14 Apr Toe Nail Care
Footloose for the Summer
Summer is almost here and you may be more than ready for it. But are your feet? Lets talk about toe nail care.
Nothing can make you feel more awkward or uncomfortable than feet with discolored or ingrown toenails. Your nails can make you feel self-conscious about wearing sandals or flip-flops and put a damper on your pool and beach activities. A pedicure may help your feet look and feel better but it’s just a cover-up and not a permanent fix.
Worse yet, these foot flaws can be painful. And they can lead to more serious issues if you don’t take care of them. Nail fungus not only looks unsightly but can spread to your other toes, your skin and your fingernails. An ingrown nail makes it hard to wear shoes and could also lead to a crippling infection.
There’s no need to let your toes spoil your fun or your good health. With the proper foot care you can avoid these problems and have feet that you’ll flaunt.
Dealing with an Ingrown Nail
Ingrown toenails occur when the nail grows sideways into the skin rather than outward. They can be caused by clipping toenails too short or at a slant, foot injuries or wearing tight shoes. Left untreated, they can lead to complications like bone infection and gangrene. This is particularly a risk for people with diabetes and other conditions that interfere with healing. Symptoms of ingrown nails include redness, swelling and pain along the toenail. In extreme cases there will also be visible pus around the toe.
To prevent ingrown nails, always trim your toenails, or have them trimmed, straight across and not too short. Wear proper-fitting shoes and use protective footwear when necessary. If you have a condition like diabetes check your feet daily for cuts or scrapes.
In some cases medical treatments will be necessary. These range from quick office procedures to major surgery, depending on how far the nail has grown and whether it has caused an infection. A podiatrist can give you a proper assessment and design the best treatment plan for you.
Dealing with a Fungal Nail
Nail fungus is easy to spot. The thickened nail with a striped, yellowish or black color, crumbly texture and scaly skin all point to one thing. A fungal nail is far from pretty, and hard to get rid of, but it’s usually a minor condition.
It’s caused by three different types of fungus; one, two or all three may be present. The fungus spreads by contact and grows best in sweaty or moist conditions. Fungal nails can also crop up after an injury, untreated athlete’s foot or an ingrown toenail.
To avoid them, keep your feet clean and dry. Use an anti-fungal cream regularly and try over-the-counter topical treatments such as those you paint on like nail polish.
As with ingrown toenails, a podiatrist is your best guide if the fungus spreads beyond your ability to control it. In some cases oral medications might be needed. In others the podiatrist can perform a nail extraction that will allow a healthy new nail to grow in place of the fungal one.
Don’t let ugly painful toenails ruin one day of your summer or your life. Take care of your feet and follow your foot care professional’s advice – contact us to learn more about our nail care solutions. You’ll be walking barefoot on the beach in no time.
About: Dr Shuman provides podiatry services in Sterling, Ashburn, Lansdowne and Leesburg Va. Shuman Podiatry offers: custom orthotics, diabetic foot care, heel pain and spurs, wart removal and more. Contact Dr Shuman today for all your foot care needs.