How does your toe nail look? I suspect it is clean, soft and properly pedicured; or is it brittle, yellow and seriously infected with nail fungus or Onychomycosis. If you have nail fungus you probably know what I’m talking about, it is ugly looking, unsightly, and worse of all, it makes you feel completely horrified when people see it. Infected nails are not only ugly to look at, but in extreme cases the nails do smell also. Nail fungus infection is a serious fungal infection that can damage and disfigure one’s toe nails if not properly and timely treated.

There are different reasons why people get infected with nail fungus, but lack of proper hygiene and pedicure are some of the reasons, but the main reason is exposure to micro organism called Dermatophytes. Another factor is injury; broken toe nail is more likely to contract fungal infection than a clean and pedicured nail. Dermatophytes, the micro organism that is responsible for people contracting nail fungus mostly resides in damp and wet environment and are more likely to infect anybody exposed to it regardless of how clean, or whether they have pedicure or not.

Good hygiene is very important in protecting oneself from dermatophytes, but it is not completely going to protect you if you wear warm socks and your feet is damp, or if you’re exposed to infected gym shower or public swimming pools; all these are areas where fungus causing micro organism eat and breathe. Nail fungus spread and get worse when the protecting layer of protein around the nails is depleted or eating up by dermatophytes. Fibrous structural protein is the technical name for this protein that protects the nail.

Here are 7 ways you can protect yourself from contracting nail fungus:

1. Avoid walking around barefoot, especially in warm sand on the beach when your feet are wet and damp.

2. Good hygiene is very important mostly around your feet, if you are trying to avoid nail fungus infections – so cleanse and disinfect your feet when necessary.

3. Fungus infections may not be noticeable when it first started, so pay close attention to your feet because early detection with prompt and proper treatment is crucial for successful cure.

4. Avoid wearing tight shoes; your feet need some room to breathe air, because lack of air will lead to sweaty feet and damp socks and shoes, which is a breathing ground for dermatophytes.

5. Avoid public gym showers and public swimming pools; there are perfect incubators for fungus causing micro organism.

6. Eat diet full of phytonutrients in order to boost your immune system to fight all types of infections.

7. Use anti fungal powder on your feet after bath or a swim.

Once you’re infected with nail fungus the next option is to seek treatment for the best nail fungus remedy that you can find. There are different types of medications available to treat this type of conditions; there are some oral medicines that you can take orally, and also some topical forms of medicines that you can apply directly on the infected nails. There are also herbal fungal remedies and supplement that are very effective in treating this condition known as Onychomycosis, but more importantly, they are safe and have little or no side effects.

The best way to treat dermatophytes nail infection is the stop it from happening in the first place. They say that prevention is better than cure, and preventing yourself from getting infected with this ugly disease is indeed better than curing it when it is full blown.