Summer doesn’t usually peak until late July and August, but it’s already more than hot enough for many Austin residents to switch to sandals pretty much full time.
With your toes open to the world, you’ll want to make sure you’re taking care of your nails. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of misinformation about there about how best to treat problems such as ingrown toenails and fungal nails. While we’re on the subject, let’s bust some of these common myths.
Myth 1: Aggressive trimming will prevent or cure ingrown toenails. Actually, the opposite is true—cutting too close to the skin increases the odds that the nail will grow out incorrectly. Keep your toenails just a bit longer, and cut straight across—don’t round the edges.
Myth 2: Ingrown nails can be cured by cutting a V-shaped notch at the end. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true. Nails grow out from the nail bed at the base of the toenail; cutting a notch will not pull the side edges inward as the nail grows.
Myth 3: Only people with poor hygiene get fungal toenails. False! Infections like these are a source of embarrassment for many, perhaps in part because they believe this myth. But the truth is that even those who are very hygienic and take good care of their feet are susceptible. Fungi are highly contagious in the right settings. A barefoot walk through the locker room, combined with a small, undetectable break between the nail and nail bed, might be all it takes for the fungi to set up shop. That’s why it’s so important to always wear shower shoes or flip flops when using public facilities.
Myth 4: Topical antifungals or natural remedies like tea tree oil are effective against fungal nails. Unfortunately, this just isn’t true either. The fungi live under the nail, and topical treatments just can’t penetrate all the way through. To deal with a bad case of fungus, you’ll need more powerful oral antifungal medications from our office.
When it comes to toenail care, don’t believe the myths—trust the experts at North Austin Foot & Ankle Institute. If an ingrown toenail, fungal infection, or other foot, skin, or nail problem is affecting your life, call 512-593-2949 today to schedule an appointment with Keith McSpadden, DPM.