Toe fungus or toe nail fungus (also known as onychomycosis or tinea of the nails) is very common – but it’s also very unattractive and can look disgusting. Fungal infections are more likely to happen in dark and damp environments – under your nails, specially under your toenails are perfect conditions for fungus – because most people put their feet in socks all the time, and our feet are the part of our body that has a lot of sweat glands. There are many different kind of fungi, but the one that can be found on the human toe is most often a fungus that belongs to the dermatophytes.
The reason why these fungi often get to your toes is because they need tiny, microscopic openings in your skin – either wounds, cracks, or the small separation between your nail and your nail bed.
Toe Fungus Signs
Oftentimes, toe fungus can give the nails a discoloration that can range from yellow to brown to almost black. This is often one of the first signs: a small white or yellow spot under the top of your nail. It might cause you to lose a nail, or “just” make it thicker and brittle, with crumbling edges. Nails also often lose their “shiny” look when affected by toe fungus and can become distorted in shape. Sometimes, if you hold the nail directly under your nose (see, all these yoga classes were good for something after all) you might even notice a slightly foul odor.
Apart from the embarrassment when people see your ugly nails, it can also be painful.
When you visit a spa, a swimming pool, a public shower or locker rooms, always wear slippers – these environments are true fungus spreaders. Also, make sure that you always wash your feet thoroughly after coming on contact with an area that is toe fungus prone.
Tips For Toe Fungus
Make sure that your feet get enough air. If you have to wear shoes, use shoes that provide good ventilation. Also, chose natural cotton, wool or silk socks – avoid any synthetic materials.
If possible, change your socks several times a day – and between each change of socks, wash them and dry them properly. You can use paper towels or toilet paper to dry the affected areas, this way you won’t have to stack up on towels.
Cut down on your sugar consumption – fungi feed on sugar, it’s like putting your fungus on steroids, so avoid it as best as possible.
Also, avoid using nail polish! And make sure that any towel that you use to clean your feet, you use it only once and then wash it (or boil in hot water) – otherwise, you might spread the spores.
In general, try to keep your toes as clean as possible. Under our toes, there tends to accumulate all kinds of “stuff” – use a small metal object like it can often be found on a nail clipper to do some extra cleaning under your toes to get rid of that stuff.
It is very important that you treat toe fungus. It almost never goes away by itself and can persist indefinitely. The longer you carry it in your body, the higher the likelihood that it will spread and worsen.