Tips to Keep Fungal Nails from Returning

Tips to Keep Fungal Nails from Returning

You’re experiencing the dreaded symptoms of your nail turning yellow, thickening, crumbling, or otherwise looking unwell. If you have any of these signs, there's a good chance that you have unwelcome fungal nails.

A fungal nail cannot only look and feel unpleasant, but without treatment, it can also progress to the point where you eventually lose your toenail. Double board-certified podiatrist Thomas Rambacher, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWCA, can treat your toenail at Podiatry Hotline Foot & Ankle in Mission Viejo, California, before it gets to that point, but preventing fungal nails is an even better solution.

Learn how to keep fungal nails from developing or recurring after treatment.

What is a fungal nail?

Fungal nails occur when your nail is infected with a fungus. You can get fungal nails in any nail, but they are most common in your toes, especially your big toenail.

Telltale signs of a fungal infection include discoloration of the nail, which can turn yellow, green, white, or black. Fungal nails also thicken, crumble, or become brittle.

Dr. Rambacher can treat your fungal nail with antifungal cream, oral medication, laser treatment, or, in the most serious cases, removal of the nail so a new one can grow.

Preventing fungal nails

Getting a fungal nail is irritating and can cause problems like needing to remove your nail. Preventing a fungal nail is easier than treating it, so here’s what Dr. Rambacher recommends to lower your risk of future occurrences.

Be careful where you go barefoot

One of the easiest ways to get a fungal nail is by walking barefoot in areas with potential fungal growth. These include communal locker rooms, showers, saunas, spas, and swimming pools.

Wear flip-flops or other footwear that covers the bottom of your feet when using these spaces. If you visit salons and spas, ensure they’re licensed and maintain high cleanliness and equipment sterilization standards.

Take care of your nails

Good nail care helps your nails stay less vulnerable to fungus infection. Keep your nails short to make it harder for fungus to get under them, and use a nail clipper to trim them carefully straight across.

Every time you trim your nails, clean your nail trimmer before use and never share it with another person. Keep your cuticles, which help prevent fungal infection, intact.

Maintain clean, dry feet

Fungus thrives in moist or dirty environments, so you can help prevent it by keeping your feet dry and clean. Clean under your nails regularly, and after you shower, wash dishes, or do other activities that get your nails wet, dry them thoroughly and carefully.

Always wear socks and shoes that are dry, especially if you’re exercising or playing sports. Change your shoes and socks regularly when doing athletics for an extended period.

Protect your nails

Protect your nails from injury, which can make them more vulnerable to infections. Wear footwear that fits properly and covers your toes to keep your nails healthy.

Avoid biting or picking at your nails as part of your nail care, as this increases your risk of nail injuries. If you do develop a hangnail, avoid touching it and let it heal on its own.

Fungal nails are a pain, but our team can help you restore your nail health if you’re prone to recurring infections. To schedule your appointment, contact us today.

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