Foot Care
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How To Keep Your Toenails Healthy: A Toe Bro Guide

Although distant from the rest of your body, it's important to maintain proper toenail hygiene. Here's some helpful advice on how to keep your toenails healthy.

Published on
December 9, 2022
Women clipping her toenails with toe bro toenail clippers

Your feet take a beating every day and, if you're like most people, you don't put a lot of thought into keeping them healthy. Taking good care of your toenails will keep them looking nice and, most importantly, help you avoid some common but painful conditions, such as ingrown nails and infections. Giving your feet and toenails the attention they deserve will keep them healthy so you aren't slowed down by uncomfortable foot conditions. 

5 Tips for Keeping Your Toenails Healthy

There are some simple ways to practice good foot hygiene and toenail care. Here are five tips for keeping toenails healthy. 

1. When at Rest, Let Them Air Out

Feet spend a lot of time cooped up in socks and shoes. Whenever you have the opportunity, let your feet air out. Go barefoot when you can, or wear open-toed sandals. This helps to prevent the growth of toenail fungus that causes athlete's foot, an itchy condition that can spread to other parts of your body and cause bacterial complications. 

If you have sweaty feet, it's even more important to make sure your feet spend some time free of socks and shoes every day. If your socks become moist throughout the day, try to change them frequently. After your feet have been enclosed in socks and shoes for long periods, clean them well with soap and water and make sure to dry them thoroughly. Keeping your feet clean and dry will go a long way toward keeping your toenails healthy. 

2. Regularly Groom Them

Grooming your toenails does more than keep them looking nice and neat—it's critical for good foot health. Cutting toenails frequently and with good technique helps prevent ingrown toenails and toenail fungus. 

To keep toenails healthy, trim them straight across rather than in a curved shape. Also be careful not to cut them too short, which can damage the nail bed. Using professional nail clippers will help you get a straight cut and prevent potential damage that can occur due to dull clippers. After cutting your nails, smooth out any rough edges using a nail file. 

When washing your feet, use lukewarm water, rather than hot, to keep the skin around your toenails from drying out. If your feet are already dry, avoid using scented soaps as they can irritate the skin further. 

3. Wear Shoes and Socks That Fit Comfortably

Don't underestimate the importance of wearing well-fitting socks and shoes. Ill-fitting shoes can lead to medical conditions such as ingrown toenails, corns, lesser toe deformities, blisters, and neuropathy. 

Wear moisture-wicking socks when possible to keep your feet dry. Shoes should be roomy with plenty of space in the toe box so that your toes don't feel cramped. Having your feet measured at a specialty footwear store will ensure you get the best fit. 

4. Use Antifungal Medication

Fungal infections of the feet and toenails are very contagious and sometimes unavoidable despite your best efforts. They may affect the toenails themselves or the surrounding skin. Symptoms of fungal infections include itching and burning, a scaly rash, and toenail discoloration. If left untreated, they can lead to serious complications such as foot ulcers, so you should always treat a fungal infection as soon as you notice symptoms. A dermatologist or podiatrist can give you a definitive diagnosis and help you determine the best treatment regimen. 

Oral antifungal medications work quickly but could be contraindicated if you have any underlying conditions or are on other medications. Topical antifungal medications take longer to work but have few side effects and can be safely used by most people. Once you have had a fungal foot infection, you may find that it recurs even after successful treatment. Applying a topical antifungal medication to your feet on a regular basis can prevent recurring infections. 

5. Moisturize Your Feet

Moisturizing your feet daily feels luxurious, keeps your feet looking great, and ensures you'll have healthy toenails by keeping the skin around them well-hydrated. Use lotion on the skin around your toes to keep it soft and free from cracks. Avoid applying lotion to the space between your toes as this can lead to fungal growth. For very dry feet, try using a moisturizer designed especially for feet.

For optimal hydration, apply lotion or cream to dry, clean feet. Massage the moisturizer into your skin and then wrap your feet with plastic wrap and cover them with socks. This gives the moisturizer time to work its way into your skin and will leave your feet soft and your toenails healthy. 

