Toe nail fungus is a very common condition that is treated around the world on a daily basis. Unfortunately, many people who are successfully treated for this infection tend to have it return some time in the future. This article will discuss ways to prevent nail fungus from returning.

Nail fungus is an infection involving a small group of microscopic organisms in the fungus family. It is easily contracted when fungus present on the skin surface moves into the space under the nail plate through a small crack or break in the plate. Some people seem to be more susceptible to this infection, while others are able to resist it. Even individual nails may have different levels of resistance. Skin fungus can be contracted anywhere there is moisture and one walks barefoot with others, such as showers, locker rooms, pools, and even home bathrooms. One the fungus gets under the nail, it is very difficult to treat. Creams and lotions that normally eradicate skin fungus do not penetrate through the nail, and are not effective for nail fungus. Prescription oral antifungal medication or specially formulated liquid applications are needed to destroy the infection. Unfortunately, the treatment does not simply end after the medication kills the fungus.

Foot fungus is difficult to avoid, even if great care is taken to minimize one’s exposure to it. For that reason, people who have been cured of nail fungus need to take steps to ensure that their exposure to fungus is minimal. No effort will completely avoid fungus, but several simple steps can be taken to reduce the likelihood it will cause an infection. The first step is to simply exercise caution in places where foot fungus thrives. Sandals should be worn in all public showers or locker rooms, and when walking around pools, waterparks, or changing areas. If a family member has athlete’s foot, then they should be immediately treated, and should not go barefoot about the house. They should use a secondary bathroom if one is available until the infection is cleared, and the shower should be cleaned thoroughly afterward with a disinfecting cleaner.

An often overlooked source of reinfection is one’s own shoes. Fungus can live in shin debris shed directly off the foot or pushed through a porous sock, and can make somewhat of a home Fungus Clear in one’s shoe interior. This can potentially reinfect the skin, which can then cause a nail infection to return. By treating one’s shoes with a commercially available antifungal spray, one can eliminate the risk of reinfection through shoes contaminated by the previous infection. After spraying the shoes, it is a good idea to seal them up overnight in an airtight plastic bag to increase the spray’s effectiveness.

Simple hygiene can also be important in the fight against fungus. By eliminating favorable conditions for fungus to grow, one can prevent it from building up on the skin. Since fungus likes warm, dark, moist environments, simple hygienic steps like regular foot cleaning, careful drying of the spaces in between the toes, and regular changing of one’s socks will reduce the potential for fungus to thrive on the skin.

Finally, one of the best ways to prevent fungus from reinfecting toe nails is to destroy any fungus that may have made its way onto the skin, despite all the above measures. This can be accomplished by applying an antifungal cream to the skin once or twice a week to destroy any budding fungus presence. Areas that should be concentrated on include the toes and ball of the foot. Many different high quality antifungal creams and gels are available at pharmacies to use for this purpose. Unfortunately, the skin treatment is needed in the long term picture of preventing fungus, and for some may need to be applied for life if one is particularly susceptible to fungus infections.

By employing the above steps, one can have a reasonable chance of avoiding skin fungus infections converting to nail fungus infections, effectively breaking the cycle of reoccurring nail fungus. Of course, one’s podiatrist should be consulted regarding chronic fungal infections, as more involved steps may be needed in some individuals.