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Bad Habits That Can Lead to Recurring Nail Fungus

Bad Habits That Can Lead to Recurring Nail Fungus

Toenail fungus is no fun. It makes people uncomfortable to show off their feet, it can cause odor as well as crumbling of the nails, and it’s contagious. If you notice recurring toenail fungus, it may be time to ask yourself why it’s happening and if any habits are contributing to it. 

Foot + Ankle Specialty Centers, with five Arizona locations, offers treatments for toenail fungus depending on the state and severity of your condition. However, we also recommend avoiding the problem by practicing optimal foot care habits.  

Our providers — Payam Sarraf, DPM, Kate Kennedy, DPM, Katy Statler, DPM, Andrew Goodeill, DPM, Christopher Van Damme, DPM, Amelia Harris, DPM, and Sina Safar, DPM — all want to provide you with the best care available, and that also means preventive care. 

Why nail fungus occurs 

Nail fungus affects nearly 14% of the population. It’s also more likely to occur on the toenails than the fingernails. While the issue is common, many people don’t seek professional help because it can be uncomfortable and embarrassing. 

Have you ever asked yourself why the problem recurs, even with treatment? In many cases, it is because there are certain things you’re doing that lead to the resurgence of a nail fungus. 

Though it’s not usually medically serious, this condition can easily be passed from person to person. It can also be difficult to treat if it isn’t caught early. That’s why we recommend doing everything to prevent the problem before it starts.

Stop these bad habits now to avoid recurring nail fungal infections 

Here are some steps to take to reduce your risk of nail fungus:

1. Improper shoe care

If you’re wearing your shoes daily for 12 hours, you could be incubating a fungal infection. Make sure to air them out, even alternating between pairs every other day, and clean them regularly. 

2. Wearing the wrong shoes 

Avoid wearing shoes that are too small, too tight, not breathable, or not healthy for your feet (we’re looking at you, high heels). Also, if you aren’t wearing the proper shoes, your feet will sweat more, which is a recipe for infection.  

3. Cutting your nails the wrong way

If you cut your toenails too short or don’t cut them at all, that could be your problem. Cut them straight across instead of rounding them. If you do the latter, you could leave areas around and under your toenail where germs can invade. 

4. Walking around barefoot

Try to wear shoes, especially if you’re outside or in a wet place, like a public pool or shower. Shower shoes protect you from funguses that someone else who’s walked in the same spot could be carrying — and leaving behind.

5. Too many pedicures 

There’s nothing wrong with a little bit of pampering. But if you’re constantly having your toenails worked on, you’re putting yourself at risk of contracting a fungus. What’s more, if they’re always painted a dark color, you won’t be able to spot the signs of a problem.

6. Failing to disinfect 

Cleaning your shower or bathtub is a defense against infection. If you treat nail fungus and don’t clean your shower afterward, it could easily recur. Use an antifungal powder in your shoes for extra protection.  

You can avoid fungal infections 

Stop these bad habits to reduce your risk of fungal infections. But if you need to treat an infection, there are plenty of options, such as over-the-counter creams, oral medicines, and nail removal, if necessary. 

We have multiple locations across Arizona where you can get help from a licensed provider. Simply call or make an appointment online.

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