Fungal infections on the toes are a major problem and can be embarrassing for some. It is very important to treat it with medical help along with at-home hacks. In the blog, we will discuss what is a fungal infection, the causes, remedies and prevention, as well as ways in which we can hide it.
What Is Fungal Infection Of Toenails?
Fungal infection on the toenails is very common. Toenail fungus is also known as Onychomycosis. This happens when the fungi get in between your toenail and the skin beneath it. A minor crack or cut in the toenail can lead to fungal infection. Toenail fungus is generally common among older people.
What Are The Causes Of Toenail Fungus?
Toenails can be infected by a variety of fungi. Dermatophytes (a kind of mould) is responsible for most of the fungal infection on the toes. Dermatophytes are fungal microbes that thrive on keratin, a protein commonly found on your toenails as well as fingernails. Dermatophytes feed on this keratin. Your nails derive strength from keratin. When these dermatophytes eat off the keratin of your nail, it becomes more susceptible to breakage and infection. But how does your toenail get infected?
Toenail fungus survives in a dark, warm, and moist environment, your fingernail and toenails are the best places for them to survive and flourish. The chances of you contracting nail infection are by
- Walking without footwear in public places.
- Using shower rooms shared by many people.
- Wearing wrong fitting footwear can take a toll on your feet, making them more susceptible to nail infection.
- Getting a manicure or pedicure done at a nail beauty salon. Pedicure devices, such as nail clippers and emery boards, can spread fungal infections if they're not sanitized properly.
How To Maintain Healthy Toenails?
It is very important to take care of your toenails so that you can keep your nails strong, healthy and prevent any kind of nail infection. Sweaty feet can be a breeding ground for nail fungus. We will be sharing the top 10 expert-recommended tips to keep your toenails shiny and clear.
1. Clean Your Foot Daily
While bathing always make sure to clean your toenails properly to eliminate onychomycosis or nail fungus. Scrub your toenail with a foot brush to maintain clean and healthy nails.
After bathing, dry your toes properly and then apply a moisturiser. Experts recommend moisturizing them regularly, to keep your toes soft and healthy.
3. Trim Your Toenails Frequently
Make sure that you trim your toenail regularly with a help of nail clippers. Trim your toenail straight across, never trim it in a curved shape so as to prevent ingrown nails and nail infection.
4. Use A Nail File
Use a thin nail file to smooth out the edges of your toenail. This helps in preventing hangnails, cuts, tears and rips in the nail.
5. Wear Proper Fitted Shoes And Socks
It is very important to wear well-fitted shoes to keep your toenail healthy. Make sure your footwear is fitting properly on your feet. Tight fitted socks and shoes disrupt proper blood circulation and lead to ingrown nails. Tightly fitted footwear can lead to calluses, blisters, black toenails (subungual hematoma), corns and other foot issues that affect your standing and walking posture, placing an undue strain on your toenails.
6. Always Wear Breathable Footwear
Always wear breathable footwear so as to allow proper air circulation inside the shoes. Air circulation allows keeping your feet dry, making them less susceptible to nail fungus.
7. Go For A Foot Massage
A foot massage every now and then is always beneficial for your feet. It gives relaxation and improves blood circulation, increasing the supply of blood to your toenails and giving a pinkish glow to your toenails. It should be noted that you should never apply moisturizing cream or lotion in between your toes as it can aid in the growth of fungus.
8. Indulge In Foot Soaks
Indulging in foot soaks can be very relaxing. To improve the experience you can add your favourite essential oil. It helps to unwind and destress yourself. The soak helps loosen dirt and debris that might be lurking in the nail folds, reducing your chances of developing smelly feet and nail fungus infections. When moisturizing oils are added to the foot soak, it helps to keep your nails, soft, clean and shiny.
9. Pedicure Should Be Done With Care
While performing pedicures, the expert cuts the cuticle of your toenail making it more susceptible to infections. Infection can also spread from the nail fillers, nail clippers, so make sure that the pedicure tools are properly sanitized before use.
10. Give Your Nail Paints A Break
Nail paint can make your toenail look attractive, but the thick layer of nail paint can block air and light from reaching your toenails, aiding in the growth of fungus. Moreover, it makes your toenails look pale and dull. So occasionally you can take a break from your nail paint and allow your toenails to breathe.
How To Treat Fungal Nail Infection?
It is always advisable to consult a doctor for nail fungal treatment. A doctor might prescribe an oral antifungal medicine and antifungal topical solution/ointment depending upon the type of fungus and the extent of fungal infection on your toenail.
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