Health Tip: Living With a Fungal Nail Infection

Please note: This article was published more than one year ago. The facts and conclusions presented may have since changed and may no longer be accurate. And "More information" links may no longer work. Questions about personal health should always be referred to a physician or other health care professional.

(HealthDay News) -- Fungal infections -- common in toenails and fingernails -- have typical symptoms including discoloration, a thick and brittle appearance, crumbly edges and a curled up or down shape.

Since fungus thrives in moist places, sweaty socks and shoes provide a great environment for fungus. Such infections are more common after age 60, and among those with weakened immune systems.

If you have a fungal infection of the nail, the American Academy of Physicians suggests:

  • Cut nails short and file down thick areas.
  • Don't use the same nail trimmer or file on healthy nails and infected ones.
  • If you go to a nail salon, bring your own nail file and trimmer.
  • Wear waterproof gloves when washing dishes or floors.
  • Wear socks of wicking material to draw moisture from the skin.
  • Change your socks when they are damp from sweat or your feet get wet.
  • Wear clean, dry socks every day and apply over-the-counter antifungal powder inside socks to keep feet dry.
  • Wear shoes with good support and a wide toe area.
  • Avoid walking barefoot in public areas, such as locker rooms.

Last Updated: