- Exercise proper hygiene and regularly inspect your feet and toes.
- Keep your feet clean and dry.
- Wear shower shoes in public facilities whenever possible.
- Clip your nails straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe.
- Use a quality foot powder – talcum, not cornstarch – in conjunction with shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
- Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promotes moisture. Socks made of synthetic fiber tend to “wick” away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks, especially for those with more active life styles.
- Disinfect home pedicure tools and don’t apply polish to nails suspected of infection.
Depending on the type of infection you have, over-the-counter liquid antifungal agents, while sometimes effective, may not prevent a fungal infection from recurring. A topical or oral medication may need to be prescribed, and the diseased nail matter and debris removed by a process called debridement.
In some cases, surgical treatment is prescribed, during which the infected fungal nail is removed. Permanent removal of a chronically painful nail, which has not responded to any other treatment, permits the fungal infection to be cured, and prevents the return of a deformed nail.