Often, we take poor care of our feet, in spite of the work they do. Even when we bathe, we rarely take the time to wash and clean them properly. Our focus is often on other ‘problem’ areas.
However, long-term neglect of the toenails can cause medical problems that take some time to cure. Toenail fungus is one of the many issues that can arise when we don’t take good care of our feet. Like many other foot-related conditions, it can easily be avoided.
Let’s take a look at the kind of care you should give to your feet. If you already have toenail fungus, we’ll discuss how you can treat the condition and recover more quickly.
Everyday Care of Your Feet
It doesn’t take much to care for your feet. Spend a few minutes each day, during your bath time, to attend to them. Give each of your feet a good, light scrub to get rid of the dirt and sweat that gets trapped there during the day.
Remember that toenail fungus, like any other kind, thrives where there is dirt, sweat and moisture. The spaces between your toes should also be cleaned thoroughly.
After you’re done, make sure you give your feet enough time to dry. This is especially important before you slip them into a pair of shoes or socks. Traces of water or moisture will allow fungi to breed more easily.
Improve Your Personal Hygiene
You increase the risk of getting an infection when you do not pay enough attention to cleanliness. Even when you clean your feet well, make sure that you also sterilize your shoes. It is advisable to change them often, so you can give each pair time to air dry. You can also use specialist ultraviolet ray machines that will kill fungus in your footwear.
Remember your feet sweat throughout the day, so your shoes do need plenty of time to dry. Clean your shoes where possible. Use a cloth with a little disinfectant to wipe within, focusing on the toe end of the shoe. Socks should also be worn once and washed thereafter. They should never be worn more than once before washing. You may be able to get some antifungal socks, which will help prevent toenail fungus from returning in the future.
What Are the Risk Factors?
Some people have a higher risk of contracting toenail fungus than others. If you already have Athlete’s Foot, then you need to practice self-care, as described above. This applies, even as you apply topical treatments such as powders or creams.
If you’re unsure that you have Athlete’s Foot, check for any itchiness or redness between your toes. If it is left untreated, it can cause complications and toenail fungus will be a likely result. It can usually be cleared up quickly with an over-the-counter antifungal cream.
You’re also more at risk of an infection if you have poor circulation. That’s why people are more likely to get a fungal nail infection if they have type-2 diabetes. The incidence of nail fungus also rises steeply with age, again most likely caused by circulatory problems.
Confirmation of the Symptoms
If the thickness of colour of your nail begins to change, toenail fungus may be the cause. According to Yellow Toenails Cured, only a few over-the-counter (OTC) treatments really work. This is because it’s difficult for creams and gels to penetrate the nail. It’s easier to get results of you’re able to catch a fungal infection of the toenails in the early stages.
Most of the time, you can apply a gel or cream to apply directly onto the affected nail(s). During this time, you should aerate your feet as much as possible. You should also wear open shoes to keep your feet dry and do not forget to keep your feet as clean as possible.
If you find that your toenails don’t recover, you may need something a bit stronger to get results. If so, there are prescription medications that do work. Unfortunately, they do have some unpleasant side effects, so it’s advisable to explore simple at-home options first.
Make sure that you’re consistent with your treatment plan. Try to avoid missing applications as it will delay, or even prevent, any progress. Fungal nail infections are difficult to treat and require more time to clear up, especially if they’ve progressed.