How Do You Stop Early Toenail Fungus?
Toenail fungus causes an infection to the bed under the toenail, and the toenail itself becomes thick and discolored. If not treated, the infection can cause it to break or fall off, exposing the bed to bacteria and infection. Treating the fungus early can prevent the infection from spreading, saving the toenail.
Keep the Nail Clean
The first thing you should do to stop early toenail fungus is to keep the area clean.
As the fungus spreads through the nail bed, the toenail lifts from the bed, allowing dirt, debris, and bacteria to access the nail bed, worsening the condition. The area should be gently scrubbed at least twice a day using soap and warm water and dried thoroughly. You can also apply antibacterial solutions, such as tea tree oil, to help prevent infection.
Keep the Nail Dry
Fungus grows best in warm, damp environments.
One of the best things you can do to stop early toenail fungus is to keep the area dry.
You should change your socks, and shoes if necessary, after physical exercise or anything else that causes you to perspire into your socks. Talcum powder sprinkled on your feet before putting on your socks and sprinkled into shoes will help as well. You should also wear open toed shoes without wearing socks as often as possible so that your toe receives plenty of air circulation, which will help to keep it dry and prevent the fungus from spreading.
When wearing socks, they should be a breathable fabric, such as cotton.
In addition, avoid wearing shoes that fit too tightly or that have rubber or plastic linings.
You should also avoid walking barefoot in damp areas. For example, don’t walk barefoot at public swimming pools, in pool showers or at water parks. These areas are breeding grounds for the fungi that lead to toenail fungus. Wear sandals or flip flops rather than going barefoot.
You should also disinfect your bathtub/shower after each use to prevent spreading the fungus to your other toes.
Start Treatment Right Away
There are numerous over the counter treatments available for toenail fungus like Keriderm (right) that use ingredients such as Tolnaftate and Tea Tree oil that have been shown to inhibit early symptoms of nail fungi, infection and bacteria. The sooner you start the treatment, the more likely you are to stop it from spreading. Medications and nail fungus treatments are used to kill the fungus and to help prevent it from growing back. Most formulas require application twice a day, so be sure to follow the directions carefully to successfully stop the fungus.
You should keep toenails trimmed, but be careful not to nick the skin when clipping them or to clip too far down. The fungus will spread more easily if it has access to a nick or cut. Regular trimming of the infected part when your toenail is long enough to do so safely will get rid of the infection more quickly and reduce the ability of the infection to spread. Even if the nail becomes discolored, avoid putting nail polish on it to hide the discoloration; you might seal in moisture or debris and prevent it from being able to breathe. You can also treat toenail fungus at home. Several home remedies such as Baking Soda and Apple Cider Vinegar have been recommended and are useful for treating early signs before decay and infection spreads.