The Danger of Gyms for Nail Fungus
People go to the gym to become healthier and build muscle. They want to lose weight, feel that adrenaline rush, and feel better about themselves. It rarely crosses anyone’s mind that the gym and public pool are a breeding ground for fungus and nail fungus infections to spread.
So, why are they the perfect place? Most gyms and public pools have a place to change. This place may be a dressing room, a locker room equipped with a shower, or an open place to rinse off after your work out. These places have tile floors to make cleanup easier. However, grout is the perfect place for fungus to breed.
When you walk barefoot over this grout, you are risking having the spores from other people’s fungal infections stick to your feet and slowly work their way up under your nails. It is terrible that one of the places that you go to take better care of yourself and to feel better about yourself can lead to you developing an infection, no matter how hard the gym works to keep the shower floors clean.
How To Prevent Toenail Fungal Infections
The place to start when you are trying to prevent toenail fungal infections is what you wear on your feet. Gym shoes that are older and worn can be a breeding ground for all kinds of bacteria and fungus by themselves. This means that if you do get fungal spores on your feet, they are sure to breed in your shoes and become an out of control fungal infection in no time.
It is advisable, for the gym and in your everyday life, to have at least two pair of shoes. Never wear the same pair of shoes two days in a row. This allows one pair to dry out between uses so that you are not breeding fungus that is just waiting to attack your feet. Either way, make sure that your feet stay dry. Wear clean, breathable, cotton socks so that moisture is wicked away.
If you still feel at risk, use an anti-fungal spray in your shoes between uses and allow them to dry completely before you put them back to help prevent contamination.
If you use the shower at your local gym, do not do so barefoot. Rubber flip-flops, shower shoes, or water shoes are a great way to ensure that you are not exposed. As with your other shoes, make sure that these shoes are completely dry before you put them back on. You may also want to spray them with anti-fungal spray between uses (after they dry) to ensure that any fungal spores that you pick up from the shower floor are eliminated before you wear them again. Another option is to place them in your clothes dryer and use high enough heat to kill the fungal spores.
What To Do In Case Of Infection
When you first notice any sign of infection, it is important to begin treatment. This means that you need to catch it when your toenail begins to change color, or looks different than it normally does. It is important to catch it before your nails become brittle or start to get thick.
If caught early, start soaking your toes in a vinegar solution twice daily for about 20 minutes. This solution should consist of 1 part vinegar to 1 part water. Continue this treatment until the affected toenails have cleared up.
Vinegar gets rid of the infection by changing the pH of the growing environment, which makes the nail uninhabitable to the fungus.
The fungus will then quit breeding, and when the existing spores die off, the fungus should be completely gone.
The choice between apple cider vinegar and white vinegar is up to you. Both are shown to work, so whichever you have on hand will work great.
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