Toenail fungus treatment can take several months before there is any visible sign of improvement. The reason why the condition is so difficult to treat is because the fungus is located underneath and inside the nail. Most nail fungus treatments work through direct contact and, given the position of the fungus, it can be hard to reach. But if you don’t treat the disorder it is unlikely to clear up on its own.
Nail fungus infections affect both the fingernails and the toenails although the latter is more common, particularly the bit toe. The disease is very contagious and spreads most easily in moist and airless environments. This means that public showers, gyms, changing room floors provide a conducive habitat for fungal growth. Fungal spores can also grow in contaminated shoes and socks.
You are most at risk of contracting the disease if you frequent gyms and other places where people walk around barefoot without protecting your feet. You can also easily pick up an infection if you use the services of a manicurist or pedicurist who does not follow a policy of sterilizing nail instruments between clients. Remember that a simple rub down with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide is not enough. People who have a tendency to perspire heavily have a higher incidence rates. If you suffer from sweaty feet during the day, its a good idea to carry a pair of spare socks with you to change into as needed.
Remember to always dry your nails completely after washing, including the skin between the toes. This skin is susceptible to a related fungal disorder known by its colloquial term, “Athlete’s foot”. The same fungus also causes nail fungus and cross-infections are common. But while you can generally clear up an Athlete’s foot outbreak in a matter of days, simply by using a strong antifungal cream, nail fungus treatment times are far longer.