Put Your Best Foot Forward
Steps to take for healthy feet
At the gym and at the pool on your winter vacation, you always want to put your best foot forward. Here are some tips to prevent fungal infections - for healthily and better looking toe nails. Also have a look at www.fungalguide.ca/types/fungal_nail_infections.html
What are fungal infections?
Normally, toenails are effective barriers against fungus. However, fungus can infiltrate under the nail, in the nail bed and nail plate when there is untreated athlete's foot, a break in the nail from an injury, certain medical conditions or long-term exposure to dampness.
The fungi actually eat protein (keratin) in the nail, which causes thickened, yellowed nails. People can have nail fungus without realizing it. But you don't have to give up your gym workouts or beach and pool visits. Embarrassing nail fungus is a treatable infection. The good news is that fungus grows slowly, is treatable and does not spread to internal organs.
Where does it come from?
This common condition is also known as Onychomycosis or Tinea Unguium. The fungi most likely to cause the problem are called dermatophytes, which thrive in warm, damp areas, including locker rooms, showers, spas and swimming pools.
Whether you are enjoying sun and sand, a pampering day at the spa or working out at the gym, you'll want to be sure your nails and well-kept and healthy.
Steps to take
For some general prevention tips click on www.fungalguide.ca/basics/prevent_fungal_infections.html and follow these steps:
- Check with your doctor if your nails are discolored or thickened.
- Go on that winter vacation, but protect your toes by wearing sandals on the beach and on hot pavement to avoid toe injuries that can lead to a nail fungus infection. This is especially important if you have diabetes.
- Screen your feet: Use sunscreen with SPF (sun protection factor) of 15 or higher when your feet are exposed. Reapply it after swimming or heavy sweating and be sure to cover the bottoms of your feet.
- These feet are made for ... working out, but be sure to wear the correct exercise shoes, no matter if you are doing aerobics or running on a treadmill.
- Pull up your socks ... and wear ones that have some acrylic fibers to help wick away the moisture that provides an opening for fungus to start.
- In the shower or locker room at the gym, use shower shoes. Protect your feet and wear flip-flops. Use medicated antifungal powders to cool off hot, sweaty feet, and you'll have taken important steps to prevent fungus infection.
- Going to the spa? Be safe and take your own manicure or pedicure tools. Salon tools that have not been properly sterilized can spread nail fungus. Don't let spa staff apply moisturizing lotions between your toes. This is a prime breeding environment for fungal infections
For complete information about caring for your nails and other fungal infection conditions. click on www.FungalGuide.ca
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