When to Visit Your Local Podiatrist

Inspect your feet frequently to identify toenail problems before they cause complications or become major medical issues. Signs that its time to pay a visit to a podiatrist include:

  • Recurring fungal infections: If you have a fungal infection that doesn't completely go away with over-the-counter topical antifungal medication or if it comes back frequently, you may need a prescription-strength treatment.
  • An ingrown toenail: Never attempt to remove an ingrown nail yourself, as it may lead to infection or damage to the skin around your toenail.
  • Tingling or numbness in your feet: There are many possible causes of foot neuropathy and some may be serious. Left untreated, tingling and numbness could become irreversible. 
  • Extremely dry or cracked skin: If left untreated, dry and cracked feet can lead to serious problems such as psoriasis or difficulty walking. 
  • A diabetes diagnosis: If you have diabetes, you should see a podiatrist regularly as minor foot issues, such as cuts and cracks in the skin around your toes, can quickly turn into serious medical problems. 

Use Quality Products to Maintain Excellent Nail Health

If you want to know how to have healthy toenails, you need to look not only at your footcare routine but also at the products you use on your feet. To keep your toenails healthy, shop the collection of high-quality specialty products at Professionally formulated foot moisturizers and nail tinctures will keep your toenails strong and the skin around them well-hydrated to prevent unsightly cracks and painful infections.

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Related blog post

7 Foot Care Tips for Better Foot Health

Your feet work hard. They take several thousand steps a day to get you from point A to point B — all while bearing the weight of your body. You stand on them a long time and put them into shoes that may not be the best fit. Unfortunately, these conditions can eventually cause a range of foot problems. So how can you take care of your feet and avoid chronic foot issues? This article will cover seven excellent foot care tips to keep your feet healthy.

Foot Care Tips To Keep Your Feet Healthy

It's important to know how to take care of your feet to keep them healthy for years to come. You can implement these seven tips to build a good foot care routine and avoid foot issues.

1. Avoid Wearing Tight Shoes

Shoe fit is very important to your foot health. 

Tight shoes restrict your blood flow, causing poor circulation that damages your feet in the long run. They may also cause foot pain that could become chronic. 

Over time, you may notice calluses, blisters, ingrown toenails, and corns on your feet. They may even deform your feet with conditions like hammertoes and bunions.

2. Wear Shoes With Arch Support

Once you've got comfortable shoes that fit, you need to make sure your arch is adequately supported. Your arch does it all — it supports your body weight, propels you forward when you move, and absorbs shock anytime your foot hits the ground. Over time, your arch can become strained or weakened from the stress.

Arch supports keep your arch in good condition because they:

  • Distribute pressure evenly
  • Support the lower body
  • Help with alignment
  • Prevent arch trauma
  • Provide balance and stability
  • Prevent and lessen foot pain

So really, everyone can benefit from arch supports. Look for shoe brands that are known for providing good arch support. You may benefit from a custom shoe insert if you have shoes that fit well but don't provide enough arch support.

Also, try to avoid wearing flats and flip-flops every day. Although they are comfortable, they don't support your arch enough and may lead to a foot injury down the line.

3. Keep Your Feet Clean and Mostly Dry

Feet often sweat throughout the day, providing a perfect breeding ground for harmful fungi. So pay special attention to your feet when you shower or bathe. Good foot hygiene goes a long way toward eliminating foot odor. 

Be careful! You don't want to soak your feet in hot water or leave them in the water for too long. This may cause dry skin, which leads to skin irritation and flaking. 

After you clean your feet thoroughly, be sure to dry them. Don't be shy — get in between your toes to prevent fungal infections like athlete's foot.

4. Inspect Regularly for Foot Ailments

Practicing a good foot care routine allows you to catch any potential issues before they arise. Inspect your feet for any changes daily, and look out for any sores, cuts, swelling, or infected toenails.

Use antiseptic and healing creams if you notice any cuts, and go to the podiatrist immediately if you have unexpected swelling or infected toenails. 

After all, prevention is always the best cure.

5. Use Nail Clippers Correctly

We may tend to use nail clippers to clip and shape our toenails. But this can cause damage to the tender skin of your nail bed. 

It's important to use nail clippers correctly. Make sure they're stainless steel, so the blades stay sharp for longer. A dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one. 

Use the nail clippers only to trim the toenail straight across. You then want to use a nail file or emery board to gently smooth and round the corners. 

You can also use the nail file or emery board to push your cuticles back. However, you want to avoid cutting them, so they don't split or bleed.

6. Use Moisturizing Cream at Night

Chronic dry skin can cause skin irritation and flakiness. To avoid this, use moisturizing cream every night right after you dry your feet off. 

