Common Toenail Problems

Your toenails are a very small part of your body, but are important nonetheless. You often don’t think about your toenails until they are causing you trouble or discomfort. Here are some of the common problems that can happen with toenails, and what you can do about them.

Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails are small, but painful. They can be caused by improper care of your feet, as well as a genetic tendency toward them. It is important to trim your toenails properly, which is straight across instead of cutting into the corners, and not cutting them too short.

If the problem is unmanageable at home, you may want to see a doctor who can numb the area and then cut the problem area from the toenail. It can be a recurring problem, however.

Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus happens when fungi grow in the warm, moist areas by your toenails. It is caused by the same bacteria found in athlete’s foot infections. To avoid toenail fungus, you should keep your feet dry, and try to avoid having your feet exposed in areas where this fungus is commonly found, such as locker rooms and swimming pools.

If you need to treat toenail fungus, there are several home remedies. One is by mixing two cups of water with one cup of vinegar, and soaking your foot in the mixture for approximately 15 minutes. You can use this solution twice a day until the infection has cleared up.

Toenail Trauma

You may notice a mark that looks like a bruise through your toenail. Toenail trauma can be caused by an accident, such as dropping something heavy on your toe. It can also be caused by long-term irritation, such as walking often in an ill-fitting pair of shoes. Sometimes the toenail bruises, sometimes it thickens, and it can even come off in certain scenarios.

The best way to treat toenail trauma is by keeping the area clean and dry, as loose toenails become susceptible to secondary problems such as toenail fungus. Apply ice to the area and elevate the toenail if it was caused by an injury.

Thickened Toenails

These are generally caused by an injury to the toenail or toenails. The toenail will begin to grow thick. It can be caused by an underlying medical condition, and for this reason it is wise to see a foot doctor, called a podiatrist, if you notice this happening and you are not sure why. A foot doctor can also file the nail down if it is merely a surface problem.

We may not always realize it, but toenails are an important part of our bodies. They protect the toes and as hard as it may be to believe, they also help us with balance and spatial awareness. And when our toes suffer, our whole body suffers.

There are many problems that can afflict the toenail. Some are easily remedied, and others take work and time to correct. Whatever the problem may be with your toenails, there is help available. Use this information to assist you as your care for this important part of your feet.

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