Six Ways to Avoid Toenail Infections

March 15, 2013
Pay attention to your toes! (Image courtesy of Ponsulak/

Pay attention to your toes!   (Image courtesy of Ponsulak/

Proper senior citizen foot care can help prevent pain, and is especially important for those individuals who begin to experience mobility issues as they age. Fungal infections in toenails are common and are more likely to occur in those of advanced years than in younger ones.

How to recognize fungal infections

Although only a doctor or other qualified professional can give a certain diagnosis, there are several signs that indicate nail fungal infections.  These include:

  • Discoloration of the nail, usually resulting in a yellow or mustard-colored hue.
  • Noticeable nail thickening.
  • Development of crusty, crumbling, or ragged nail edges.

How avoid toenail fungal infections

Taking proper care of your feet is the best way to avoid fungal infections.  In addition to practicing appropriate hygiene by carefully washing and drying your feet.  here are six preventative steps that you can take:

  1. Trim those nails.  Maintaining toenails at the proper length can help fight off fungus before it gets a “foothold.”
  2. Powder down.  Apply an anti-fungal powder or spray to your feet.
  3. Let your feet breathe.  Wear socks made out of fabric that lets the your feet breathe, such as cotton or natural fibers.  Be careful of synthetic socks, as these often trap air inside.
  4. Keep sharing in its place.  Sharing your favorite book with someone?  That’s a good idea.  Sharing your shoes or socks? That’s a bad idea; it’s a fungal accident waiting to happen.
  5. Watch those bare feet.  If you’re in public, your feet should be protected.  This even applies if you are visiting a swimming pool; invest in a pair of aqua shoes or other water-appropriate footwear.
  6. Clean your tools.  Make sure your clippers and nail files are always clean; if you go to a salon for a pedicure, make sure the salon’s tools are sterilized and sanitary.

Taking care of your toenails is part of good senior citizen foot care.  A little time and attention now can save you discomfort in the future.

Writer, Craig Butler

Craig Butler has been writing on a wide range of topics for more than fifteen years. As the National Communications Director for the Cooley's Anemia Foundation, Craig regularly writes on a range of health and medical topics. Among the many projects he has written for the Foundation is the Cooley's Anemia Storybook, a collection of original short stories for children with the blood disorder Cooley's Anemia. His freelance work has ranged from reviewing moves and CDs to creating entertainment-related stories about baldness, to creating text for comic strips. Craig looks forward to having a dialogue with you about senior care and issues of concern.

Christian & Claudia Steiner, Owners

We hope this was helpful. If you have any questions or if you know of a senior that could benefit from our vast array of home care services, including skilled nursing and wound care please call us at 212-614-8057 or email us. We accept all types of long term care insurance as payment. Best!

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