Fungal nail infections are common reason why patients seek out dermatology in Gross Pointe. They often start as a yellow or white spot at the tip of the nail, before eventually making their way down under the nail bed. Your nail bed is moist and dark, making it the perfect spot for fungus to grow. If you notice yellow, brown or white streaks on your nails, head to your skin and nail care professional.

Though these infections are common and often painless, they can also be unsightly.  Fortunately, they are also largely preventable. Follow this advice to keep your nails healthy and fungus free.

  1. Keep Your Nails Trimmed

To prevent dirt and debris from building under your nails, keep them short and neatly trimmed. This is particularly important for your toenails, since dirt can easily get trapped from walking with bare feet.

  1. Keep Hands & Feet Dry

Like mentioned previously, mold and fungus thrive in moist, dark environments. To minimize your chances of developing an infection, keep your hands and feet as dry as possible. This includes:

  • Drying the skin between your toes after showering or getting out of the pool
  • Changing your socks immediately after exercising or sweating
  • Letting tights, gloves, and similar clothing items dry between wears
  1. Be Smart About Going Barefoot

Fungus can easily be spread in communal areas. For this reason, you should avoid going barefoot in public facilities like gym locker rooms, pools and waterparks. Remember to wear flip flops while showering and dry your feet thoroughly afterwards.

  1. Make Sure To Wear Breathable Footwear

Tight, constraining shoes aren’t only painful – they also increase your chances of developing foot fungus. Sweaty shoes are a favorite breeding ground for sneakers, so be sure to switch up the shoes that you wear each day to give them time to dry. Whenever possible, try to wear sandals or another type of breathable shoe.

  1. Avoid Nail Trauma

Hitting your foot against a heavy object can be inevitable. However, try to avoid nail trauma whenever possible. Stubbing your toe, biting your fingernails or accidentally closing the car door on your hand can all cause your nailbed to tear. This makes it easy for fungus or contaminants to find their way in.

  1. Use Antifungal Products

Are you prone to fungal infections? Start using antifungal sprays or powders on your shoes and socks before putting them on. This helps minimize sweat, which is a major cause of many fungal infections. Try sprinkling antifungal powder on your feet as well, especially if you’ll be entering a locker room or after taking a shower.