How Can I Prevent Toenail Fungus?

Fungal infections like onychomycosis (nail fungus) and athlete’s foot thrive in warm, moist areas like swimming pools, spas, changing rooms and showers. The organisms can live for a short time in puddles on tile floors. Wearing protective footwear like sandals or slippers in public areas such as these will lessen the risk of catching an infection.

Here are some more hints to help prevent an infection occurring:
  • Wear natural cotton, silk or woollen socks as they absorb moisture, and change them daily.
  • Eat a well-balanced diet rich in minerals and vitamins. Avoid too much sugar, which can feed the fungus.
  • Do not share your pedicure tools, towels, socks, shoes or slippers with others.
  • Wear breathable footwear, or sandals when you can, especially in warm weather.
  • Keep your feet and nails clean on a daily basis. Wash your feet with antiseptic soap after using public showers, pools or changing rooms.
  • Thoroughly dry your feet after washing and use a foot powder to absorb moisture.
  • You can also use an antifungal spray or powder.
  • Keep your nails short, dry and clean. Trim straight across and file down thickened areas.
  • Don’t cut or damage your skin around toenails as this may open up access for germs to enter.

If you notice an unpleasant odour or see anything unusual in the appearance of your feet, consult a specialist as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can prevent the condition spreading or becoming worse.

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