When it comes to taking care of feet, a lot of people neglect the toenails, and although this is a topic of conversation that you would probably rather not have, it is time to start taking notice. It is not just a matter of throwing some nail polish on them and trimming them from time to time, oh no, there is much more to think about than just that. You wouldn’t let the nails on your hands get into disrepair, so don’t let it happen to those that are on your feet.
As you age, your nails, both on your hands and your feet, tend to get thicker. This is not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you want beautiful nails, as these thicker ones will often mean that they are stronger also. However, it can have negative side effects, especially if the thickening has been caused by friction from wearing shoes that are much too small – something that can cause premature thickening of the nails and leave them looking ugly and unkempt. You should also know that poor nails, regardless of whether they are getting thicker or thinner, can also be caused by bad diet and poor nutrition, so it is wise to take a look at your daily vitamins to see if they are working for or against you with regards to this matter.
It is very easy to cover up ugly nails with a coat of polish, but in reality, it doesn’t get to the root of the problem, and you will find that ugly nails will still look ugly even with this added coat of color. Nails that are discolored, distorted or incredibly thick could be a sign of a much more serious matter – malnutrition, (as we have already mentioned) as well as fungal infections, or poor hygiene and not taking care of them properly. Nails that are sinking into the skin or growing sideways could be an indication of an ingrown toenail – something that is very painful when left to its own devices, and something that you should most definitely get checked out as soon as possible!
So, how do you know if you have a fungal infection on your toenails? The good news is that you will normally be able to tell fairly easily – there will usually be a crumbly texture to the nails, it will change color, usually either getting darker or yellowing, and the nail itself could look incredibly thin. Of course, one thing that you should bear in mind that certain nail colors that you may use on your nails will stain the nails yellow, but usually a quick treatment with lemon juice, (a natural bleaching agent) and some time away from the nail polish will usually help with this. You may also find that getting yourself a professional pedicure can help you to get out of the color rut that you have found yourself in – these pedicurists will be able to tell you about the colors that are likely to stain, as well as the colors that may hide certain imperfections to allow you to wear open-toe shoes with pride.
If you have constant yellowing of the nails, it is well worth seeing a specialist, and these go by the name of a podiatrist. They will be able to file down the top discolored/ugly levels of the nail, and may even suggest that you should use a bleaching or whitening agent in order to get them back to their normal coloration. There are some kits that you can use at home to return the nail bed back to a normal shade, usually containing hydrogen peroxide, but you will need to be careful when you buy these as some of them can be rather strong and will do more harm than good. If in any doubt – consult a professional!
Proper nail grooming is essential to beautiful feet. Ideally, you will want your toe nails to reach just the edge of your toe – any longer and you will find that they are knocked and battered when you wear shoes, and any shorter and you will be running the risk of sore nails and infection. Remember to cut your cuticles down when you need to, and never pick at your toe nails – this can spread infection and lots of other nasty bugs that will leave you wishing your hadn’t!
in Face & Body