Prevention is the best cure when it comes to toe nail fungus.

The buff nail is a trend and we’re not referring to a buff shade of polish. If you haven’t taken a good look at your nails without polish or taken a good whiff of your toes lately, you should.

More than 14% of people have a fungal nail infection that causes nails to become thick, brittle, and discolored. The risk of having an fungal infection increases with age.

Fungus thrives in dark and moist places like sweaty socks and shoes and gets transferred on the floors of locker rooms and public pools. It can also thrive under nail polish and can be transferred in nail salons. 

Getting rid of the infection isn’t easy. 

It’s not something that just goes away even with a healthy immune system. In most cases, it takes at least four months of treatment and longer if the whole nail needs to be removed. Whether you want to be on trend or not, reducing your risk is the best way to keep your nails looking and smelling good.

Four [4] tips to prevent fungal nail infections:

1/ Keep your feet clean and dry:

Dry between your toes after you bath and if you have sweaty feet, use powders to help absorb moisture. Socks made with synthetic materials that help wick moisture and open toe shoes will help keep your feet cool and dry. Whenever you can, kick off your shoes. Walking barefoot will keep your foot cool and strong

2/ Reduce exposure:

Wear thongs to and from public pools and in locker rooms. If you get regular pedicures, choose the salon carefully. The foot baths and instruments need to be cleaned and disinfected between clients. Skip the foot bath if you have bug bites, scratches or other wounds on your feet. 

3/ Exercise:

Exercising regularly will strengthen your heart and keep fresh blood flowing all the way to your tippy toes. Good circulation helps your body fight off infection.

4/ Stop wearing nail polish: 

Medical experts are not big on nail polish because it can trap fungus. We know all or nothing changes are hard to make. However, buff nails look beautiful too when they’re well maintained.

If you suspect that you have a fungal nail infection, consult your primary care physician. Other bacteria and yeast can cause similar symptoms and may require different treatment. 

If you have a nail fungus infection, take precaution not to spread it to others. You know the old saying…what goes around – comes around.