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Toenail Fungus Prevention And Treatment

Aug 17, 2007
Toenail fungus (onychomycosis), is a truly awful condition for a number of reasons. It's very unsightly and can become the topic of unwanted conversation for those that get it bad enough and have their feet exposed to the world. Once the nail is infected it will likely turn yellow, brown, or both, and as the condition worsens it'll become thick and overgrown. If gone untreated the nail may even start to crumble and fall off.

When allowed to advance too far the toenail fungus may begin to stink as foul smelling debris forms under the nail, but that's not all! As the nail(s) become overgrown with fungus, it may be very uncomfortable, painful or even impossible to wear shoes until it's got under some control.

Unfortunately, toe nail fungus is pretty common. Just like another common fungal foot infection (athlete's foot), toenail fungus can be easily picked up by folks that walk around bare footed in public swimming pools, locker rooms or showers. Fungi just love warm moist places and it's wise to be mindful of this if you are prone to infection.

We've all stubbed our toes against a hard object from time to time and if we hit hard enough sometimes that nail can lift away from the toe a bit. This allows a perfect opportunity for fungus to creep in under the damaged nail, so some good preventative measures should be taken if this happens to you.

But before we look at prevention and cure, let me just summarize the risk factors so that you can become aware of how this fungus is contracted. Firstly, the chance of getting toenail fungus increases with age. Males are also more prone to the condition than females. Other risk factors include: nail trauma, sweaty feet (common), poor blood circulation, and poor hygiene.

Prevention: Wear sandals, flip flops or other water shoes when in public showers, and locker rooms. Always wash and dry your feet (particularly between the toes) before leaving such places.

Let your feet breathe. Wear 100% cotton, or wool socks. Not only do these breathe easy, but they also absorb moisture (sweat) from your feet. If you socks get too damp through sweating make sure you take them off at the next opportunity, and dry your feet thoroughly before putting on a fresh clean pair. Also, wear leather or canvas shoes whenever possible as these allow your feet to ventilate.

To summarize footwear then, use natural materials which breathe easy, so cotton or wool for socks and natural uppers for shoes. Also, periodically sprinkle an anti-bacterial product into your shoes if you are prone to fungal infections.

Common Cures: If gone untreated for any length of time, toenail fungus can become very stubborn and difficult to treat. Try over the counter remedies first but if the condition does not improve or even gets worse, then go see your doctor without delay.

Tea tree oil is used quite successfully for the treatment of early toe fungus. The careful application of bleach is also used by some, as is Vics VapoRub, but quite often a prescribed oral medication is required along with topical ointment of some sorts.

But as pointed out earlier in this piece, toenail fungus can be stubborn and is not always easy to treat using home remedies. By all means try one or 2, but do not hesitate to seek professional advice if your condition does not improve.
About the Author
Read more on feet, foot care and footwear including a look at Dansko Shoes, at the website http://www.hipfootwear.com/ There's also a review on the Breathe-easy New Balance Running Shoes. All this and more at Hip Footwear dot com
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