We often neglect the crucial parts of our body – our feet and toenails – without even realizing that this habit can cause serious problems, such as dark toenails, discoloration, ingrown nail, and bacterial and fungal infections. We don’t add them to our daily body and beauty routine. No matter if you are a man or a woman, it is equally important for both of them to take extra care of their toenails. Strong and healthy toenails are a sign of good health and well-being.
Since the weather is changing and changing weather changes our footwear choices. People are switching from closed-toed to open-toed shoes and sandals. And most of them have a concern – which is how to get shiny and healthy-looking toenails. We are here with a few tips that can help you to get and maintain healthy and strong toenails.
Before going on the tips for your toenails, it is important to make sure that the environment they are in is healthy. Take care of your feet; pamper them and make a proper night routine for them.
1. Cleanse Daily
Make this your daily habit of washing your feet and toenails at night. Use soap and warm water as it removes dirt and prevents bacterial and fungal infections. In addition to that, it stimulates the blood circulation, which is good for the growth of your toenails and overall feet health. You can also add salt and essential oils in the warm water. If you have a busy routine, then soak your feet in warm water at least once a week. After bathing your feet, dry them with a clean towel.
2. Keep Your Feet Dry and Clean
After washing your feet, make your habit of drying them with a clean and dry towel. It is important because the moist condition can favor the growth of fungi and can result in fungal infection. You can also use tea tree oil to prevent or treat toenail fungus.
3. Apply Moisturizer
Never forget to apply moisturizer or foot creams on your feet. It makes the feet and skin around your toenails soft and healthy. Avoid applying so much moisturizer between your toes as it causes fungus to grow. Therefore, apply the right amount of moisturizer. You can also apply oils for your toenails to eliminate dryness and give them extra shine.
Applying oregano oil is also an excellent option for treating toenail fungus.
4. Trimming Toenails
Trim your toenails once a month. Cut them with toenail cutter or scissors. Never cut them in a circular (curvy) shape – always cut in a horizontal line as it avoids ingrown toenails. Don’t cut your nails too short as it can cause pain and infection. The good time to cut your nails is after a shower.
Furthermore, it is always recommended by experts not to cut your cuticles – instead, push them towards your nail line to make them appear even. You can also use cuticle oils before doing this process as it makes things smoother and easier. Use a nail file to smoothen the hard edges of your toenails to give them proper shape.
5. Sunlight Treatment
If your toenails have become thicker, painful, and changed their color, it may be because of fungi that live deep under your toenails. So let your feet get some daylight. Sunlight is lethal for many microorganisms, including numerous fungal forms. UVB rays (Ultraviolet B-rays) is a germicidal agent which is effective in getting rid of toenail fungus. And yes, don’t forget to apply sunscreen on your feet as direct sun exposure can cause sun-tan and discoloration.
6. Reduce the Usage of Nail Polish
Constant and long usage of cosmetic products on your toenails can cause discoloration, making them appear rough and dull with yellow spots. It also stops the healing process of your toenails. Therefore, try not to leave nail polishes for a long period of time on your nails and lessen its usage. If you really want to apply nail polishes, use the ones that are made only for toenails. They are less harmful on your toenails compared to the ordinary ones.
7. Choose Comfortable Shoes and Socks
Always opt for comfortable shoes and socks. Choose your footwear according to the season. Avoid wearing close-toed shoes in summer as it will result in sweating and odor, which can lead to infection and many other serious problems. So, go for sandals and summer wears. In winter, choose the shoes that keep your feet warm and soft and protect them from getting dry.
Avoid wearing the same shoes for several days and use breathable shoes. Change your socks daily and use socks made of natural and breathable material like bamboo or merino wool. Don’t use cotton socks. Moreover, always go for comfortable footwear to avoid compressing your toe.
8. Maintain Good Diet
Since the nails of your finger and toes are made up of a protein, called keratin, so by adding a diet filled with protein and vitamins will promote the growth of your nails and make them strong, shiny, and healthy. Add more fruits, nuts, and vegetable in your diet and maintain a healthy diet.
9. Foot Massages
Give your feet a good massage at least once after every two weeks. You can appoint someone or do it yourself. Doing this won’t just relax your feet muscles, but will also release stress and tension from your body. Massages regulate the blood flow in the area, making your nails get a good supply of blood. This nourishes and gives the healthy pink color to your nails.
11. Natural Pedicures
Always go for pedicures that do not use the nail polishes containing ingredients that are harmful to your toenails like toluene, dibutyl phthalate, and formaldehyde. This type of nail polishes results in yellow coloration. And nail polish removers contain acetone that dries out your toenails. Regular pedicure technicians, most of the times, cut cuticles and skin around your toenails, leaving them prone to infections and inflammation. So always go for all-natural pedicures and organic nail polishes.
12. Scrub and Soak Your Feet
Give your feet weekly self-done pedicure at home. Use good and gentle scrubs to exfoliate the dead cells and all the unseen dirt off your feet. Also, soak your feet in Luke warm water for 10 to 15 minutes to make the muscles relax. It is not only good for your feet but also for your toenails as it keeps them neat and clean. If you wear socks and closed-toed shoes a lot, then this should be in your weekly routine to avoid foul odor and sweaty feet. Sprinkle some powder before wearing shoes to prevent excessive sweating.
Taking good care of your toenails is as important as taking care of your skin and other body parts. Make a proper routine and follow it without skipping. Following a proper routine can reduce the chances of getting any infection or serious problem.
Do proper self-examinations of your toenails and feet regularly. In case of any serious sign, issue, or any kind of disturbance, contact your doctor or a good podiatrist. Design your feet, and toenails care routine according to the weather; keep your feet moisturized in winter. Avoid the usage of cosmetics product as much as possible and use natural and toxic chemical-free products on your feet and toenails.