How to fight fungus

Here are some tips for preventing toenail fungus, excerpted from the Mayo Clinic’s Web site:

• Keep your nails short, dry and clean. Trim nails straight across and file down thickened areas. Thoroughly dry your feet, including between your toes, after bathing.

• Wear socks made with synthetic materials that wick away moisture; they can keep feet dryer than cotton or wool socks. Change socks often, especially if your feet sweat excessively.

• Use an antifungal spray or powder. Spray or sprinkle your feet and the insides of your shoes.

• Don’t trim or pick at the skin around your nails. This may give germs access to your skin and nails.

• Don’t go barefoot in public places. Wear shoes around public pools, showers and locker rooms.

• Choose a reputable manicure and pedicure salon. Make sure the salon sterilizes its instruments. Better yet, bring your own.

• Give up nail polish and artificial nails. It may be tempting to hide fungal infections under pretty pink polish, but this can trap moisture and worsen the infection.

• Wash your hands after touching an infected nail. Nail fungus can spread from nail to nail.

Rachel Saslow