When it comes down to it, we often forget about our toenails. Day in and day out, our toenails our subjected to our poor shoe choices and hygiene practices. Toenails can get torn, squished, stubbed, ingrown, infected with bacteria or fungus… the list goes on! Because our toenails don’t often get the recognition they deserve, we’re taking a moment to appreciate them for what they do, as well as how we can take better care of them.

Our toenails might seem useless, but on an evolutionary level, our toenails are meant to serve the same purpose as a tiger’s claws. While ours look vastly different and aren’t as functional, they still serve a purpose! Thankfully, our hunting and gathering days are long over, but toenails can still help protect the tiny and fragile bones inside our toes. They’re comprised of a protein called alpha-keratin. This is the same protein that is found in other animal’s claws, hooves, and horns. Besides protecting the tiny bones inside of our toes, toenails also serve as a defense mechanism against infection by forming a layer of cuticles that grow from our skin onto the top of our nail bed. Considering this, it’s important to take better care of them and help maintain the overall health of our feet.

Here are 3 tips to help take better care of your toenails:

  • Cut back on cutting your cuticles: this is essentially cutting that protective layer away and exposing your skin to infection-causing bacteria.
  • Reassess your footwear: unsupportive and tight-fitting footwear can lead to ingrown toenails that can easily become infected.
  • Clip toenails with caution: similar to tight footwear, clipping your toenails incorrectly or back too far can lead to painful infections.

Adhering to these three tips can help you be on your way to a better relationship with your toenails! For any questions about your foot and ankle health, be sure to contact Atlantic Foot & Ankle Specialists, PC in Chatham County to schedule an appointment with Dr. Todd Newsom or Dr. Melissa Robitaille. Call us today at 912-988-3323 to come see us in Pooler, Georgia.

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