Avoiding Toenail Fungus During Cold Months
Summer might be the main time of year when toenail fungus strikes, but this foot condition can also develop during the cold months. This is because during this time, many of us wear thick boots to keep the cold air and snow out. Toenail fungus is a common condition that can affect both men and women. There might be absolutely no pain or discomfort associated with the condition in the cold months, the fungus might go undetected. Wearing winter boots for long periods of time can expose toenails to major factors involved in the development of fungal nail infection such as moisture from sweating inside the thick insulation as well as total darkness. This does not mean we should stop wearing boots, but it highlights the value of taking preventive steps against toenail fungus.
Toenail Fungus and Bleeding
As fungus grows on the toenails, it eats away the keratin that comprises a large part of the nail tissue. Over time, the nails weaken along with the cuticles alongside the nails. It can eventually lead to loss of the toenail, medically known as onychoptosis. It can result to bleeding, making the infection even more unsightly. Just as the dark environment of winter boots can enhance fungal growth and it may also stimulate bacterial infections.
Prevention is clearly the best approach to fungal nail infection. The question is, how do you do that?
Minimizing dampness as well as maintaining cleanliness is the key to keeping toenail fungus at bay. Each day, your feet should be washed and dried thoroughly before you put your socks on. Go for socks that are made of acrylic fiber, which can keep the feet drier than cotton can. If your boots become wet on the inside, allow enough time for your boots to dry out completely before you wear them again. You can also put antiperspirant on your feet. By preventing your feet from sweating, this final step goes a long way towards preventing toenail fungus bleeding.
You might love getting a pedicure but if you have toenail fungus infection, then this is not the time to have one done. Not only are you going to run the risk of spreading the fungal infection, but if the tools used are not sterilized between uses, it might be the place where you were exposed to the fungus in the first place.
If you need more information on this foot condition and how to prevent or treat it, setup an appointment with Sheldon H. Nadal, DPM.