Get Invested in Proper Nail Care

Most people don’t think about their toenails until something goes wrong. Maybe they’ve stubbed their toe against a table leg and found a crack going right down the nail. Maybe they’ve noticed that their big toe is swollen because of a stubborn ingrown.

Read below to find out about fungal infections, ingrown toenails, and toenail breaks. By learning about prevention and treatment, you can handle these distressing nail problems when they crop up.

Toenail Fungus

The Problem

You may not recognize that you have a toenail fungus until the nail thickens and starts to change color — it will either turn white or a shade of yellow-brown. Other symptoms include brittle texture, distorted shape, dark build-up, and foul odor.

The Solution

If you notice you have a toenail fungus, you should see a doctor straight away. They may recommend an over-the-counter anti-fungal cream, oral anti-fungal medication, or medicated nail polish.

Ingrown Toenails

The Problem

You rip off your sock and notice that your big toe is pink, swollen, and tender to the touch. The nail is growing into the border, irritating the sensitive skin and becoming a promising setting for infection.

 The Solution

You can try to deal with an ingrown toenail by doing an Epsom salt foot soak — this will reduce the inflammation and remove build-up sticking to the nail bed. After the soak, apply an antibiotic ointment. These two moves could be enough to encourage the nail to grow away from the nail bed and keep infection at bay.

If this doesn’t work, you should speak with a licensed chiropodist today to look at the ingrown nail and safely trim it so that it stops pushing into the skin border. Don’t attempt to trim the nail on your own. You could make the situation much worse.

Broken Toenails

The Problem

You hit your foot against a hard object — a table leg, a bedpost, the pavement — and the nail splits on impact. The open wound will invite bacteria and, if untreated, will cause a nasty infection.

The Solution

If it’s a minor split, you can use the teabag method where you cut a tea bag into a patch that can fit over the break. Paint over the nail with clear nail polish, then gently lower the patch over the crack with a pair of tweezers. Apply another layer of polish to keep the patch in place. This method lets the break heal and prevents it from catching on socks, blankets, and bandages.

If the break is severe, you will need to clean the toe as gently as you can and wrap it in gauze to control the bleeding. Then, seek medical help as soon as possible.

Most of these health problems can be avoided with proper nail care. Keep your feet clean and dry because bacteria thrive in moisture. Trim the nails gently with nail clippers, making sure to cut straight across. Don’t trim them too short or leave jagged edges. When you invest in proper nail care, you avoid frustrating and painful consequences in the future.

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