Have you tried to get rid of toenail fungus repeatedly, but it still keeps rearing its ugly head? There can be many reasons that toenail fungus won’t go away for good – figuring out the source of your problem will help you find the appropriate way to treat it.
Fungi – including the kind that cause fungal nail infections – are microscopic organisms that live and thrive in warm, moist environments including locker rooms, swimming pools and showers. These organisms can make their way under your nail through tiny cuts in your skin or through a small separation between your nail and nail bed. While nail fungus can happen on either fingernails or toenails, two factors help make fungal toenail infections more common:
- Toenails are often confined inside of shoes – a dark, warm, moist environment where fungi can thrive.
- Toes usually have less blood flow than fingers, which can make it harder for your body’s immune system to detect and fight a fungal infection.
Aside from these factors, there are several reasons why fungal nail infections may seem to clear up but never go away.
Recurring Fungal Nail Infection – Possible Causes
- Repeat Exposure To Infected Surfaces – One of the most common causes for recurring fungal toenails is the continued presence of fungus in the shoes. Sharing a shower or bathroom space with someone who has a fungal toenail infection is another common source of repeat infection.
- Not fully treated – Effectively treating toenail fungus can be very difficult since the infection is located beneath the nail. Over-the-counter treatments and home remedies may temporarily relieve or reduce symptoms of a fungal nail infection but not get rid of it completely.
- Compromised Immune System – If your body’s natural infection-fighting defenses are weakened due to a condition or medication that you’re taking, it can be harder to get rid of a fungal nail infection.
- Other conditions – Conditions that cause poor blood flow to your feet, like diabetes, can affect the ability of your feet to heal after injury or infection. Having diabetes, circulation, or nerve problems in your feet puts you at greater risk of repeat fungal infection.
Tips to Keep Toenail Fungus from Coming Back
- Disinfect your shoes with an antifungal spray or powder.
- Wear socks made of moisture-absorbing fabrics like wool, nylon and polypropylene. Change your socks often, especially if you have sweaty feet.
- Don’t wear shoes all day long or multiple days in a row – allow them to air out between wearings.
- Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your toenails. This may make your skin and nails more susceptible to fungal infection.
- Don’t go barefoot in public places. Wear flip-flops or shower shoes around pools, showers, and locker rooms.
- Talk with your podiatrist about fungal toenail treatment options like oral antifungal medications, laser nail therapy, and toenail removal.
If other treatments for fungal toenail infections haven’t helped, make an appointment with us today. We can help you find out what’s causing your repeat infections and help you get rid of toenail fungus.