Many people tend to take their feet for granted until a problem develops, and that also applies to the toenails. One of the best ways to avoid certain complications with your toenails is to get into a regular habit of inspecting your toenails more carefully than you might otherwise do during the occasional trimming and polishing. Changes in nail texture and color can be indicative of infection by bacteria or fungi, which can become much worse if left untreated.
To keep your toenails healthy, be on the lookout for these potential problems:
- Toenail fungus—This infection is caused by the same fungi that cause athlete’s foot. The nail can turn dull and yellow, and become thicker and more brittle at the edge. Since fungi tend to thrive in dark, moist environments, your shoes are the perfect place for them to grow. Toenail fungus can be difficult to eradicate because the critters that cause it can hide under the nail, making them difficult to reach with anti-fungal medicines. Your foot care professional has a variety of treatments that are effective at killing these fungal invaders, including a non-invasive laser treatment.
- Ingrown toenails—This is actually a condition that can largely be avoided by using proper nail cutting technique. Try to cut your toenails as straight across as possible, and don’t cut them too short. Cutting your nails on too steep a curve can cause the edge of the nail to push into the surrounding skin. Wearing tight fitting shoes can exacerbate the problem by pushing the toes together and by rubbing against your footwear.
If you are experiencing problems with your toenails, your foot care specialist can help. Dr. Scott Nelson of Foot and Ankle Medical Clinic in Garland, TX, is a board-certified and highly experienced podiatrist who has helped people suffering from all types of foot and ankle injuries and deformities. From bunions, to diabetic foot problems, sports injuries and fungal nails, you can trust that Dr. Nelson and his staff are wholeheartedly devoted to your foot health. Please contact our office with any questions you may have or to schedule an appointment by calling 972-414-9800.