Fungal conditions can exist in many forms. One that we constantly overlook involves our nails – yes the keratin structures that protect your finger and toes are just as susceptible to fungal infections as any other area in your body. Frequent gym goers or those working in physically demanding occupations are familiar with fungal infections of the nail. They generally come in the form of athlete’s foot or general nail yeast infections and depending the severity can be treated with a bit of TLC. But this isn’t a condition that is exclusive to these types of individuals, women who frequent nail salons, children who play outdoors regularly and even those afflicted with Candida can find themselves experiencing nail fungal yeast infections.
This isn’t to say that you are completely at the mercy of fungal nail infections. Fortunately these nasty infections can generally be avoided or treated by picking up a few good habits. What you need to know before you dive into treating your nail infection is that this condition occurs when the affected area is exposed to an environment that is warm, dark and moist. This is the optimal environment for yeast and enables them to feed on sugars that are readily available thanks to your diet. So the simple trick to avoiding these infections? Just keep your feet and hands clean and dry. For extra assurance however, here’s a few more habits you should follow to keep your nails yeast infection free:
1. Dry and clean is the best.
The best (and perhaps fool-proof) method for avoiding a yeast infection of the nails is to practice good hygiene. Avoid prolonging the exposure of your hands and feet to warm, dark and moist environments, like having your hands encased in gloves or your feet in sweaty shoes.After a long day on your feet or a quick workout session be sure to thoroughly wash your hands and feet with a mild soap and dry your extremities thereafter. For your hands, ensure your cuticles and the area around your nails are clean and dry. For your feet, make sure to thoroughly clean between all your toes and dry them completely.
2. Let them breathe a little.
There’s nothing better than that feeling of kicking off your shoes and sliding out of your socks at the end of the day. So why not in indulge in that as often as you can? Whether you’re indoors or outdoors (like at the beach or the park) try going bare for a little to let your feet breathe. The exposure to fresh air will help keep them dry and also help rid of any nasty critters that could be hanging around your feet.
3. Replace your socks.
If you were ever looking for an excuse to spoil yourself then why not go ahead and get yourself a new pair of socks. Despite the washes you might put them through, your socks can get worn and the material can make your feet more prone to conditions such as chafing or sweating. If your socks are starting to look a little sad and pathetic feel free to go a little crazy and get a new pair. The best material to invest in is 100% cotton or bamboo as they are the most breathable.
4. Rotate your footwear during warm weather.
You can’t help but sweat a little more than usual when the temperature starts to rise and as you already knowing, sweating is bad when it comes to yeast infections. In order to avoid a fungal yeast infection be sure rotate your footwear during warmer weather that way the moisture that would otherwise accumulate in your favorite flats or sneakers can have time to air out for a few days. If you really want to avoid a fungal infection, opt for sandals or open footwear instead. That way you optimize the amount of breathing your feet get and don’t have to worry about profusely sweating because of the weather.
5. Consider natural remedies.
Fungal infections of the extremities shouldn’t require any prescription or over-the-counter medications, of course this depends on the severity. If you have the option, try to use natural remedies such as tea tree oil that naturally inhibit the development of nail fungus and athlete’s foot. It’s something to consider since it’s the option without incurring any risky side-effects.
6. Try some TLC.
Sometimes the road to recovery just requires a little extra love and care. Spoil your feet and hands a little by giving it a bath in half a cup of water and half a cup of apple cider vinegar. Add one teaspoon of colloidal silver and you’ve got yourself a fungal killer formula. Let it soak for 30 minutes and not only will your feet feel refreshed, but it should help alleviate the symptoms and growth of any fungal infection. Make sure to rinse and dry thoroughly afterwards though!
7. Be aware of your surroundings.
Always be wary of your surroundings when you are exposing your bare feet and hands to the environment. A lot of women experience fungal infections after visiting the nail salon. This isn’t really a surprise since the same tools, baths and polishes are used on every person. It only takes one negligent worker to give you a nasty fungal infection. Make sure that the salon you go to has good sanitation practices and that you can see them remove their utensils from specialized cleaning units. Additionally, if you are at the gym or in a public shower, assess the environment and try to go in with flip flops to protect your feet from the accumulation of bacteria and water. That’s just a formula for destruction that can easily be avoided. Always watch where you walk or what you touch, with due diligence of course. You don’t have to obsess over it, but definitely be aware.
If you follow these simple tips you should be free of nail fungal infections. Persistent signs of fungal infections could be a sign of other symptoms such as Candida. Be sure to get tested for Candida and to try adding a probiotic like probacto into your regime to help restore your internal balance.