Comedian Margaret Cho knows all about toenail fungus. “I don’t know when I contracted it, but it certainly has had its way with my feet,” she writes, adding that it has plagued her feet for a lifetime. “Nothing I do, have done, no amount of fungicide and even medication will help,” she says. “They grow up, thick and menacing, hornlike. I wonder if I left them alone if they would somehow cover my entire foot, and perhaps I wouldn’t need shoes anymore.”
Unfortunately, there are many other Americans who suffer from recurrent bouts of toenail fungus that seem to never go away. “I am a 21-year-old college student, and I have not had a ‘normal’ big toenail on my left foot since I was 14,” a woman writes to The People’s Pharmacy. She explains that it came off when she was a freshman in high school as she was removing nail polish and ever since, it has returned infected with fungus — “and then repeatedly fallen back off.” What can she do? We have a few suggestions…
How Often Does Toenail Fungus Recur?
The precise recurrence of toenail fungus is not known, but reports suggest it comes back anywhere from 6.5% to 53% of the time. The actual recurrence rate of fungal infection is believed to be over 10% higher, though, because clinical trial populations are not as representative of clinical practice patients. Managing onychomycosis requires taking preventative measures to stop the fungus from attacking again.
3 Steps To Prevent Toenail Fungus Recurrence
1. Watch out for early signs of reinfection. It goes without saying that it’s easier to treat a disease in its earliest stage, rather than waiting until it’s progressed and complications arise. Call your doctor at once if you notice:
- A loss of smoothness
- Extremely slow nail growth
- A cuticle that appears stacked with debris
- A thickened nail that is difficult to cut, even after showering, or
- Small yellow, brown or white spots appear.
2. Keep your feet dry. Wipe your feet with a towel after showering, taking special care to dry between the toes. Alternate which shoes you wear every other day so the insoles have a chance to dry fully. Warm, damp shoes make the ideal breeding ground for fungus. Applying antifungal powder inside footwear can prevent sweat from saturating the shoe if you have hyperhidrosis. We also recommend wearing sweat-wicking socks.
3. Decide what to do with your shoes. Some people discard all old footwear and invest in multiple pairs of new shoes, since infectious fungal spores can persist in these reinfection reservoirs for many months. We suggest investing in a SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer, which will kill the fungus, bacteria and pathogens in your shoes using ultraviolet light. Paying $139 is much more affordable than buying multiple pairs of shoes — or paying for toenail fungus treatment time and time again!
SteriShoe Is The Perfect Complement To Toenail Fungus Treatment
Margaret Cho’s typical treatment is to have a beautician buff down the fungus nails with a file. Of course, the fungus always comes back again. If you don’t want the risky side effects associated with antifungal pills, it’s best to have fungal nail laser treatment done to actually kill the fungus harbored deep within the nail bed. Skip desperate folk remedies and topical lacquers that aren’t guaranteed to work. The American Podiatric Medical Association recommends the SteriShoe UV shoe sanitizer as a way to sanitize your footwear, which is one of the most common avenues for reinfection.