Nail and Foot Care

Put your best foot forward.

Toenails are a complex part of the body. Healthy toenails are pink, thin, free of markings and grooves. However, people of all ages can suffer a range of common problems, affecting their toenails, some of which may take up to 12 months to fully regrow if they become traumatised.

Toenail structure:

  1. Nail plate – the hard part of the nail itself.
  2. Nail Matrix – the area from which the nail grows.
  3. Lunula – the white, moon-shaped area at the base of the nail.
  4. Nail Bed – the tissue on which the nail plate lies.
  5. Nail Sulcus/Nail Groove – the groove down the side of the nail.

General foot care and nail care requirements:

When to see a podiatrist:

If you have diabetes, it is best to have a podiatrist cut your nails.

Many elderly people experience deterioration in strength, flexibility or eye sight and may find it difficult to attend to their own nail and foot care. They should seek podiatry care and advice regarding safe self care.

Should you detect any of the following changes on and around your toenail you should consult your podiatrist:

  • Changes in colour or shape of the nail.
  • The nail starting to dig into the sides or becoming an ingrown toenail.
  • Signs of infection on the nail plate or around the surrounding skin of the nail.
  • Development of a freckle or pigmentation under the nail.
  • Pain on or around the nail.

What to do inbetween your podiatry visits:

If your nails get sharp or jagged between visits, lightly file the rough parts with a file or emery board using downward strokes. Similarly a foot file can be used to keep hard skin down.

Wear properly fitting shoes, and socks that are not too restrictive to help prevent ingrown toenails.

General foot care can include:

Well Heeled Podiatry will always check the condition of your toenails and inform you of any concerns. Should you be worried about the appearance of one of your toenails be sure to mention it to us at your next visit.

WARNING: This information should be used as a guide only and does not replace professional podiatry advice. The content is provided by Well Heeled Podiatry for educational purposes only and does not in any way replace the need for a face to face consultation with a podiatrist in order to accurately diagnose and treat the condition. Treatment and outcomes will vary between patients depending on the nature of the presenting complaint and subsequent diagnosis of condition.
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