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Before humans wore shoes, it's unlikely that many people needed a toe fungus treatment. Their feet were comfortable and dry, and enjoyed lots of fresh air. Sweaty feet enclosed in warm, airless shoes are the perfect place for a fungus to grow, while feet that are dry and cool are much more resistant to fungal infection. That's why fungi tend to infect the feet much more often than the hands.

We've been wearing shoes for a long time now, and the modern combination of socks made from synthetic materials and form-fitting shoes results in many more cases of athlete's foot and fungus toe nail infections. Over the years, the toe fungus treatment options have multiplied as well. Home remedies were the first, followed by early medical treatments probably based largely on the home remedies that seemed to work, and over the counter antifungal powders and ointments. In recent years a few oral prescription drugs and topical prescription treatments have become available.

Toe fungus treatment is easier when only the skin of the feet is infected (athlete's foot), than when there is a fungus toe nail infection. This is because, in a fungal infection, the fungus is living and multiplying underneath the nail. The nail forms a tough barrier between any applied treatment and the fungus itself, and infected toenails take a very long time to grow out - treatment has to continue until all of the affected toenail has been replaced by healthy, uninfected nail.

Toe fungus treatment, such as the use of antifungal powder, topical essential oils, ointments, or foot soaks, treats infected skin much more easily, and the treatment doesn't need to be continued for as long. Many of the same natural remedies and prescription drugs are recommended for skin infection as for fungus toe nail infection. Powders, oils, and ointments are rubbed directly on the skin. Solutions for soaking infected feet include vinegar, dilute bleach, 3 per cent hydrogen peroxide, and even some herbal teas. Prescription drugs work from the inside, helping the body's immune system clear up the infection.

The best plan, however, is to avoid toe fungus treatment altogether by being good to your feet. Keep your feet clean, cool and dry. Go barefoot! (Except when there's danger of foot injury or in damp public places like public showers and swimming pools, where you might pick up someone else's fungus toe infection.) Change your socks regularly, and dust your shoes with antifungal powder if you think you are susceptible to fungal infection. Keep your toenails trimmed. Once in a while, be really good to your feet - go all out for your tender toes and treat them to a pedicure.

David Bloom is an avid health enthusiast and a regular contributor to a variety of health websites. He is the author of Toe Fungus Treatment, a blog dedicated to the treatment of fingernail and toenail fungus.

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