Friday, 24 October 2014

What You Should Know About Fungal Toenails

Unhygienic conditions often result in several foot conditions, fungal toenails being one of the most common problems.  If the fungus is left untreated for long, this results in a serious toe infection. Mostly due to lack of maintenance and ignorance, the fungal infection spreads thus doing major harm to your feet.

What exactly causes fungal toenail infections? Reasons are many and so are its treatments. Most of the causes are preventable but certain factors enhance the possibility of developing such infections.


Onychomycosis, also called as Tineaunguium, is a common fungal infection that usually affects nails. This kind of infection may harm a part of the nail or an entire portion of it. The list of symptoms for early detection are given as follows:
  • Scale formation under the nail
  • A yellow strip formation on the nail
  • Curving of the corners or tip of the nail
  • White flake like areas appearing on the surface of the nail
  • Yellow spots under the nail
  • The final stage is loss of the nail

Factors that cause fungal toenail infections:

A person is most likely to develop this infection if he is prone to the following factors:

Diabetes: This is the most common symptom. People with diabetes often suffer from sweaty feet as compared to others. Since the feet area remains covered most of the time and not well maintained, the infection attacks this portion more often. Care should be taken to keep the feet clean. A very easy home remedy is to immerse the foot in warm water with rock salt added in it.

Swimming in public pools: This is another common factor that can cause toenail infections. Mostly water at public pools remains unclean thus spreading infection. The fine gap between nails becomes primary target for bacteria to settle. Preventive measures like applying water based lotions and having a hot water bath after the swim can help prevent this condition.

Moist toes: Moist toe areas are the breeding places for fungi. People wearing closed shoes or boots most of the time remain susceptible to fungal infections. This is because bacteria in the feet receive additional boost, when toes remain moist. Changing socks regularly and cleaning shoes can be very good hygienic habits which help prevent foot infections.

Weak immunity: A weak immune system decreases the body's ability to fight diseases thus making it vulnerable to infections. Since the immune system fails to produce necessary antibodies to fight germs and bacteria, this lets the infection escalate.

How to treat fungal toenails:

Home remedies and professional treatments can be sought to cure such infections. An antifungal cream can be applied on the affected area. Another alternate is to apply Vaseline on dry toenails. Antifungal powder rubbed on the feet before wearing shoes or slippers, proves to be effective too. One can soak feet with vinegar and warm water solution.

The wisest approach is to get in touch with an expert podiatrist if your toenail starts showing signs of a fungal infection.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

How aging affects foot health

Taking care of your health is a serious process and should be done in a manner to ensure that you age hale and hearty. Many fail to include foot care within their routine health checkups. This is absolutely wrong! The fact is your feet mirror the aging process. Hence it can have profound consequences as you age. Severe foot disorders can come in the way of an elder’s mobility and independence.

The human body undergoes natural changes with aging, which in turn causes foot inflammation, pain and various other disorders. Careful assessment of an older person’s feet usually reveals gross changes in appearance, alterations in sensitivity and joint motion, which can eventually lead to limited mobility or even dysfunction. Continue reading to know how aging affects foot health and what you can do to take care of your feet from an early age.

Effects and Preventive Measures
  • Skin problems that might affect feet
  • Your skin gradually changes with aging. This results in reduced skin cell growth and collagen production. Many might experience thinness of their foot skin. Dry foot skin can be avoided by applying moisturizers on a daily basis. This is the best remedy for cracked feet or skin rashes.
    Bathing is very important to ensure sound foot health. Particular care should be given to cleaning between toes. Feet should be dried gently and thoroughly especially after returning from the workplace. Frequency of footbaths can be increased, which is definitely more convenient and safer.

  • Disfiguration of toenails
  • Toenails tend to lose its normal shape with age, thereby getting thicker. Some might experience brittleness of toenails too. This is due to hormonal effects that slow down the toenail’s growth over time. Then the toenail might get thick because of hypothyroidism. Poor blood circulation might also cause brittle toenails.

    Pedicure is troublesome for elders who have poor vision or whose dexterity is faulty. One can seek professional help to properly cut toenails across so that in-growths and skin punctures can be prevented.

  • Foot conditions from Orthopedic disorders
  • It’s normally seen that shoe sizes or foot shapes changes with time. As a person starts aging, his body’s ligaments undergo several modifications which put extra stress on the foot. This is the reason why most elders develop joint, ankle and toe pain. The condition becomes severe for those suffering from Arthritis. Specially designed orthopedic shoes with custom insoles can bring relief to joint or foot pain.

  • Reduction in blood circulation
  • Often elders complain of a very common foot problem, that of swelling. Inflammation results from poor blood circulation in the leg’s veins. The problem usually starts with one limb but may spread to the other one, if not cured in time. Elders suffering from cardiovascular conditions or those undergoing specific medications might experience blood circulation problems. Custom molded shoes can be used for the perfect fit. Superficial circulation maybe enhanced with a gentle massage using a good quality skin lotion.

    Feet are particularly vulnerable to age-related changes. Walking is the best exercise for your feet. Inspect your feet every day, or let a foot specialist do this for you. The best way to prevent the effects of aging on your foot is by getting it examined by skilled foot care professionals at least once a year. Physical therapists can play a key role too, in guiding you towards having healthy feet.