As the weather grows colder and snow starts to blanket the ground, a number of runners will switch from the trails to treadmills at their local gym. There’s definitely nothing wrong with a seasonal shift, but hitting the locker room more often can increase one’s risk of picking up an unsightly infection of toenail fungus. However, running shoes on their own can also pose a risk.
This doesn’t mean that you have to hide barefoot in your home to stay fungus free. It does pay, however, to know what can increase your chances of getting fungal nails. That way, you might be more vigilant about avoiding such situations if you can, or at the very least be sure to watch and catch the start of an infection early, making it much easier to treat.
First of all, just being who you are might make you more susceptible to toenail fungus. The older you are, the higher your risk due to poorer circulation and more exposure to fungus over the years. Being male is also a risk factor, as susceptibility tends to run on the male side of the family.
The environments in which you work and live can also play a role. Basically, anywhere that lends itself to warmth and dampness is a prime place for fungus to thrive. That includes in your shoes or boots, so definitely switch between different pairs of footwear every day if your feet tend to sweat a lot. This gives shoes a chance to air out and inhibits fungal growth.
It’s also wise to keep the condition of your feet in mind—both long-term and short-term. Having any cuts or cracks in your feet can open them up to infection. Any chronic conditions such as diabetes or weakened immunity can also make a fungal infection more of a possibility.Whether you suspect you might be getting fungal nails or have had them for some time, it’s worth getting your nails checked out ASAP. Dr. Sanjay Patel and the staff of Family Foot Care & Surgery can get to the source of the fungus and offer several different forms of treatment based on your needs, from oral medication to laser therapy. Schedule an appointment with either of our two offices: (203) 876-736 for Milford or (203) 288-4055 for Hamden, CT.