Factors that can increase
your risk of developing nail fungus include:
Being older, owing to reduced blood flow,
more years of exposure to fungi and slower
Being male, especially if you have a
family history of nail fungal infections
Working in a humid or moist environment or
in a job where your hands are often wet,
such as bartending or housekeeping
Wearing socks and shoes that hinder
ventilation and don't absorb perspiration
Living with someone who has nail fungus
Walking barefoot in damp communal areas,
such as swimming pools, gyms and shower
Having athlete's foot
Having a minor skin or nail injury or a
skin condition, such as psoriasis
Having diabetes, circulation problems or a
weakened immune system.
These habits can help prevent nail
fungus or reinfections:
Wash your hands and feet regularly and
keep your nails short and dry.
Wash your hands and feet with soap and
water, rinse, and dry thoroughly,
including between the toes. Trim nails
straight across and file down thickened
Wear socks that absorb sweat.
Fabrics effective at wicking away
moisture include wool, nylon and
polypropylene. Change your socks often,
especially if you have sweaty feet.
Choose shoes that reduce humidity.
It also helps to occasionally take off
your shoes or wear open-toe footwear.
Discard old shoes.
If possible, avoid wearing old shoes,
which can harbor fungi and cause a
reinfection. Or treat them with
disinfectants or antifungal powders.
Use an antifungal spray or powder.
Spray or sprinkle your feet and the
insides of your shoes.
Wear rubber gloves.
This protects your hands from
overexposure to water. Between uses,
turn the gloves inside out to dry.
Don't trim or pick at the skin around
This may give germs access to your skin
Don't go barefoot in public places.
Wear sandals or shoes around pools,
showers, and locker rooms.
Choose a reputable nail salon.
Make sure the place you go for a
manicure or pedicure sterilizes its
instruments. Better yet, bring your own
and disinfect them after use.
Give up nail polish and artificial
Although it may be tempting to hide nail
fungal infections under a coat of pretty
pink polish, this can trap unwanted
moisture and worsen the infection.
Wash your hands after touching an
Nail fungus can spread from nail to