You can use creams, lotions, or even petroleum jelly. These are all nourishing emollients that sink into the skin and create a barrier to protect it. Your feet will be noticeably softer and well-hydrated. 

You can even give your feet a gentle massage as you apply your moisturizer, which can help stretch the tendons and contribute to your foot's muscular health. 

Afterward, you can put on socks or wrap your feet in plastic wrap for at least an hour for better lotion absorption, especially if you have dry skin.

But don't put any moisturizer between your toes to prevent a fungal or bacterial infection. Remember, you want to keep that area dry.

7. Don't Perform DIY Surgery on Ingrown Nails

We all know that ingrown toenails are annoying and even downright painful, and it's tempting to do a little DIY surgery to get rid of them. However, this is dangerous. 

Many people dig out ingrown nails with nail clippers or use floss to "splint" the toenail. These home remedies create a wide opening for harmful bacteria to get into the skin and develop into a nasty infection.

Go see your podiatrist instead. They are experts in all things feet and will safely get rid of your ingrown toenail in sanitary conditions. They can also prevent ingrown nails from regrowing and causing issues in the future.

Schedule Periodic Foot Exams and Invest in Advanced Foot Products

It's important to practice proper foot care. This includes wearing comfortable shoes, practicing good foot hygiene, and using the proper tools and creams.

You also want to visit your podiatrist for periodic foot exams to prevent the development of foot problems. They can also improve your foot health by performing procedures like ingrown toenail removal. These steps will ensure that your feet stay healthy and happy for many years.

Make sure you use products made for your feet. Here at The Toe Bro, we know how important it is for you to take care of your feet. That's why we provide high-quality advanced foot products to tackle and prevent a host of foot problems afflicting people today. Feel free to visit our website and add products to your routine today. You won't regret investing in your foot health.

The Role of Athletic Footwear in Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle

Are you striving to live an active, healthy lifestyle? Whether boxing, running, working out at the gym, or professionally competing, wearing proper athletic footwear is crucial to an active lifestyle. 

Athletic shoes help improve foot health and overall physical wellness, which is why consumers in the United States spent over $14 million on athletic footwear in 2022.

The Relationship Between Athletic Footwear and a Healthy Lifestyle

The average active person walks about 8,000 to 10,000 steps a day — that's a lot of wear and tear on the feet! So wearing shoes that are durable and comfortable enough for extended use is imperative. 

Athletic footwear supports a healthy lifestyle in many ways, including:

  • Promoting improved athletic performance
  • Protecting the feet from external damage
  • Preventing foot conditions such as ingrown toenails and bunions
  • Supporting a range of motions like jumping, pivoting, and running
  • Helping the feet stay healthy
  • Keeping the bones, tissue, and joints of the feet comfortable

Low-Cost Shoes vs. High-Cost Shoes: Does It Matter?

In many cases, a higher price tag correlates to higher quality. But this is not necessarily true for running shoes.

In fact, an article from the New York Times showed that low and mid-cost shoes cushion runners' feet just as well as more expensive shoes. In some cases, they even performed better!

The price tag isn't what's important — the athletic footwear's design and performance are. So pay attention to the footwear condition and compare features such as:

  • Traction
  • Sole support
  • Flexibility
  • Cushioning stiffness

Whether you choose American-made footwear, gender-neutral footwear, or specialized footwear with a high price tag, paying attention to these features will help you choose the best product type for you.

How Running Shoes Aid in Injury Prevention

High levels of physical activity are very demanding on the feet, especially if you regularly participate in high-impact sports. Running is one of the most popular high-impact sports, but about 50% of runners suffer an injury each year that keeps them from running for some time. 

So how can proper running shoes help prevent these injuries?

Transfer Impact Force

Running shoes move the actual impact force of footstrikes away from the Achilles, feet, and ankles and distribute it up to your knees and hips. This redirects forces to stronger muscles, preventing overuse injuries.

Prevent Bony Injury

Wearing running shoes can prevent the risk of a bony injury like a strain, fracture, and even a broken bone, especially when you run on uneven surfaces.

Types of Footwear for Active Living

Knowing your foot arch type is essential to choosing the correct shoes. You can then learn how to compare athletic footwear brands to see which is the best for you.

