5-Step Self-Care Guide to Toenail Infections

Are you suffering from a toenail fungal infection? Do you want to escape this nasty infection and enjoy healthy nails all over again? If your answer to either one of these two questions is positive, you have arrived at the right place. In the paragraphs that follow, you will find a step-by-step toenail infection guide, including self-care measures that you need to take and topical treatments you can use with confidence. By following this guide, you will be able to get rid of the toenail fungus, in a manner that is safe and effective at the same time.

Step 1: Preparation

The first thing that you need to do is acknowledge that you have a problem. Stop hiding your feet and take the necessary measures to eliminate the infection. You need to understand that this is not an impossible infection to treat but it can take several months until you restore the healthy appearance of the nails. You need to be patient and follow all the recommended steps, in order to obtain the best results. Prepare your supplies, purchasing a new set of tools and topical solutions, especially recommended for such infections.

Step 2: Toenail cleaning

Always work on a clean area, making sure that the tools that come in contact with the toenails are clean as well. You should also disinfect the nail file or clippers, after each nail, in order to reduce the chance of the infection being spread.

Begin by using nail clippers, and cutting the infected toenails, as much as you possibly can (be careful not to cause pain or damage). Use a clean nail file and finish the toenail, both on the top and on the sides (without being too aggressive). Keep in mind that the fungal microorganisms thrive at the level of the nail bed, so you need to remove as much of the toenail as it is possible. In this way, you will guarantee that the topical treatment reaches the fungus and works its magic.

Step 3: Soaking, soaping and scrubbing

The skin around the infected nails can suffer from the fungal infection as well, becoming thick and crusty. For this reason, it is recommended to soak your infected toenails twice per day, once in the morning and, again, in the evening. Always soak your feet in warm water, for a couple of minutes, until the skin around the toenails softens. This will also for the infected toenails to be more thoroughly cleaned and it will also allow for the treatment to reach the infected area.

Once you have soaked your toes, it is time to proceed to the soaping and scrubbing part of the process. This is intended to eliminate the favoring factors of fungal infections, such as dirt and sweat. Use a small toe brush to scrub your infected toenails, making sure that you are not too aggressive. This will soften the skin around the nails even more, ensuring the efficiency of the topical treatment.

Step 4: Topical treatment application

Note: this guide is based on the usage of topical solutions for the treatment of toenail fungus. This is because the oral medication cannot be recommended to all patients, especially to those who suffer from chronic liver disease, due to the potential risks and side effects.

Once you have finished scrubbing your feet, it is recommended to use a clean towel and thoroughly dry your toes. It is important to eliminate the excess moisture, as this not only favors the thriving of the fungal microorganisms but it also prevents the antifungal topical solutions from effectively penetrating the skin.

Follow the instructions of the topical treatment and use the applicator brush, in order to ensure that all of the affected toes have been covered. Antifungal topical solutions often contain essential oils, which can penetrate the nail and reach the nail bed, working to eliminate the fungal infection. Always apply the solution, starting with the top of the toenail and continuing downwards, until the entire nail is covered.

Make sure that the lateral parts of the toenails and the surrounding tissues are also covered with the antifungal topical treatment. Pay special attention to the front of the toenail, as this is the most common entry point for fungal microorganisms. When done, wait for approximately ten minutes, for the solution to dry. You can then put on socks or footwear, but not before, as this will reduce the efficiency of the treatment.

Step 5: Maintenance

It is not enough to follow the above-recommended measures, you also need to pay attention to favoring factors. For example, you need to watch out for the kind of socks you are wearing; these should be made from materials that can absorb excess sweat. During the summer, it is recommended to wear open-toe shoes, in order to give the skin the opportunity to breathe and lose excess moisture.

Change your footwear on a regular basis, throwing out any old or worn-out shoes (these are perfect breeding places for toenail fungus). Avoid wearing tight or ill-fitting shoes, as these can damage the nail bed and thus create the perfect entry point for the fungus. Change your socks frequently and especially after you have engaged in athletic activities. If you know yourself to be predisposed to sweating, apply foot powder to your shoes on a regular basis. Also, you may want to rotate your footwear, in order to keep such infections at a safe distance.

Final word

This guide is meant to help you escape the toenail fungal infection in a manner which is both safe and effective. However, stubborn infections might require oral medication, which can be given only by a trained professional (and in accordance to your health status). The doctor might also recommend more invasive procedures, such as the surgical removal of the nail or laser therapy. Stubborn infections are difficult to treat but, once again, not impossible. Follow the treatment recommended by the doctor and do not forget about the self-care measures included in this guide. This can help you not only to treat existent fungal infections but also to prevent such infections in the future.