- Keep your shoes clean and dry. If your shoes get sweaty, let them dry out before wearing them again
- Make sure your shoes fit well. If your shoes are too short, they can damage your toenails by rubbing against them. If they are too long, they can damage your nails because your foot moves around too much inside the shoe
- Try to find shoes that don’t have any seams on the inside so they don’t damage your toenails
- If you have an toenail fungus or athlete’s foot, use antifungal powder or spray in your shoes
- Change and wash your socks daily. Washing your socks kills the fungus that causes nail infections
- Dry your feet well, especially after changing in a locker room or using a shower that other people share.
- Dry the skin between the toes
- Don’t walk barefoot in public areas, such as around pools or gyms. Wear flip-flops or sandals
- Don’t borrow other people’s shoes
- If you have a toenail fungus gets it treated as soon as possible. This will help to decrease the chance of infection from spreading to other nails
- If you have athlete’s foot, get it treated and check everyone in your family. Make sure they are treated if they have it. The fungus that causes athlete’s foot can spread to your nails
Tips for keeping your nails healthy
- Keep your nails short and cut them straight across or very gently rounded, following the natural contour of the nail.
- File down any thick areas.
- Never use the same scissors, files, or nail clippers on infected nails and nails that aren’t infected. If you do, the infection may spread.
- Wear rubber gloves when you do work that will make your hands wet, especially if your hands are going to be wet for a long time.
- Don’t pick at the skin around your nails. This can give the infection an easy way in.
- Don’t use nail polish or artificial nails if you have a fungal nail infection. It may make your infection worse.
Murray SC, Dawber RP.Onychomycosis of toenails: orthopaedic and podiatric considerations