Hidden away at the tops of our feet, toenails may not get that much attention—but they should. When not cared for properly, they can develop all sorts of uncomfortable problems, including fungal infections and ingrown toenails. Fortunately, warding off toenail health problems is easy with the right foot care strategy, according to the specialists at Westside Podiatry Group. To help, this trusted team of experienced foot doctors in Rochester, NY, highlights a few of the most important ways to keep your toenails in tip-top shape.
5 Foot Care Strategies to Enhance Toenail Health
1. Clip Them Right
Letting toenails grow too long can create a welcoming environment for dirt and bacteria, increasing the risk of infection. As such, it’s essential to regularly clip them. Unlike fingernails, toenails should be cut in a straight line across; otherwise, they could become ingrown. It’s also important to make sure there’s a small amount left over the edge of the toe to protect against injury.
2. Don’t Just Rinse—Wash
It’s easy to think that feet and toenails get clean enough when they sit at the bottom of the shower, but that rinse isn’t usually enough to ward away infection-causing bacteria. Instead, it’s best to scrub your entire foot and use a special brush to clean out the toenails to keep fungi, germs, and dirt at bay.
3. Stay Shoe Savvy
When you buy shoes, choose those that are breathable and provide a proper fit. If your socks and shoes are too restricted, foot sweat can promote athlete’s foot—a fungal infection that can spread to the toenails. Additionally, tight footwear can increase the risk of toe injury and ingrown toenails.
4. Put Protein on Your Plate
Eating foods that are high in protein—such as nuts, seeds, beans, lean meats, and spinach—can help your body produce keratin. Keratin is a structural protein that allows people to grow healthy hair, skin, and nails.
5. Talk to Your Foot Doctor
As you care for your nails, look out for common problems, such as discoloration, weakness, swelling, and infection. It’s important to address these concerns with a podiatrist right away; untreated toenail conditions can get worse and become harder to treat.
Whether you need an ingrown toenail removed or are concerned about foot pain, the specialists at Westside Podiatry Group can help. Delivering dependable foot care services in Rochester, NY, for more than 38 years, this clinic is trusted by patients to provide the complete diagnosis and advanced treatment options you need to heal. Visit them online to find a location near you or call (585) 225-2290 to set up an appointment with a skilled podiatrist.