One of the easiest ways to determine what type of foot arch you have is to do the home water test in three simple steps:

  1. Pour water into a shallow dish or pan
  1. Place your foot in the pan and wet your foot soles
  1. Step onto a piece of paper

Little to no arch marking on the paper means you have a high arch. If the arch is mostly filled in, you have a low arch. You have a normal arch if you see about half of it on the paper.

Abnormal arches need a specific type of shoe to address and correct the problems they can cause for your feet and gait.

Shoes for High-Arched Runners

A high arch, also known as cavus foot, is a genetic or medically-induced condition that causes your foot arch to be higher than average, leaving a significant amount of space between your arch and the floor when the foot is bearing weight.

A high arch increases the impact on your heel and the ball of your foot when you stand or walk, which can negatively affect your balance and posture. 

You may also deal with painful symptoms such as:

  • Foot pain
  • Ankle sprains
  • Lateral knee pain
  • Overpronation
  • Supination (when the feet twist outward)
  • Hip and back pain
  • Increased tendency for hammertoes and foot corns

Shoes for high-arched runners should have a supportive midsole with a rigid surface. You may also look for soft insoles that will reach the top of your arch and mold to your foot shape.

High-top athletic shoes that support proper ankle motion prevent twisting, and a slight heel lift takes the pressure off your Achilles tendon.

Shoes for Low-Arched Runners

Pronation, the inward leaning motion of the ankle bones and foot toward the arch, is common among runners with flat feet. The flatter your foot arch is, the more your feet will pronate. Overpronation increases your risk of a foot injury and causes many symptoms, such as:

  • Knee pain
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Medial ankle pain
  • Tendinitis of the posterior tibia
  • Low back pain
  • Shin splints

So it's important that flat-arched runners wear supportive footwear. Anti-pronation shoes are perfect for low-arched runners since they keep them from rolling their feet inward onto their arch.

You can look for a shoe that has a cushioned, flexible, and firm insole that will support your foot surface. The shoe should provide support while you stand or walk but be flexible enough to move with your foot.

You can also look for shoes with raised arch support in the middle of the sole. The extra support removes pressure from the center of your foot, helping it align and correcting your gait.

Shoes with a slightly raised or enclosed heel are also great for low-arched runners because they keep your heel in contact with the sole of the shoe and take pressure off your midsole.

Whether you have a low or high arch, you can get custom orthotic inserts from your foot doctor if you can't find the right running shoes at an athletic footwear store.

Pair the Right Athletic Shoes With the Right Socks

Wearing the right athletic shoes according to your sport, activity level, and foot shape can prevent injury and improve your physical fitness. For the best results, you should pair your shoes with appropriate socks, like the official sock of The Toe Bro, that are comfortable, breathable, and help wick away sweat.

Are you an active person with issues or pain with your foot? Be sure to consult your podiatrist with any concerns and see how The Toe Bro can help you maintain good foot health.

5 Tips To Manage Excessive Foot Sweat and Odors

Perspiration (sweating) is a normal bodily function that cools you down and maintains your temperature. In hot weather, your body temperature rises, which signals your nervous system to activate your sweat glands. 

It's common to have sweaty feet when you exercise or perform physical activities, are in a hot environment, or feel anxious or stressed. However, some people may have excessive foot sweat or plantar hyperhidrosis. This is when the sweat glands on their feet produce too much sweat. It affects 5% of people worldwide, is more common in men than women, and occurs more frequently in young adults and pregnant women due to hormonal changes. 

Excessive foot sweat can make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed, but it may also indicate underlying health conditions. Left untreated, it can cause microbial growth leading to foot odor or fungal infections like toenail fungus and athlete's foot.

Here's what to do about sweaty feet and how to keep your feet dry and healthy.

Excessive Foot Sweat: How Much Is Too Much?

The amount of sweat your body produces depends on the number and activity of your sweat glands. The nervous system and hormones regulate the sweat glands, so the glands function differently in men and women — men tend to sweat more than women. If all your sweat glands are active, your normal sweating rate can be more than 3 liters per hour and up to 10 liters daily. 

The soles of your feet have more sweat glands than any other body part. Each foot has over 125,000 coiled, tubular eccrine sweat glands. They release salt and water to stabilize your body temperature and produce half a pint or approximately 0.3 liters of sweat daily. If you have excessive foot sweating, the eccrine glands produce extreme amounts of sweat. 

