Whitby Family Footcare Clinic

107-420 Green St. • Whitby, Ontario • L1N 8R1 905.668.8233

Steps to prevent reinfection of your toenails

Treat your fungal skin infection (Athlete’s foot)

  • The daily application of a topical antifungal medicine at least once or twice a week is beneficial to reduce the risk of cross infection between your skin and nails.

  • Prescription topical Loprox cream is probably your best bet. We ask that you apply this to the tops of your toes, including the nails, between the nails and across the bottoms of your feet in the so-called moccasin distribution.

  • Doing this right after your shower and before putting on your socks and shoes is a convenient and effective time to do this. If the nails are infected the skin is probably infected with fungus and vice versa

  • Another option is Tineacide cream or a quality talcum based antifungal agent

  • In some cases, what appears to be athlete’s foot between the toes is a bacterial infection caused by a bacterium called Corynebacterium. It can grow on your feet and between your toes causing an athlete’s foot type itch, irritation and, especially, a pungent and disagreeable odor. This bacteria produces a coral red fluorescence which can be detected using a special wavelength of ultraviolet light produced by a Wood’s light lamp. If you are positive for coral red fluorescence this bacteria can easily be treated with topical antibiotic called erythromycin.

Treat athlete’s feet in all of family members

  • One of the most common sources of reinfection are the athletes feet fungus spores left on the carpet, in the shower and in the bed sheets of family members who also have the condition. If you really want to be free of reinfection consider having your family members treated at the same time.

Disinfection of socks and bed sheets

  • You should disinfect you socks and bed sheets that could harbor fungal spores (seeds) with bleach or Dettol or similar disinfectant

Antifungal foot spray.

  • The sweat and dead skin cells from our feet accumulate on the inside of our shoes and it becomes the perfect breeding ground for athlete’s foot fungus, bacteria and other unpleasant critters. We recommend that you spray the inside of your shoes with an antifungal foot spray when you are finished wearing your shoes for the day. Tineacide™ spray is available in our office. However, for real shoe sterilization we recommend the use of an ultraviolet shoe sterilizer.


  • Spraining the inside of your shoes with an antifungal spray does achieve some good but it is nowhere near 100% effective.

  • Ultraviolet light, however, is 100% effective in killing all pathogens from the inside of your shoes. The SteriShoe™ ultraviolet light containing shoe trees will kill all organisms from the inside of your shoes in 45 minutes. They have an automatic shut off so all you have to do is place the shoe trees in your shoes, turn it on and forget about it.

  • If you want to be free of fungus on our skin and nails we strongly recommend that you use the SteriShoe.

  • You can purchase it from the SteriShoe™ website: www.SteriShoe.com.

Disinfection of shoes with formaldehyde

  • Soak a couple of sheets of old newsprint with formaldehyde

  • Crumble the sheets and palce them inside your shoes

  • Put your shoes in a plastic bag and tie the bag up

  • Keep the shoes in the bag for a couple of days

Throw away old shoes

  • If you don‘t need your old shoes and they can’t be sterilized just throw them away. Otherwise, you risk getting re-infected by fungal spores (seeds) that are present inside your shoes.

It is very difficult to get rid of a fungal nail infection, especially if the fungus infects more than 75% of the nail bed and nail plate. The early treatment of a fungal nail infection before it gets to the 50-75 % stage is paramount to have a chance of clearing the fungal toenail infection.