Whether you love your feet, or if you look at them and wish you had another set, they do a lot of work for you! From the moment you are born to the end of your days, your feet will walk hundreds of thousands of kilometres. So, in between all these kilometres, looking after them, giving them some TLC and making sure they look their best will prove to be an excellent investment of your time.
Your feet will feel good, and you’ll be happier that you gave yourself this time for self-care. Well maintained toenails keep your feet healthy, and in our practise, we believe good mental and physical health starts from the ground up!
1. Cutting your toenails
This is the most common question we get about toenails. Our advice is to cut your toenails straight across, but not to the point where they dig in at the sides of your nailbed. Then use an emery board to file them smooth. The best time to cut your toenails is after a shower or bath when they are soft. Use nail clippers and cut in small sections across the nail rather than trying to cut the nail in one go.
2. Keeping your cuticles in good health
To maintain healthy cuticles, use a cuticle stick or an orange stick to gently push them up and out of the way of the nailbed. Don’t cut your cuticles as they can bleed and become infected. Their purpose is to protect new nail growth from bugs and bacteria, so we need them!
3. Let them breathe fresh air
Expose your feet to fresh air wherever possible to keep them dry and prevent fungus from growing in small unseen places. Take your shoes off when you’re at home and walk barefoot when you can.
4. Expose to sunshine
UV rays have germicidal properties, which means they kill bugs. Therefore, where possible, expose your feet to sunshine.
5. Using nail polish
Your nails are always growing and need airflow to “breathe” and remain healthy. The colour and chemicals in nail polish cause slight discolouration and your nails may end up looking a little yellow. These will recover if you give them fresh air and sunshine for a few days. Make sure to take off all old nail polish before you add a new colour, as this will just increase yellowing of the nails. If you like your pedicures in summer, take the nail polish off for a few days before your next pedicure to give your toenails breathing space.
6. Socks and shoes
Wear socks that are naturally moisture wicking, which means they draw moisture away from the skin. This will discourage fungus from growing. The best fibres are wool and bamboo. Cotton socks, even though they are comfortable, can retain moisture and promote fungus growth.
Wearing proper fitting shoes will maintain good nail health too. Shoes that restrict your toenails will cause friction and rubbing, leading to ingrown toenails, encouraging fungus, and causing nailbed damage in more extreme cases.
Pop into a Sanders Podiatry Clinic to check your toenail health
Our family-friendly podiatrists are located in Linden Park, Stirling and Mount Barker. We suggest a visit to a podiatrist twice a year to check your feet and make sure they are in good form and health. We’ll give you advice on how to manage problems at home and how to look after your feet to prevent recurring issues.
The best way to make an appointment is to call us on one of the numbers below: