You probably don't give your toenails much thought since they usually don't give you any trouble. However, when you have a fungal infection in your nail or an ingrown toenail, you're suddenly reminded of how much pain and discomfort they can cause if you don't take care of them properly. Problems with toenails can often be prevented, and here are a few tips that help keep your toenails healthy and free of discomfort.
Keep Your Feet Dry
Fungal infections can thrive in warm, damp places like the inside of your shoes and socks. If your feet sweat a lot, you might want to change your socks in the middle of the day and switch the shoes you wear on a daily basis so the shoes have time to dry out before you wear them again. By keeping your feet dry, you reduce the risk of developing a fungal infection between your toes.
Once you get an infection on your skin, your toenails are at risk, and fungal infections under nails are more difficult to treat. If you suspect you have a fungal infection between your toes, treat it promptly so it doesn't spread. Topical medication can't reach the infection when it's protected by a nail, so treating and recovering from a toenail fungal infection can be a frustrating process.
Wear Shoes With Plenty Of Toe Room
Shoes with narrow and tight toes can cause a variety of foot problems. When the ends of your toes press against the shoe, you might develop an ingrown toenail. The same might happen if you wear socks that are too tight. Allow some space at the end of your toes so there is no constant pressure on your nails as you walk throughout the day.
If you develop an ingrown nail, you definitely want the extra space to prevent pain. If you're prone to developing ingrown nails, then wearing the proper shoes is an easy way to help prevent problems with your nails.
See A Podiatrist When Needed
Since fungal infections are difficult to treat when they involve your nails and ingrown toenails can take a long time to grow out, consider seeing a podiatrist to help with nail problems so you can reduce your discomfort.
Another time to see a podiatrist like Greenberg Paul for nail problems is when you have impaired circulation due to diabetes or other medical problems. Toe injuries and diseases can be serious when you have diabetes, so you may even want a podiatrist to trim your toenails so you eliminate the risk of injuring your toe.
Taking good care of your nails, toes, and feet can prevent foot pain, and that's a better option than trying to treat a condition once it's developed. Protecting your nails is usually easy to do, but if you have chronic nail problems, talk to your podiatrist to get to the cause and learn the right way to care for your toes and nails properly.