While a nail fungal infection may not be a usual priority for you, getting a chronic infection will certainly prompt you to search for treatment. Nail fungus is very common, although it rarely causes pain unless it becomes progressively more severe. In many instances, however, the condition will result to the discoloration of the nails, and in the long term will cause the nail to crack until it breaks. As the nail becomes thick and highly fragile to breakage, the condition might cause some pain. The fungal infection commonly attacks the toenail more than the fingernails and you need not wait to make your nails to become a breeding ground for the fungus. Keeping your nails healthy will help prevent having to deal with the condition in the first place.
Reducing your risk
A nail fungus is highly contagious and its prevalence affects at least 14% of the total population. The condition is more manageable with prevention than treatment because the condition can be highly resistant to medications and treatment. The chance of recurrence or re-infection is also high, and the treatment is long that may take months, depending on the severity of your infection. While anyone may possibly get infected, some people have a higher risk or susceptibility to getting the infection than others. Individuals with diabetes, weak immune system, poor blood circulation, athlete's foot, and had a nail surgery have a higher chance of getting nail fungus.
Preventing nail fungus
Observing healthy habits and proper nail care are essential in preventing nail fungus. You can reduce your risks of getting the infection by following these measures:
- Observe regular washing
The fungus can easily attach to your nails and you can prevent spreading the infection or getting one yourself by observing proper hygiene and frequent washing. Make sure to wash with soap and make the washing as thorough as possible, reaching between the toes. Keep the nails dry.
- Clip your nails regularly
Short nails tend to discourage fungal growth than longer nails. Fungus can easily breed under the nails and does not easily wash out by simply running a water, unless you have to rub and reach under the nails for cleaning. It is best to have your own clippers instead of sharing with others.
- Wear the proper footwear and rubber gloves
Fungus thrives in a warm and moist environment. Wearing a pair of shoe that is not breathable enough will certainly encourage the nail fungus. It is best to alternate wearing a closed shoe to a more open one or with breathable materials. Old shoes can also encourage a re-infection so you might want to change shoes more often and washing them frequently. There are also anti-fungal sprays that you can use on your shoes. If you have to wear a pair of gloves, you might as well choose those made from rubbers to avoid keeping your hands damp and moist. Frequently wash the rubber gloves and make sure to turn them inside and out when not in use.
- Do not walk barefooted
You can easily come in contact with the fungus in damp and moist places, such as in shower rooms and lockers. You should protect your toe nails from this risk by wearing slippers or shoes at all times and avoid being barefooted.
- Clean and disinfect
Fungal growth may even present in your own home and shower room. Protect yourself against nail fungus by regularly cleaning the bathrooms and moist areas in your home and use disinfectants to obtain better results.