- Fungi thrive in warm and moist environments with limited exposure to light and their population can grow very quickly. Spores of the fungus can survive indefinitely in your favourite arm chair or rug waiting for an opportunity to move to new feeding grounds, such as your body. Good personal hygiene of everybody in the household of the person(s) with fungal infections is essential.
- Toenail fungus can be picked up in damp areas such as public gyms, shower stalls or swimming pools, and can be passed among family members. If someone in your household or in close contact has a fungal infection, washing and disinfecting all bed sheets, linens, towels, nail care tools and other personal items is critical. Most fungal infections have the ability to spread from person to person and are highly contagious.
- Shoes are your first line of defence. Old and wet shoes provide an ideal home for dermatophytes and bacteria. Each foot sweats up to 240ml. per day offering food and comfort for fungus. Change shoes often and use the germicidal ultraviolet light sanitizer (SteriShoe) daily to prevent odour and eliminate bacteria and fungus in your shoes. It works!
- Items that come in contact with infected skin such as clothing, hairbrushes and combs should be washed thoroughly to minimize the spread of infection. Fungal skin infections are highly contagious and may develop into nail infections, which are much harder to treat. The disease can also spread from one toe to another, and even to other parts of the body.
- Keep the skin between your toes clean and dry. Fungi are survivors so proper washing, soaking and drying of the skin is needed. Feet should be dry at all times. Sweaty socks should be replaced as soon as practical.
- Avoid sharing any personal items, such as clothing, shoes, slipper, hair combs, towels, and linens. If you do lend these items to someone, wash it thoroughly in hot water with bleach.
- Do not wear tight clothing and shoes. Athletes and people using tight-fitting shoes or tight hosiery as well as women wearing tight shoes with high heels that cause trauma to the toes or keep the feet from drying out are at higher risk of infection. Use cotton clothing if you are fighting or trying to prevent a fungal skin infection. Anti-fungal fabrics are strongly recommended.
- Avoid excessive perspiration when exercising. If necessary, bring a change of clothes with you to the gym. It is ideal to wear cotton and anti-fungal fabrics and socks while exercising. This attire allows the skin to breathe and it can absorb moisture.
- Be on alert when using public showers, locker rooms and nail salons. It helps to wear protective shoes, sandals or flip-flops in public showers, pool areas and gyms.
- Want to try new shoes in a shoe store? Don’t try them on bare feet, and please never use the socks they may offer. Bring your own!
- The last but not least – nail salons. If you are still wondering where you picked it up in the first place, chances are it was a cheap pedicure you got in an odd place years ago. Watch the staff sterilize their equipment or bring your own.
- Good personal hygiene
- Dry shoes (wear anti-fungal shoes whenever possible)
- Dry socks (wear anti-fungal hosiery whenever possible)
- Cotton clothing and anti-fungal fabrics
- Daily use of the ultra violet shoe sanitizer (SteriShoe)