How often have you taken a good look at your feet? Have you ever put a, “How are you doing?” question to them, or do you just go about your routine, unscathed by the agonies of your pedestals? If you are not much of a fan of your feet, it’s time you changed your outlook and gave them a good gaze.
Wait! Do you see something awkward; something weird about your toes or nails? Oh, oh! You have had it; something to worry about, but not too serious. Here is what it could be and what needs to be done – now and for times ahead:
Toe Nail Fungus, or “Onychomycosis” as it is known in the world of dermatology, is prevalent among 10 percent of the world’s population. The parasite responsible is called Dermatophytes which tends to live on Keratin – the main component of nails and skin.
Dermatophytes are spread all throughout the environment and can generally be contacted anywhere by anyone. However, there surely are a few places where in the probability of getting “in touch” with the fungus increases manifold.
Swimming Pools – Given, pools are spots where the yeast can feast of a number of “host bodies” and offer the most convenient environment for fungal reproduction and growth; they become a commonplace for fungal encounters.
Public Showers – Again, a perfectly humid environment combined with all baring hosts, offers the perfect hunting grounds for the fungus.
Gyms and Nail Spas – The sweaty surroundings in gyms and the commonly used bathes in spas, in tandem with the hordes of visitors, also tender to the liking of the parasite.
Tight Fitting Shoes and Unhygienic Socks – These too would mean playing right into fungal hands.
Given the prevalence and appetite of the Dermatophytes, it becomes imperative to indulge in any practice that would help avoid a date with the fiend. A few such practices would be:
- The most basic and easy thing to do would be to keep your feet and nails clean and thoroughly washed.
- Use footwear that your feet can easily slip into. This becomes all the more imperative in case your feet sweat a lot.
- In case you are a frequent visitor to a public pool or spa, ensure that the water in the pool or spa’s bath is fresh and clean.
- Visiting the spa first thing in the morning, when everything there is fresh and clean, could also be an effective and healthy practice.