Keep Your Toenails Healthy

toenail care

Toenail care is right up there on your to-do list, right? It isn’t? Well, aside from the occasional at-home pedicure, is there anything you need to do to your toenails on a regular basis? At Foot & Ankle Associates of Cleveland, we say “yes.” There are definitely some things you can do to make sure you’ve got the healthiest toenails possible:

  1. Trim them straight across.
    Cutting your toenails on a curve or angled downward is a recipe for getting ingrown toenails. Trimming your nails straight across prevents them from growing downward into the surrounding skin. That can lead to redness, swelling, and painful infections.
  2. Don’t trim them too short.
    Really short toenails can also cause ingrown toenails – see #1 above!
  3. Heed the signs of disease.
    When a toenail’s appearance changes, don’t ignore it. Changes can signal disease. For example, yellowed or crumbling toenails have probably fallen victim to a fungal infection such as athlete’s foot. If there’s discolored spot under the toenail, it could even be melanoma, a potentially deadly form of skin cancer.
  4. Keep brittleness away.
    Nails are made up of layers of protein. The dry air and indoor heat of fall and winter can get into the layers, making nails brittle. Exposure to a lot of water can permeate the layers and cause brittle nails. The acetone in nail polish remover can also cause nails to become brittle and break easily. Talk to podiatrists Craig B. Frey, DPM and Meghan L. Oltmann, DPM about how to combat brittle nails.
  5. Do a daily check if you’re diabetic.
    If you’ve got diabetes, you should make regular foot checks a part of every day. That includes checking your nails for any signs of disease, infection, crumbling, or brittleness. Any of these conditions are troublesome, but for the diabetic, they can quickly become very serious medical issues.

For any concerns about your toenails, especially if you’re diabetic, call expert podiatrists Dr. Oltmann and Dr. Frey at our modern office in Solon, Ohio, at (440) 903-1041. You may also make an appointment online.