7 Tips to Prevent Toenail Problems

Your toenails can disclose a lot about your health. That’s why Dr. Eric Ricefield, Dr. Mark Yagodich, and Dr. Aliza V. Eisen of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center always recommend our patients pay close attention to look for any noticeable changes in their nails.

Any type of change, whether it’s a change in color, smell, thickness, or texture, could point to a bigger problem that needs treatment.

Two of the most common nail issues we treat in our office are ingrown toenails and fungal nails. Treatment is particularly important for those who have preexisting health conditions such as diabetes. Let’s discuss these two conditions in more depth.

Ingrown toenails: This condition occurs when the nail grows into the fleshy part of the toe, causing bleeding, swelling, and pain. Caused by improper nail trimming, it most often develops in the big toenail. In some cases, you may need complete or partial surgical removal of the affected nail. Often the doctor will prescribe antibiotics to treat infections.

Fungal nails: This is an infection caused by a fungus that grows under or on the nail. Symptoms include thick, discolored, smelly, or brittle toenails. Because it can spread, treatment is often ointments, medicated polish, laser therapy, or antifungal creams.

You can prevent these common problems by following these simple 7 tips.

  1. Examine your feet daily for changes or injuries to the skin or nails.
  2. Trim your toenails straight across – don’t round the edges.
  3. Wear moisture-wicking shoes and socks.
  4. Cleanse your feet daily with warm soap, then dry thoroughly, especially between your toes.
  5. Never share nail clippers.
  6. Avoid wearing tight shoes, particularly in the toe box area.
  7. Visit your podiatrist regularly

While some nail problems do not require a visit to a podiatrist, we encourage you to schedule a visit so you can get the most fast acting and effective treatments. Our team of doctors has the expertise and tools to get you back on your feet fast.

If you have toenail concerns, painful bunions, sports injuries, or diabetes-related issues, contact the offices of greater Philadelphia’s Your Next Step Foot and Ankle Care Center for diagnosis and treatment. Click here to locate the office nearest you and schedule an appointment today.

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