville Foot and Ankle Center, Dr. David Deiboldt and the team are experts in various foot issues, including toenail fungus. If you're concerned about your toenail health, Dr. Deiboldt offers several treatment options to restore your nails.

Understanding toenail fungus

Toenail fungus is a common condition that most often affects your toenails but can also affect your fingernails. You get this condition when fungi penetrate the area between your toenail and the skin underneath.

Typically, the toenail fungus starts as a white speck or yellowish spot on the tip of your toenail. Without treatment, the fungal infection spreads, causing your nail to become brittle and crack.

Tinea unguium is a type of toenail fungus caused by dermatophytes. A dermatophyte mold requires keratin to grow, which is the main component of your nails that makes them challenging.

 

The majority of fungal infections in your toenails are the result of dermatophytes. Although anyone can get a fungal infection, you're more prone if you're over 60 or have a condition like diabetes or peripheral vascular disease.

What are the signs?

Some different signs and symptoms point to toenail fungus. Knowing what to look for helps you get treatment faster. If you have toenail fungus, you may notice that your nails have the following traits:

Having any of the above symptoms isn't just embarrassing; it's not good for your feet or toes. Sometimes, your toenail fungus can spread to other areas, although it doesn't usually move beyond your toes.

Prevention tips for toenail fungus

Although toenail fungus isn't inherently dangerous, it's no walk in the park either. Dr. Deiboldt helps you not only treat toenail fungus but also teaches you how to prevent it in the first place. He recommends the following tips for fungus prevention:

Keep your feet dry

To prevent toenail fungus, wash your feet daily and dry them thoroughly. Be sure to get in between your toes because dry feet are less likely to develop a fungal problem.

Change your socks

You should make sure to change your socks every day. If your feet get sweaty while working out, remove your wet socks and shoes as soon as possible to avoid fungal problems.

Keep shoes on in public

Walking barefoot in public places like pools or locker rooms is a surefire way to pick up a fungal infection. Wear a pair of flip-flops in public to protect your nails from fungus.

Cut your toenails properly

When cutting your toenails, cut the nail straight, keeping it from digging into your skin. Also, avoid picking or peeling at the skin around your toenails.

Check your shoes

Old, worn shoes are a breeding ground for certain types of foot fungus. Check your shoes for moisture or wear-and-tear. When your shoes are old, throw them out and get a new clean pair.

Clean your tools

Keeping your nail tools clean is another great way to avoid toenail fungus. Use rubbing alcohol on your nail clippers and tools after each use to prevent fungal infections.

Call 301-804-1174 to make an appointment today with Dr. Deiboldt at our Beltsville, Maryland office to learn more about preventing toenail fungus, or book a consultation online.

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