Q. I consider myself to be a clean person. How come I still get nail fungus?
A: This is a very common infection. And, cleanliness doesn't always mean you can avoid nail fungus. A family history of infections or a health condition, like diabetes, could be the cause. Fungal infections thrive on moisture and closeness. Be careful to dry your feet and toes thoroughly after bathing (consider using a blow dryer on a low setting to dry the folds around your toes). Make sure your shoes fit properly; don't wear the same ones every day.
Q: I've tried all kinds of medications; nothing seems to work.
A: Nail fungal infections are difficult to treat. Medication needs to reach all the nail areas where the fungus may hide. Damaged nails are also subject to reinfection. Since it takes many months for a healthy nail to grow out, it is important to stick to your treatment program.
Q. How can I keep from getting nail infections?
A: There's a handy list of prevention suggestions below. Just remember to keep nail areas clean and dry, avoid walking barefoot in public places, change your footwear frequently and tell your doctor about any nail changes, swelling or pain.
Q: My infection isn't so bad; no one even knows I have it. Besides, I don't care whether I can wear sandals. So, what's the big deal?
A: Your mild case of nail fungus (onychomycosis) could turn severe and cause nail chipping and loss on more or more toes, making treatment more complicated -- you may have to have the nail chemically or surgically removed -- and giving you more than a cosmetic problem. Losing a toenail can expose soft toe tissue to injury and affect daily activities.
Nail Care Tips
Easy Steps Can Avoid a Path to Infection
Here are some general suggestions about caring for your hands and feet to help you avoid most nail infections.
While being treated for nail fungal infections, start a nail care routine that can help keep nails free from other infections and disorders.
- Trim nails carefully by cutting them straight across and rounded slightly at the tips. Keep them clean and dry so fungi and bacteria can't get under the nails.
- Soak toenails if they are thick or difficult to cut.
- If you are diabetic, you may need a health care professional to help with trimming diseased nails.
- Tell your doctor about any nail changes, swelling or pain.
- Avoid injuring and irritating the toes and nails by wearing protective shoes at work and at other times, such as when playing sports.
- Avoid going barefoot in health clubs, public showers, locker rooms or on hotel carpets-use thong sandals.
- Keep feet cool and dry; if they sweat a lot, regularly use a medicated powder.
- Avoid narrow or high-heeled shoes, or shoes that don't fit properly.
- Air shoes out daily and switch them often; clean hosiery and socks thoroughly
- Don't ignore athlete's foot infections -- get them treated as soon as possible.
- Regularly treat the insides of shoes with antifungal spray or powder.
· 4 tablespoons cornstarch or Arrowroot
· 4 tablespoons baking soda
· 20 drops Tea Tree therapeutic essential oils
· 10 drops Lemon therapeutic essential oils
· 10 drops Lavender therapeutic essential oils
Put the cornstarch and baking soda in a zip lock sandwich bag – add the essential oils slowly – close the bag and mix until the oils and dry ingredients are mixed well.
Or use 30 drops of Healthy Nail Blend (7 therapeutic essential oils) with the cornstarch or arrowroot and baking soda.
Instructions for Use:
· Sprinkle the deodorizer lightly into shoes in the evenings or at times when the shoes will not be worn for a few hours. You will not see a "cure" for smelly shoes the first time you use the deodorizer. The magic occurs after regular uses.
· You can also use the same oils in 2 oz of distilled water and spray your shoes. These oils have anti-bacterial, antiseptic, anti-fungal properties. Shake the bottle before each use.
· You may also use these oils in a footbath.
- Avoid injuring and irritating the fingers and nails by wearing gloves or other protection at work and at other times, such as when gardening or using strong cleaners. If you use plastic gloves you may consider using the oils above in the powder.
- Bring your own equipment when having nails manicured; use different nail care tools for infected and healthy nails.
- Use acrylic or sculptured nails with caution.