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Lifestyle measures

In addition to treatment, there are several lifestyle measures that can help with onychomycosis. Most of these involve ways to limit exposure to the pathogenic fungi that cause the disease. This may help prevent the disease from coming back.

LIFESTYLE MEASURES Elewski 1998, Gupta 2006, SDF 2007

Avoid bare feet when possible

· Using sandals in public showers or slippers in hotel rooms rather than bare feet can help limit your exposure to pathogenic fungi and reduce our chances of developing onychomycosis.

Rest shoes

· Fungi grow preferably in warm, moist environments, and shoes can fit both of these criteria. Resting shoes (using a different pair of shoes) periodically can help reduce the chances of fungi growing within your footwear, where they have easy access to toenails and may cause infections.

· Shoes and socks can also be decontaminated with antifungal treatments and washing of socks at 60°C.

Socks

· Socks should be washed at 60°C.

· Wearing 100 percent cotton socks helps keeping your feet dry

· Put on clean, dry socks every day

· Socks can also be decontaminated with antifungal treatments

Straight nail trimming

· Trimming nails straight across rather than rounding them can help prevent fungal infections such as onychomycosis.

· Don’t use the same nail trimmer or file on healthy and infected nails.

Prompt treatment of athlete’s foot

· Athlete’s foot, also called tinea pedis, is a fungal infection of the skin on one or both feet. It sometimes occurs with onychomycosis. Quickly treating athlete’s foot if and when it appears can help prevent the infection from spreading to toenails, and reduce the chances of developing onychomycosis.

Dry feet

· Drying feet and the space between toes can help prevent recurrence.

New shoes after cure

· Buying new shoes after curing onychomycosis symptoms will help to prevent repeat recurrences from contaminated shoes.

Protecting fingernails

· In case of fingernail onychomycosis, regularly drying hands and wearing a double pair of gloves (cotton plus latex or vinyl) will help protect fingernails from infection.

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