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Mitchell Wachtel D.P.M.

What Are Fungal Nails and Can You Avoid Them?

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Fungal toenails. Summer is in full swing here in Massachusetts, and do we know a thing or two about humidity! All the extra moisture in the air can leave your whole body feeling damp, but one part of your body you definitely want to keep dry are your feet. When your shoes have too much moisture from sweat in them, they make a perfect spot for fungi to breed, and that could leave you susceptible to a fungal infection. With that in mind, follow these precautions to avoid fungal nails:

The three components that fungus needs to grow are warmth, dampness, and darkness. This makes places like the gym locker room and your shoes the perfect sites for these microorganisms to set up shop. Since fungal infections are pretty easily spread from person to person, be sure to do the following:

  • Keep your feet clean and dry. This means washing your feet daily and making sure they are dried thoroughly before putting on socks or shoes.
  • Keep your shoes dry. Your footwear gets a lot of moisture in it throughout the day from sweaty feet. Give your shoes at least 24 full hours to dry out before putting them back on your feet.
  • Wear shoes in public places. If you’re going to be at the gym, pool, or any other locker room always wear shoes while you’re walking around, especially in the shower.
  • Attend to any open wounds. Fungus enters your body through small cuts around your nails. If you have an ingrown nail or any other type of open wound make sure you keep it clean and bandaged.
  • Watch out for nail implements. Fungus is a communicable disease, which means it’s passed on easily. If you use nail clippers or any other type of implements that a person with an infection has used, you put yourself at a greater risk. Make sure your nail salon has high sanitizing standards.

If you have more questions about protecting your feet from a fungal infection call Dr. Mitchell Wachtel today at (978) 794-8406 to schedule an appointment at one of our office locations in Lowell, Haverhill, and North Andover.

Dr. Mitchell Wachtel
Dr. Mitchell Wachtel is a North Andover podiatrist who specializes in the treatment of the feet and ankles.
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