The goal is to stop toenail fungus before it gets a hold of you. There are plenty of products on the market that claim they can “cure” toenail fungus. Be sure to do your research before purchasing any ingestible toenail fungus treatments. Many of these oral treatments have potential side effects and have to be ingested for long periods of time in order to be effective. We have found that topical solutions are the safest and easiest way to cure toenail fungus if used in the proper way and at the proper time. However, the best solution to foot and nail fungus is actually preventing the fungus before it starts. Let’s begin with what causes nail fungus.
Nail fungus, or Onychomycosis, is a condition that is caused by the presence of a fungus living in and underneath the nail bed of a finger or toe. The fungus houses itself within the nail bed making it difficult to reach and therefore difficult to eliminate. The cool and protected area underneath a nail provides the perfect growing condition for this type of fungus. AND REMEMBER, SKIN FUNGUS ON THE FEET CAN BE (AND VERY OFTEN IS) A PRIMARY CAUSE OF TOENAIL FUNGUS! The skin on both feet needs to be kept clean and dry as well.
The fungus starts by attacking the nail and causing the nail plate to turn yellow, cloudy or dark colored as it dies. If the fungus is not treated quickly, the fungus will multiply as the condition worsens and will cause the heavily affected nails to either thicken or become brittle and crumble apart.
Once affected, nails must be treated for a substantial period of time before all of the fungus has been eliminated. The suggested treatment time to kill all of the toenail fungus infection once the nails have been affected is 6 months at a minimum. This will allow for a topical treatment to eliminate every last fungal agent around the affected area while a new nail grows in healthy and strong.
Fungal infection under the nails or between the toes is caused by a fungus that grows best in warm, moist areas. The best way to prevent the Onychomycosis fungus is to keep feet dry at all times. So here are some great ideas to keep your feet safe:
– Wear a fresh pair of socks every day. Socks should be made out of natural fibers such as silk, wool or cotton. These fibers allow moisture to pull away from the foot and circulate air around the foot and toe area. If your feet become damp during the day or your socks become soaked by sweat, take them off as soon as possible, dry your feet with a clean towel and put on a fresh pair of socks. It is best to avoid wearing socks and shoes all together when trying to prevent foot fungus. This leads us to our next step in fungus prevention.
– Wearing the same pair of shoes, day after day can take it’s toll on your feet and expose you to bacteria and fungus. When storing shoes make sure they stored in a well ventilated area for complete drying time. Consider owning multiple pairs of fitness sneakers and rotate those pairs for optimal drying time. Lastly, wear flip flops or slippers when entering a gym locker room or shower area. This is a breeding ground for mold and fungi that cause toenail fungus and other bacterial infections.
– There are ways to help your nail technician do their best in preventing toenail fungus before it starts. The first suggestion is bring your own nail polish. This is an easy way to regulate what fungi goes directly on your nail bed. You avoid serious fungal infection and get to pick out your favorite polish color. The second suggestion is make sure all the equipment the nail technician is using on you is sterilized. Each instrument should be disinfected and properly stored. Lastly, avoid the pedicure whirpool bath. This is a pool of germs and bacteria just waiting to inhabit your toenails. Unless you can be certain that the tub was cleaned with the proper disinfectant or bleached after every client. Our recommendation is to avoid it at all costs.
– Recurrent fungal infections are a common sign of a depressed immune system. Supplementing your diet with nutrients and vitamins can certainly help prevent and keep “bad” bacteria at bay. Introduce more garlic into your meals. Garlic tablets can be ingested 2-3 times daily helping to neutralize most fungi. Tea tree oil is also a natural anti-fungal cleanser. Clean the foot and toenail area with a full strength tea tree oil formula. Black walnut extract can work as well in preventing foot fungus externally.
– Sharing items can lead to toenail fungus infections. Fungi can spread from person to person and other areas of the body when an item is shared and not disinfected first. For maximum prevention, do not share towels, shoes, clippers or scissors with anyone else.