While getting manicures and pedicures can be fun, it's exceedingly important that you are aware of the many ways to prevent fungal nail infections. Knowing the telltale signs of an infection can make the difference between healthy nails and nail fungus that spreads after feeding off of bacteria. If you don't want the risk of contamination to ruin your trip to the salon with your pals, it may be usual to do as much background research on nail products as well as the manicure and pedicure process, so you can be comfortable and prepared to ask your nail technician questions. Keep these ways to prevent fungal nail infections in mind the next time you shop for tools for the perfect manicure.
It goes without saying that this is one of the most obvious yet important ways to prevent fungal nail infections. Do research on any salon that you plan on going to before arriving; it's important to make sure that the tools used for manicures and pedicures are clean and sterilized or you can risk getting a serious infection. One of my friends once told me a horror story where her fingernails ended up turning green after her first visit to a salon. It's always better to be safe than sorry!
2. Dry Nails
I cannot stress enough how vital it is that you make sure that your nails and toenails are thoroughly dried after showering or washing your hands. Bacteria exponentially increases in a wet environment. Researchers at MayoClinic.org agree that this is a great way to eliminate the conditions conducive for bacteria growth, suggesting drying the area between your toes to stop any traces of an infection in its tracks.
3. No Hand to Toe Contact
Did you know that fungal bacteria is incredibly contagious? According to Patient.co.uk, "fingernail infection may occur after a toenail infection has become established. The fungus may spread to a finger if you scratch your itchy toes and toenail." If you see that your toenail has become discolored, don't take the risk of the fungus spreading by touching your nails.
4. Bring Your Own Nail Products
Because I am obsessed with DIY manicures, I always have an extra nail kit laying around in my bag. You should never feel bad or awkward about asking to use your own nail tools instead of the ones provided by the salon. Figuring out whether the tools have been sterilized isn't always going to be easy. Why not take the guessing out of the game by bringing your own products? However, one thing that you need to remember is that you have to sanitize them before putting them away!
5. Anti-fungal Cream
Applying topical antifungal creams or lotions is a great way to both prevent and treat an infection that has already begun forming. Ask your doctor for recommendations, or talk to your local pharmacist. Depending on the severity of your infection, there are both prescription and over-the-counter options.
6. Air out Your Shoes
With all of the humidity and heat outside, sweaty shoes can become a playground for fungus. In the summer, I try not to wear the same shoes or sneakers every day. This gives you time to air out the shoes and let them dry. The warm weather is the perfect excuse to rock those fabulous sandals you've been waiting to wear!
7. Anti-fungal Foot Powder
Lastly, trust me when I say that anti-fungal foot powder is incredibly effective. Because it is very absorbent, it's able to keep your feet dry (especially the space between your toes). If you're not sure which brand to try, Gold Bond & Zeasorb are constantly praised for their foot powder line.
Taking the necessary steps to avoid getting an infection will help you in the long run. Are there any methods of curing nail fungal infections that work best for you? What are a few homemade remedies that you've tried?