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How to Stop Toenail Fungus From Spreading and Returning

How to Stop Toenail Fungus From Spreading and Returning

If you’ve noticed that one or more of your toenails looks discolored, hard, crumbly, misshapen, or has even developed a bad odor, these signs could indicate that they’ve been invaded by a fungal infection. 

Toenail fungus is frustrating because it’s not easy to treat in the first place — especially by yourself — and it spreads easily and has a tendency to come back. 

Toenail fungus makes you want to throw away all of your sandals and give up on ever showing your toes again, but the top-notch podiatry team at South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers can help.

We treat a wide variety of conditions, including helping many patients return to having clear, healthy-looking toenails again.

Toenail fungus is stubborn 

Toenail fungus is nothing if not persistent, and when it runs amok, pain, infection, and real damage to the nail can occur. If the fungus gets entrenched and you don’t get treatment by a podiatrist, it’s not only hard to get rid of, it often returns! It’s exasperating, to say the least. 

Toenail fungus spreads easily in damp, warm places where fungus loves to live — like locker rooms and pool areas — so if you walk around these places barefoot, you open yourself up to the possibility of contracting toenail fungus. 

You're more at risk if you’re older, also are living with diabetes, or have a compromised immune system. 

You can also pick up toenail fungus if you share things like socks, towels, and nail polish with others who have it. 

What preventive steps can I take to keep toenail fungus at bay?

Whether you’re lucky enough never to have had toenail fungus, or you’re hoping to keep it from spreading to other toenails or from returning if treatment has worked previously, take these steps:

1. Keep your toenails scrupulously clean

You should wash and thoroughly dry your toenails daily, but be especially mindful if you already have an infected nail. If you touch it, wash your hands immediately afterward. Using antifungal powder is also a good idea. 

2. Keep your nails trimmed neatly

Letting your toenails get too long is an invitation to fungus. Keep them well-trimmed and sterilize your clippers after each trim. File down thick areas if you need to.

3. Wear the right shoes and socks

Wear shoes that fit well and don’t cause your feet to sweat or feel compressed. Get socks made from breathable fabrics, and change them daily or even more often if you need to. It’s also not a bad idea to simply chuck shoes that are very old or have seen a lot of wear. 

4. Never skip wearing shoes

Invest in flip-flops so you don’t have to worry about fungus when you’re at the pool or gym. 

5. Consider going ‘au naturel’ with your nails

Skipping polish that covers your nails may lower your risk for fungus. Ditto for any type of artificial nail. 

6. Beware athlete’s foot

Make sure you get your athlete’s foot treated. 

7. Don’t skimp on getting your toenail fungus diagnosed and professionally treated

When you come to South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers, your podiatrist evaluates your nails visually and may test for fungus by taking nail clipping samples and sending them off to a lab. If they come up positive for fungus, we could recommend:

Laser treatment is absolutely painless and does what slow-acting topical creams and oral treatments can’t — get to the root of the problem, underneath your nail. Plus, you can leave our office after treatment and go right back to your normal life — no downtime necessary!

Prevention is key when it comes to avoiding toenail fungus, but we can help you with the most effective treatments so you can say farewell to fungus forever!

Call South Florida Foot & Ankle Centers at 561-793-6170 to schedule an appointment at the office that’s most convenient to you — in Royal Palm Beach, Lake Worth, Palm Beach Gardens, and Belle Grade, Florida — and set up a consultation with one of our expert podiatrists. 

You may also request an appointment here on our website. 

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