A pretty set of toenails can really spruce up your appearance, especially in the summer months when your feet are visible. However, toenails are quite sensitive to bacterial and fungal infections, which turns the toenail yellow, black or otherwise discoloured. |
If you notice white spots appearing on your toenails, this could be the onset of infection. If you think you are getting an infection, or if you already have one, you should consult a medical professional right away. Most of the causes of discoloured toenails can be easily remedied with antibiotics or other medications available by prescription.
Treating an infected toenail early on will make it easier to manage and prevent long term effects or permanent nail damage from occurring. While you're waiting for the infection to heal, there are steps you can take to properly care for the nail, ensuring it will be restored to its former pleasant appearance.
Keep your toenails clean and cut at all times. That means don't let them grow up past the edge of the toe itself. Wear breathable socks that will prevent the foot from sweating and making the infection worse. Avoid high risk areas for bacteria such as swimming pools or public saunas.
Some non-prescription natural cures for treating discoloured or infected toenails can be applied at home without a doctor. Soaking the toes twice a day in plain, lukewarm water will keep them clean. Follow the cleansing with tea tree oil, a known remedy for fungal infections. You may wish to apply it to the uninfected nails as well for preventative purposes.
Other ingredients for toenail soaks include vinegar soaks. Apple cider vinegar or white vinegar are both useful in fighting infections and cleaning out the affected area. Again, it's best just to soak the whole foot so all the nails are treated. Soak your feet for thirty minutes at a time, at least two times each day.
After any soak, make sure you rinse and thoroughly dry your feet, toes and toenails. Water is a breeding ground for bacteria, so improper drying could make your discoloured toenails even worse.
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