The fungus that causes toenail infections completely penetrates the bed of the nail, making it very difficult to eradicate once it has become established. Since fungal nails can become very brittle, they can break into sharp edges that can cut your feet and toes allowing bacteria to enter and an infection to start. Since patients with diabetes frequently have limited feeling in their extremities, these injuries can go unnoticed and even small cuts or scrapes can become dangerously infected ulcers.
Nail Care to Help Prevent Toenail Fungus
For those with diabetes, daily foot and nail care should be part of your routine. Here are some of the steps to include in your daily regimen:
- Foot and nail check—Look for cuts and scrapes, bruising, or unusual skin conditions or coloration. Use a mirror to inspect the bottom of your feet. Your toenails should be pink with a smooth surface.
- Wash and dry—Your feet need to be kept clean and dry, particularly between the toes where fungi can proliferate.
- Foot protection—Always wear shoes and socks that are comfortable and properly fitted. When using public facilities such as gyms, locker rooms and pools, wear sandals or shower shoes to help avoid coming into contact with fungi and other pathogens.
- Trimming—When cutting your nails, always trim straight across to avoid ingrown toenails and sterilize your tools with alcohol each time you use them to prevent the fungi from spreading.
When inspecting your feet, if you notice any changes to your nails or skin, it is important to bring it to the attention of your foot specialist to avoid further complications.
The podiatrists at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, in New York City, NY, are experts in providing the best care for any problems you may be experiencing with your feet and ankles. Sorelis Jimenez, DPM, John W. Fletcher, DPM, and Kamilla Danilova, DPM and the rest of the staff at Foot Health Podiatry, PLLC, are happy to help with any questions or concerns you may have. Check out our Ask The Doctor page for answers to frequently asked questions, and never hesitate to give us a call to talk or make an appointment at 212-845-9991.