Excessive foot sweat can occur due to the following causes:

  • External heat and increased body temperature 
  • Strenuous physical activity, especially in a warm environment
  • Standing on your feet all day
  • Stress and anxiety
  • Wearing tight shoes or socks made with material that prevents sweat evaporation 
  • Poor hygiene, which includes not washing your feet or changing socks regularly
  • Sympathetic nerve damage
  • Hormonal changes during puberty, menopause, and pregnancy
  • Certain medications like antidepressants
  • Medical conditions such as obesity, diabetes, heart problems, thyroid problems, and cancer

5 Tips To Mitigate Excess Sweating

Here's how to stop sweaty feet:

1. Wear Breathable Shoes and Socks

Tight shoes tend to crowd your toes and increase sweating. For better foot care, wear shoes in the correct size. Also, check if they are made with breathable fabrics like canvas, which allow sweat to evaporate. Avoid patent leather or plastic shoes as they restrict airflow and trap sweat inside. Deodorizing insoles can also help absorb sweat and prevent foot odor.

Wear suitable socks based on your daily activities and the season. Cotton socks are ideal for warm weather as they allow proper ventilation, and woolen socks are better for winter. Avoid using synthetic materials like nylon as it makes sweating worse and may cause foot odor or infection.

Some sports stores offer moisture-wicking or quick-drying socks that move sweat away from your skin and prevent foot odor. Socks also come with a ventilation mesh to make them more breathable. Some have antibacterial chemicals that minimize microbial growth and foot odor. The official sock of The The Bro offers all these features and more — including a breathable mesh, flexible lycra cuffs, a Y-heel for the perfect fit, antibacterial and anti-odor ionic silver yarn, arch support, reinforced toe seams, and a cushioned sole for full comfort.

2. Pack an Extra Pair of Socks

If you are going out, carry a spare fresh pair of socks. Keep spare socks at your workplace or in your car so you can change your socks if your feet get sweaty or smelly. 

3. Use Antiperspirant for Feet

Antiperspirant foot products are a convenient remedy for sweaty feet. They are available as creams, powders, roll-ons, and sprays. They contain chemicals that temporarily reduce the nerve signals that activate your sweat glands, preventing sweat production.

Dry your feet and apply the antiperspirant before bed. Your feet absorb it overnight, and you can wash it off in the morning. Repeat the process for three to four nights, and then use it once or twice a week. You can also use foot deodorants to prevent bacterial growth and foot odor.

Strong antiperspirants may contain aluminum and other potentially harmful compounds that can cause skin irritation, allergies, or toxicity in large quantities. Check with your podiatrist before applying them. 

4. Try Antifungal Foot Powders

Excessive foot sweat can lead to fungal infections like athlete's foot. Antifungal powders can help keep your feet dry and free from fungal growth and odor. 

Shake the antifungal foot powder before use. Sprinkle it on your feet and cover all the areas prone to fungal growth, including the space between your toes. You can also sprinkle it in your shoes and socks. Use it once or twice daily. If you have an infection, consult your foot doctor. Avoid using the powder as the only treatment for a fungal infection.

5. Take Time To Wash Your Feet Everyday

If you have sweaty or smelly feet, wash them with antifungal or antibacterial soap once or twice daily. It helps remove sweat and microbes that can cause odor and cools your skin to decrease sweating further. You can also soak your feet in water with added antimicrobial essential oils, such as eucalyptus or tea tree oil. Don't forget to dry your feet thoroughly after washing, particularly between your toes. 

When To Seek a Professional

Excessive foot sweat can be a sign of a serious medical condition. If you find that your feet are sweating a lot, it's time to get them checked by a podiatrist. Seek medical care if you experience the following symptoms along with heavy sweating:

  • Chest pain, nausea, or lightheadedness
  • Disruption of daily activities
  • Emotional discomfort, embarrassment, or social withdrawal
  • Night sweats
  • Bacterial or fungal infection

A podiatrist can provide treatment options for some underlying conditions (such as fungal infections) and help you control and prevent excessive foot sweat. 

Control Symptoms With Better Hygiene and Foot Products

Better foot hygiene and comfortable, high-quality foot products can help you prevent excessive foot sweat and further complications.

The Toe Bro is here with the ideal pair of socks to keep your feet dry and protected, with nonrestrictive fabric, cushioned soles, and anti-odor and antimicrobial protection that allows your feet to breathe. Try out the official sock of The Toe Brotoday for sweat and odor-free healthy feet.