A fungal infection of the toenails can be very difficult to treat for a variety of reasons, most notably the fact that the warm, moist, and dark environment inside your shoes is an ideal growing habitat for the tiny microorganisms responsible for this condition. The reduced blood flow to the feet can also be a factor by making it more difficult for your immune system to fight the infection.
If you have a toenail infection that never seems to completely clear up, there are some factors that may be contributing to the problem.
Possible Causes of Recurring Nail Infection
- Repeated exposure to the fungi—It is important to make sure your shoes are not contaminated, and that you are not picking up the microbes from someone else through a shared shower or bathroom area.
- Improper treatment—Since the infection is underneath the nail, it can be very hard to completely eradicate with over-the-counter treatments and home remedies. Symptoms may subside for a short time but then return.
- Immune system issues—If you are taking a medication that weakens your ability to fight infections, or if you have a medical condition such as diabetes you are at a greater risk of repeat infections.
How to Prevent Repeat Toenail Infections
- Use antifungal spray in your footwear.
- Air out your shoes, and don’t wear the same shoes every day.
- Make sure to wear shower shoes or flip flops in locker rooms, showers, and pool areas.
- Talk to your podiatrist for more advanced treatments such as oral antifungal medications, laser nail therapy, or possible removal of the nail.
Marc A. Borovoy, DPM, and John D. Miller, DPM, of Associated Podiatrists, P.C. in Novi, MI are experts in all areas of foot and ankle care, and will be happy to assist you with toenail fungus, or any other problems you may be experiencing with your feet. You can request an appointment on our website or feel free to call us at 248-348-5300.