Effective Ways To Prevent Toenail Fungus

Good hygiene and adequate shoes are fundamental in preventing the proliferation of toenail fungus
Effective Ways To Prevent Toenail Fungus
Maricela Jiménez López

Reviewed and approved by the doctor Maricela Jiménez López.

Written by Okairy Zuñiga

Last update: 15 December, 2022

It may seem obvious, but good hygiene and adequate shoes are fundamental in preventing the proliferation of toenail fungus. Also, the feet should be kept dry most of the time.

Onychomicosis is a very common condition that affects the toenails . Toenail fungus is caused by microscopic parasites that tend to proliferate in hot and humid areas.

Toenail fungus causes the nails to change in color, shape and texture. In the most severe cases, it can completely destroy the toenail. That is why it’s so important to try to prevent this from happening.

How to prevent toenail fungus

Keep the feet clean and dry

Keeping the hands and feet clean and dry is necessary to prevent the occurrence of fungus, which thrives in dark and humid places.

Drying your feet with a towel

It’s essential to practice good hygiene, preferably washing with a gel or soap with a neutral pH that avoids irritating the feet.

You should use antibacterial talcum powder and always change socks or stockings after doing physical exercise.

This will also help to avoid fungus that grow between the toes. This type of fungus is as bothersome as the toenail fungus and can cause bad odor and irritation.

It’s very important to remember to thoroughly dry the hands and feet after washing them or after doing any physical activity.

It’s normal after exercise to have sweaty hands and feet. Be sure that you don’t forget to wash between the toes. This is an area that we don’t always dry well and fungus can spread from that area to others.

Keep nails short

An excellent way to prevent the appearance of toenail and other types of fungus is to keep the nails short. They should always be cut straight and clean with no jagged edges.

Avoid leaving irregular borders and try to cut the corners of the nails. This will stop growth inside the skin, preventing ingrown toenails, which are annoying and painful.

Also, it’s good to clean and disinfect items that you will use for a pedicure or manicure. Do this ahead of time.  You should not share these items with others for any reason.

Toenail fungus is very contagious and if you use instruments that are infected, you can easily develop the problem.  If there is no other option, you should clean the area with alcohol.

Wear shoes in public places

Don’t forget to use shoes in places such as the gym, beach, pool, and in public showers and saunas. Walking around barefoot is one of the easiest way to contract a toenail infection.

Public places may not be as clean as you think. That’s why wearing open shoes is preferable to walking barefoot, not only for sanitary reasons, but also to avoid being cut by sharp objects on the ground.

A good idea is to have a pair of shoes for each individual place. For example, you can have shoes for the beach and a different pair for the gym.

Wear comfortable shoes

Fungus tends to grow in areas where pressure is constant.

To prevent toenail fungus, it’s essential to wear a pair of comfortable shoes that allow the feet sufficient space to breathe. 

At the same time, we should wear socks or panty hose. At night time allow shoes that you have worn all day to air out and avoid sharing shoes or socks so that you don’t contracting fungus.

If shoes get wet, dry them out before wearing them again to avoid infection.

Check out this article:

Learn How to Clean Your Shoes

Use talcum powder

Use products like talcum powder, as a way to keep your feet dry.

This should be used in conjunction with moisturizing lotion to prevent chafing or blisters.

Doing this prevents getting fungus and developing offensive odors.

It’s good to use talcum powder every day if you wear closed shoes, and it’s also indispensable to use it just for hygiene when wearing open shoes.

Anti-fungal lotions

Using antifungal creams or lotion is an excellent way to prevent the appearance of fungus in the feet. It also allows you to treat any type of infection that has started to form.  

Lotion to fight toenail fungus

Be aware that you should consult with your doctor for a recommendation. This is best so that you will know which lotion is appropriate for your type of problem.

The appearance of toenail fungus tends to be a nightmare for both men and women. This is not just an aesthetic problem, but also a condition that can develop into more serious problems.

An infection caused by this fungus can possibly provoke serious harm in people with diabetes or other similar illnesses.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Haneke, E. (1991). Fungal infections of the nail. Semin Dermatol.

  • Harvard Health letter. (2007). Toenail fungus: Drill to kill. Harvard Health Letter.

  • Eisele, S. A., & Eisele, S. A. (1994). Conditions of the toenails. Orthopedic Clinics of North America.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.