Athlete’s foot and onychomycosis (toenail fungus) are two similar fungal infection conditions. Athlete’s foot refers to having a fungal infection that affects the skin on your feet, whereas onychomycosis affects the toenails (and less commonly the fingernails). If you’ve ever had athletes foot then you have an increased risk of developing onychomycosis too. If you’re prone to fungal infections then prevention is an important part of lowering your chances.
Although fungal infections of the feet and toenails aren’t usually serious, they also aren’t pleasant to have and should be treated accordingly. There’s a few effective treatment options for both of these conditions, they include: creams, powders, and even laser treatment. The Laser Treatment Clinic recommends diode laser treatment for fungal nail infections, as it destroys the fungus effectively removing the infection.
But of course the best way to get rid of nail fungus is to not have it to begin with! So, here are a few ways in which you could prevent these fungal infections from happening.
Do Not Walk Barefoot in Communal Areas
Places such as gym floors, communal showers, and swimming pools are where you’re the most at risk at picking up a fungal infection. Fungus live in warm and damp environments, which is why it’s important to take precautions such as covering your feet and toenails. This is especially important if you have a small injury on your toenails or feet, as an infection can easily be picked up there.
Wearing swimming socks or waterproof shoes is the ideal option if you’re worried about picking up a fungal nail infection. This way, your feet and nails won’t be exposed to any fungus.
Wear Clean Cotton Socks Everyday
If you don’t already, wearing clean cotton socks everyday is another way to prevent athlete’s foot or onychomycosis. Cotton is a breathable material, which is important when it comes to fungal infections. You don’t want your feet to overheat and become damp and sweaty, this makes it easier for fungi to live.
Also, wearing trainers that allow your feet to comfortably breathe in is also beneficial. You don’t want your feet to become suffocated and sweaty throughout the day.
Pat Your Feet Dry After a Shower
After a shower or bath, it’s important to pat dry your feet to stop them from being damp for too long. Getting under your feet and between the toes is especially important, as those are the areas that retain moisture for longer. As discussed before, fungi find it easy to live in warm and damp places, so drying your feet carefully is an effective way to prevent an infection.
Do Not Share Your Towels
After bathing, you should be drying your feet carefully with a clean towel that you do not use for anything else. Sharing towels with other people isn’t great as it could expose your feet and nails to bacteria and fungi. It’s better to clean yourself with a clean towel that only you use.