Summer has finally arrived and you’re ready to hit the pool and enjoy your favorite activities. But while you’re getting in some exercise or dipping your feet in the water, make sure to keep your feet healthy so you can break out those sandals you’ve been wanting to show off.

Several types of fungi can settle in and infect your toenails, which may result in discolored, thick, and crumbly nails.

If you’re wondering what precautions you can take to avoid a pesky infection, you’re in luck. Our team here at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists has gathered five tips for avoiding toenail fungus this summer.

Keep your feet dry

First and foremost, keep your feet dry to avoid a fungal infection. Fungi thrive in moist environments and are difficult to evict once they’ve settled in.

So if you’re hanging out by the water this summer, make sure you dry your feet thoroughly before putting on shoes or moving on to the next activity.

If your plans include going for a jog or other exercise, make sure to pick up some socks that wick away moisture. These are a great help in preventing fungus growth.

Wear the right shoes

Shoes play a large part in having healthy feet. Footwear that’s ill-fitting or made of a material that doesn’t allow your feet to breathe could create the perfect breeding ground for toenail fungus. Shoes made of breathable materials, such as leather, canvas, or mesh, are great.

Once you’ve found the perfect shoes to match your summer style, make sure they fit your feet well. If your shoes are too tight, your toes are being pushed up against your shoes, creating tension and potentially allowing fungus to creep in.

Don’t share footwear

It’s more than just a catchy rhyme — it’s true! Sharing footwear with family or friends may expose you to fungi you wouldn’t have otherwise come in contact with.

Let’s face it, you can’t really be sure where your friend’s feet have been or if that friend takes precautions against toenail fungus. So while it’s great to share things in life, footwear shouldn’t be one of them.

Protect your feet in public places

Wet, public areas like community pools or locker rooms are hot spots for fungi. If you’re taking advantage of these amenities, bring some shower shoes to protect your feet. And remember to dry your feet completely and get into some clean, dry socks and shoes afterward.

Keep your environment clean

Can you remember the last time you gave your shower a good, deep cleaning? It’s important to keep the surfaces your feet come in contact with clean to prevent a breeding ground for fungi.

While you’re getting yourself clean in the bathtub or shower, everything you’re rinsing off is ending up on the floor. Set reminders to give your shower a scrub-down to prevent the growth of many types of germs.

If you’re dealing with lingering toenail fungus or noticing the development of new fungus, our team at Arizona Foot & Ankle Specialists is here to help.

Samuel Cox, DPM, assesses and treats your specific symptoms and provides the best care for you and your feet. Give us a call at 623-935-5780 or book an appointment through our website.

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