Taking Care of Your Toes and Feet

Want to Avoid Toenail Fungus Infections? See the 3 Things a Podiatrist Will Ask You to Do

Everyone desires to have beautiful and healthy toenails, and that's why they apply nail polish or use some natural products to do it. However, if you don't take care of your toenails, they might develop serious fungal infections that will make them unsightly and unhealthy. Toenail fungus infections usually cause a lot of pain and irritation, and that's why you should do everything possible to avoid them. It all begins with knowing how you could keep the toenails healthy, and you do it by seeking help from a medical professional such as a podiatrist. Podiatrists are medical professionals who deal with feet problems, including toenail fungus infections.

Here are three things a podiatrist will ask you to do to avoid these infections.

Keep Your Feet Clean

Most people develop toenail fungal infections because they don't take good care of their feet. Once you enhance foot hygiene, you are unlikely to develop toenail fungus. Podiatrists recommend you wash the feet daily with antibacterial soap. Once your feet are clean, dry them well using a clean towel. 

The foot doctor also endorses the application of foot powder or antifungal spray so they can absorb any remaining moisture. Ensure you also sprinkle or spray these products on your socks and also in your shoes to control the sweat that supports fungal growth and related infections. Most podiatrists suggest you do this before exercising or when it's hot.

Cut the Toenails Regularly

Cutting and trimming toenails regularly is an effective way to prevent fungus infection. However, you need to do it correctly using the recommended tools. Most podiatrists suggest you use clean or sanitised scissors or nail clippers to cut the nails straight across. Then use a nail file to remove the sharp edges. If you have diabetes, it's critical to let your podiatrist trim your toenails because the procedure requires extra care and attention to prevent wounds or injuries that may take longer to heal.

Get the Right Shoes

The kind of shoes you wear will determine how healthy your feet will be. For this reason, most podiatrists recommend wearing shoes that don't touch the toenails, no matter the shoe style or shape. The shoes should not be too narrow or cramp the toes together tightly. Your feet also require constant aeration, meaning you need to wear breathable shoes. 

In most cases, fungi thrive in moist and warm areas, and they can find your shoes a good breeding ground if they are always warm and sweaty. Where possible, wear sandals often, rotate your shoes and avoid wearing damp socks or shoes to minimise toenail fungus infections more effectively.

It's crucial to prevent toenail fungus infections because they can affect your health in a big way once they aggravate or spread to the other toes. For this reason, follow the preventative tips your podiatrist recommends, like maintaining proper foot hygiene, trimming nails often and wearing fitting, breathable and clean shoes. If you realise your toes are already infected, schedule an appointment with a foot doctor for treatment.