Preventing Fungal Nail Infections

Treating a fungal nail infection can be a lengthy process because nails grow slowly, so you may only see an improvement as your new nail grows through. It’s also not uncommon for nail infections to return. To avoid recurrent fungal nail infections, it is important is to properly take care of your feet and nails. Make sure you treat any infections like athlete’s foot and fungal nail as soon as you start to notice symptoms.

Top tips to follow at home:

  • Throw away old shoes, especially shoes that you have used for exercise
  • If you suffer from athlete’s foot, make sure you treat it as the fungus can also invade your toenails. Do not use the same nail accessories or tools across normal and infected nails – buy two sets to prevent contamination
  • Wash and dry your hands thoroughly after contact with any fungal infection or treatment
  • Look after your toenails – keep them trimmed and clean. Nails should be cut or filed straight across (not rounded or in a V shape)
  • Wear shoes that fit your feet and toes properly - high heels and narrow-toed shoes can damage the natural skin seal between your nail and the skin underneath, allowing fungus to invade under the nail
  • Ensure other household members treat their fungal infections promptly and follow similar precautions

Top tips to follow outside your home:

  • Avoid walking barefoot in public spaces – wear flip-flops or sandals in public changing rooms, showers and around pool
  • Bring your own nail treatment accessories to your nail salon, including scissors, clippers, files, shaving tools and buffers
  • Make sure the tools at your nail salon are properly cleaned and sterilised between clients

Avoid spreading the infection

Fungal nail infections are contagious so do be aware of others while you are infected. It’s best to keep your feet protected and do not share clothes, shoes, towels or bed sheets. To prevent the infection from spreading, always wash your hands after applying your treatment and remember to use different towels for your feet and the rest of your body. It’s a good idea to tell those close to you about your fungal nail infection so they remember to take similar precautions too.

Did you know…

…nail biting and using artificial (cosmetic) nails can increase your risk of getting a fungal nail infection on your fingernails.

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