Tips for Preventing Nail Fungus

Nail fungus, the infection of the nail caused by fungus, is a common condition that can be embarrassing and difficult to cure without proper treatment. With the New Jersey cold winter weather, many people are forced to stay bundled in layers and thick, warm socks all day. Warm and moist environments like your feet and shoes serve as ideal places to grow for fungus. Once the nails are infected, they can become yellow, brittle, and thick, and the infection can spread to and from the surrounding areas. It is especially important for people who have diabetes to get treatment as soon as possible, as any cracked skin or nail can easily become infected. In order to prevent and treat fungal nails, try the following:

  • Keep nails and feet clean and dry with daily washing.
  • Cut toenails straight across with clean nail clippers. Keep them short and trimmed.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas like swimming pools, locker rooms, and shower rooms. Always use sandals or other footwear to protect your feet.
  • Wear shoes that are breathable and the right fit. Materials like canvas tend to circulate air better than plastic. Alternating shoes is also beneficial.
  • To prevent your shoes from becoming a breeding ground for fungus, you can use an anti-fungal powder daily.
  • If you develop or suspect nail fungus, discard old shoes, as infection will keep recurring if your footwear still contains spores.

Despite following these tips, some people are more susceptible to fungal infections than others. It is important to seek immediate care if you notice any changes in your skin or nails. Treatment usually involves antifungal pills, creams, or laser treatment and requires careful monitoring by an experienced dermatologist to ensure that recurrence doesn’t occur. Dr. Juan Vaillant at Old Bridge Dermatology, a highly reputable board-certified dermatologist, has been treating patients in the Old Bridge, NJ area for everything from eczema to skin cancer for over 30 years. If you want to achieve healthier skin, hair, and nails, call us at (732) 679-0222 to schedule an appointment!