Effectively prevent nail fungus – Encyclopedia for Medicine & Health

Effectively prevent nail fungus

If your toenails suddenly become discolored, thickened and brittle, you probably have nail fungus . This fungal disease not only looks unsightly, but also often causes itching or even pain in the affected areas. If a nail fungus breaks out, quick action is required. If left untreated, the fungus may spread and be responsible for the loss of diseased nails. Thorough preventive measures should be taken to prevent this from happening in the first place.

Nail fungus & the footwear

Preventing toenail fungus starts with choosing the right shoes. Not only should they fit well and be neither too tight nor too wide, but they should also be made of high-quality material. Artificial materials are often not very breathable and promote a warm, humid climate inside.

This creates the ideal breeding ground for fungal spores. It is advisable to choose shoes made of leather, breathable fabrics or microfibers, where air circulation is always possible. If your feet sweat a lot, it is important to use several pairs of shoes. This allows the damp shoe to dry before it is put on again. The German Shoe Institute offers further information on what to look out for when buying shoes . Your feet should also be exposed to fresh air from time to time. This also dries the spaces between the toes.

Stockings should also be carefully selected to prevent nail fungus. Stockings should never be worn for several consecutive days, as possible spores can multiply and infect the toenail. Cotton stockings absorb moisture from the feet well and wick it away. Art materials, on the other hand, favor a humid environment, which is why they should be left on the shelf.

Nail fungus & daily hygiene

Nail fungus often occurs in old people who can no longer manage their daily hygiene on their own. However, it is particularly important to wash your feet and hands regularly and, above all, thoroughly. The nails and their sensitive cuticles should also be cleaned with a mild washing gel.

Germs and spores that are in the skin folds on the edge of the nails are gently removed. It is also worth using a nourishing nail oil, because it gives the nail strength and makes it more resistant to external influences. A washcloth that is used for the feet should really only be used here. This prevents the spores from spreading , especially if there are already symptoms of nail fungus such as inflammation or white stripes on the nail.

Nail fungus in the home

High temperatures kill the fungal spores that cause nail fungus. It is therefore not enough to wash stockings, towels and washcloths at low temperatures. To prevent fungal infection, these everyday items should be washed at a temperature of at least 60 degrees. Hard-wearing materials can easily withstand a hot wash. In the best case, household textiles are not only washed for the items already mentioned, but also for bed linen and bath rugs. Regular washing at high temperatures prevents the spores from spreading.

The washing machine itself can also encourage the growth of annoying fungal spores. If it is only operated at a low temperature, the germs in the residual water do not die and can possibly be transferred to clothing from wash to wash. It is therefore recommended to occasionally run the washing machine empty at high temperatures. Detergents with bleach or special machine cleaners also eliminate the last spores and germs.

Underlying diseases & the immune system

Nail fungus can be quite complicated for people with an underlying condition. Diabetes mellitus, for example, has a favorable effect on diseases of the feet, which is why professional treatment of the disease also prevents nail fungus.

In general, there is a connection between an immune deficiency and nail fungus. If the resistance to disease is weakened by stress , illness or psychological problems, fungal spores have an easy time. Especially when the nail fungus has established itself, there is a high risk of spreading with an immune deficiency.

The nail fungus then progresses faster and should be treated accordingly. Occasionally, it is also necessary to take medication for this, because secondary diseases such as erysipelas become all the more likely with an existing nail fungus.

Cope with everyday situations without infection

A nail fungus has a hard time if the points already mentioned are observed. Anyone who thoroughly deals with hygiene in the household and bathroom already has a good chance of living permanently without the annoying fungus.

However, additional caution is required in special everyday situations. A visit to the sauna or swimming pool is such a situation. Since many people move barefoot in these areas and may have an undiscovered or neglected nail fungus, there is an increased risk of infection.

To prevent nail fungus, you should always wear good bathing shoes that separate your feet from the bare floor. Disinfection of the feet before leaving the bath or sauna also helps. Many facilities therefore have taps with disinfectant , which should be used if possible.

risk of infection in the family

If a family member is affected by nail fungus, special care should be taken. Treating the infection that has broken out quickly is an important decision for the patient, but does not initially reduce the risk of infection for family members.

In such a situation, it is important to wash towels, bed linen, stockings and shoes for each person separately and according to the guidelines mentioned. Sharing a towel can significantly encourage the fungal disease to spread to a family member. In this case, children should not play with their hands on the bathroom floor. Disinfecting the affected rooms with a suitable spray significantly reduces the risk of infection.

Nail fungus is not a disease that takes hold and worsens immediately upon initial contact with the fungal spores. However, by neglecting good prevention, it is all the more likely that the spores from the environment will multiply and infect the nail.

Lisa Newlon
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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.