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When a nail, thickens, discolors, splits and lifts from the nail bed, it often indicates that the nail is infected by a fungus Fungal. Nail infections are more common on the toenails than the fingernails. Although fungal nail infections tend to run in families because of an inherited tendency, not everyone is susceptible To prevent nail fungus, dermatologists recommend the following precautions: Keep your toenails, trimmed short. This helps prevent debris from building up under the nails and minimizes the risk of nail injuries.

Cut the nails straight across to keep them strong and avoid ingrown toenails Wear shoes that properly fit. They should never touch your toenails and you should alternate the shoes you wear every day so that they can air out before you wear them again. Choose breathable footwear. Fungus thrives in warm moist areas like in hot sweaty shoes.

Wear sandals whenever possible and if you have to wear socks, choose ones that wick moisture away from your skin.

Use antifungal sprays or powders Spray or sprinkle it inside your shoes and on your socks before putting your shoes on to control, sweat that can prompt fungal infections. This is especially important in hot weather or before a workout Avoid going barefoot in public facilities like pools and locker rooms, as the fungus that causes athletes, foot ringworm and other skin conditions may be on the floor.

Even when taking a shower in a public place, its important to wear, shower shoes or flip flops To avoid infection, never wear someone elses shoes or share nail clippers and files. If you go to a nail salon for a pedicure, look around to make sure that staff are sanitizing tools and thoroughly disinfecting footbaths before each use Or use your own footbath. If the salon does not appear clean, move on

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Nail fungus is better prevented than treated

If caught early nail fungus may clear with an over-the-counter antifungal cream lotion, gel or lacquer, However, most fungal nail infections require prescription antifungal medications. Laser treatments may also be used If you notice a problem with your nails, see a board-certified dermatologist

Nail fungus can take up to a year to clear so its important to begin treatment as soon as its diagnosed.

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