How often do you think about the health of your toenails? Most people trim them now and again, but the fact is that feet and toes don’t get much love from most people. But they should. A study published in The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology in 2014 concluded that at least 14% of people around the country have a toenail fungal infection.
That other foot health bugbear, the ingrown toenail, affects at least 40 million people over the age of 21, according to the NPD Group for the Institute of Preventive Foot Health. Combined with fungal toenail infections, those are some pretty staggering numbers.
If you are concerned about your foot and toenail health, we can help you at our friendly and professional practice, Family Foot and Ankle Clinic. Let one of our doctors sit down and talk to you about your foot and toenail health. There’s nothing to be embarrassed about.
Why you should make an appointment
Few people actually like going to the doctor or a specialist. We totally understand this, even though we’re pretty sure you’ll find us a friendly, understanding, and professional lot here at Family Foot and Ankle Clinic.
When it comes to ingrown toenails and fungal nail infections of the foot, most people likely just ignore the condition until they can’t bear it any longer. But that’s not a good idea because severe ingrown nails can lead to serious infections. And that fungal growth under your toenail can start to spread to other toenails, causing them to weaken.
What you can do
How can you take care of your toenails so these common conditions are far less likely to affect you? Here are three things you can do very easily to take better care of your toenails:
1. Keep your footwear and feet dry
At some point, most of us come across the growth of black mold in our homes. This mold grows because the environment is moist and warm enough for the fungal spores to take root. So why is this relevant? It’s the same with your footwear.
Keeping your feet dry is one of the most important ways to keep fungal growth at bay. When you wear the same pair of sneakers day after day, especially in the hot weather, they are going to be pretty moist and sweaty. This is an ideal place for fungus to start growing.
The big takeaway from this is: Alternate your footwear choices and try to find footwear that is made from natural and breathable materials.
2. Keep your toenails neat and tidy
One of the easiest ways to minimize the chances of painful ingrown toenails is to keep your nails trimmed and tidy. Instead of trimming round at the corners of the nail, make sure you trim each nail straight across.
And don’t cut your nails too short because doing so can encourage the nail to grow into the soft and fleshy sides of the toe.
3. Think twice in public wet areas
You might enjoy going to the local public swimming pool, but those changing rooms and showers are often a sanctuary for foot fungus. The same goes for the changing rooms and showers at your local gym.
Let’s face it, you really have no idea how often they disinfect the floors in places like this. The easy solution is to wear sandals or flip-flops that are easy to slip on and off in these areas. They’ll protect your feet from excess moisture and fungus.
Don’t be embarrassed to seek medical care
If you have a fungal nail infection that is out of control or an ingrown toenail that is causing you pain, we’re more than happy to help. Our specialists at Family Foot and Ankle Clinic have seen it all, so don’t be shy. Call one of our seven locations to schedule an appointment right now.