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.