Do Your Toenails Look Terrible?

Toenails can be taken care of – it is very simple – the article below will show you how.

No. 1 Reason Your Toenails Look Terrible

If you’re embarrassed to wear sandals or flip-flops because your toenails look terrible, we may have a simple solution: Trim them more frequently. If you let your toenails grow too long, it can cause discoloration, blisters and other problems, says Loyola University Medical Center podiatrist Dr. Coleen Napolitano.

If a toenail is allowed to grow too long, it can jam the end of the shoe, causing a microtrauma with each step. Thousands of such microtraumas can discolor the toenail.

Repeated microtraumas also can lift the toenail off the nail bed. This can cause a blister to form under the toenail. It also can make the toenail more prone to fungal infections, which can lead to discoloration, thickening, brittleness and even loss of the toenail.

“By following a few simple guidelines, you can keep your toenails healthy while also looking great in sandals,” Napolitano said.

Five tips to keep your toenails in tip-top shape:

1. The toenail should extend no farther than the end of the toe. When cutting your toenails, leave only a sliver of white at the end of the nail. Cut your toenails even shorter if you do high-impact activities, such as running and Zumba classes.

2. If you polish your toenails, use a base coat. Painting your toenails red without a base coat can discolor the toenail.

3. The best time to cut your toenails is after a shower when the nails are softer.

4. After cutting your toenails, use an emery board to file away any sharp edges. File in one direction only–not back and forth.

5. Common toenail clippers may be inexpensive, but they can leave jagged edges or cut too deeply. Nail nippers, which look somewhat like pliers and are available at beauty supply stories, cut with greater precision. But they also cost more!

If you go to a nail salon for a pedicure, do pay attention to this:

• Make sure the salon is clean. As a rule of thumb, if you would not feel comfortable walking around the salon barefoot, go somewhere else.

• Ask how the salon cleans its instruments. The best method is autoclave, which sterilizes with high-pressure steam. Also acceptable is sterilizing equipment in a solution. With either method, equipment must be sterilized after each use.

• If you have open sores, do not use the whirlpool footbath.

• Let the salon know if you are a diabetic or are taking a blood thinner.

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