Toenail fungus is often picked up in moist environments like public gyms, showers, locker rooms, and swimming pool areas. This unsightly malady is typically contracted by people with compromised immune systems, such as diabetics or people who have had previous fungal infections. Hot, wet shoes and socks create a breeding ground for fungus to thrive. Since fungus replicates through the disbursement of spores, you can imagine what sort of shape your shoes are in!
How Is Toenail Fungus Cured?
Topical nail treatments like butenafine can be successful, but only after a full year of daily use. Oral medication like terbinafine (Lamisil) is more effective, but also requires regular monitoring of liver function over the course of the three-month treatment. Newer technologies like laser toenail fungus treatment are promising, but can cost $1,000 out-of-pocket.
Why Are Fungal Infections So Hard To Treat?
Unfortunately, many people who treat their toenail fungus infections end up getting them again at some point. Recurrence rates ranging from 6.5% to 53% have been reported by people who have used oral antifungal drugs. According to a presentation titled “Progression and Recurrence of Onychomycosis” by Dr. Joseph Warren DPM, Dr. Jeffrey Robbins DPM and Dr. Richard K. Scher MD, “Patients prone to onychomycosis are often not permanently cured with therapy.” As a result, onychomycosis should be viewed as “a progressive and recurring condition” that is “controllable, rather than curable.” Genetic predispositions can complicate matters. Furthermore, proper toenail fungus treatment requires a broad approach.
Contaminated Shoes Only Spell More Toenail Fungus.
Fungal spores left in the shoes can break open and re-infect the skin and toenails months after an infection has cleared. One of the first proactive steps toenail fungus sufferers must take is to stop walking around barefoot! Instead, shoes with a wide, soft, square toebox, arch support and thick-rigid sole should be worn at all times. This will prevent micro-trauma to the toenails caused by tight toeboxes or flimsy soles. Some people treat their feet with anti-fungal sprays like Tinactin, but powders are not recommended, as they build up within the shoes and break down the soles quicker. Avoid wearing the same shoes every day to allow for proper drying time. Don’t forget to use the SteriShoe UV light shoe sanitizer for 45 minutes each night to kill off 99.9% of the fungus living in your shoes. Lastly, be sure to visit a podiatrist regularly for foot check-ups to prevent an infection from getting out of control.