We often treat our feet with disregard as we pile wear and tear on them all day long. Your nails are made of a protein called keratin, and are actually a type of hair meant to protect the toe. Toenails can get damaged by simply getting dried out, through infection caused by dirty socks or by the nail getting pushed around and injured through exercise or inside of uncomfortable shoes. The next time your toenails are experiencing symptoms of distress or you just want to make sure they look and feel their best, try a natural solution to help your toes feel better.
Bath for an Ingrown Toenail
Toenails that have grown into the flesh of the foot can be painful and long-lasting. Ingrown toenails can be caused by ill fitting shoes, improper trimming, a toe injury, an infection or they can be genetic. The next time you have an ingrown toenail try treating your toes with a comfrey root foot bath. Fill a plastic shoebox or other small container with ½ gallon of warm water, and ½ ounce of comfrey root.
Soak the affected foot for 20 minutes, and then use a tissue or piece of cotton under the nail to keep it from curling into the skin. Comfrey root can be purchase online and at health stores. Seek medical attention if your ingrown toenail has not improved in a few days, or has become infected.
Soak Brittle Toenails in Sesame Oil You can soak broken, brittle toenails in sesame oil to strengthen and protect them. Warm some of the oil by itself or with some olive oil and soak your toes for 10 minutes at a time. Sesame oil is an Ayurvedic remedy for brittle nails.
Remove Polish Stains with Denture Cleaner
If nail polish stains plague your precious toes, pop a denture tablet into a container with warm water and soak your toenails. The cleaner should help remove stains, and if it needs some extra help use a toothbrush to scrub toenails.
Cut Toenails Straight Across
One way to avoid ingrown toenails, nail infections and nails growing in crooked and painfully is to make sure to cut toenails straight across when manicuring. When the nails are cut straight the side of the toenail has no chance to dig into your skin.
Clean and Disinfect Cuts Promptly
When you stub your toe or cut a toenail down too far and cause it to bleed, clean and disinfect the cut as soon as it occurs to avoid germ contamination and infection. Pour a capful of full-strength hydrogen peroxide on the sore and let it breathe to allow the cut to heal.
Eat Lots of Omega-6 Fatty Acids and Biotin for Healthy Toenails
A diet rich in foods with omega-6 fatty acids is beneficial for toenail strength. Eat cold-water fish to get more in your diet, like salmon. Biotin is also known as vitamin B7 and is important in breaking down fatty acids and aiding cell growth. You can get more biotin in your diet by eating lentils, peanuts and soybeans.