How To Take Care of Your Toenails as You Age
As you get older, it’s normal to see your toenails change. They can become thick, hard and dull. Nails often grow more slowly and become brittle. That said, you don’t have to put up with nail problems. You can avoid or reduce them by learning how to take care of your toenails properly.
How To Take Care of Toenails: Easy and Effective Tips for Seniors
Giving your toenails some tender, loving care doesn’t take long. These simple tips can surprise you with healthy, soft toenails at any age.
1. Eat Nutritious Foods
Make sure you’re giving your body the nutritional building blocks it needs to create strong fingernails and toenails. Here are some toenail superstars and where to find them:
- Vitamin B7 (biotin): Salmon, avocado, eggs and sweet potatoes
- Vitamin B9 (folate): Romaine lettuce, spinach, asparagus, broccoli, beans and sunflower seeds
- Vitamin B12: Liver, beef, sardines, tuna and dairy products
- Magnesium: Whole wheat, quinoa, rolled oats, almonds, cashews and dark green veggies
- Iron: Fish, chicken, beef, eggs and leafy greens
Getting enough protein is essential for new nail growth, too. There are many options for protein, from cheese to chicken breast. As you age, your body has a harder time storing vitamins, minerals and proteins, so eating a balanced diet every day becomes even more important.
2. Let Your Feet Breathe
Learning how to take care of your toenails often means finding ways to avoid problems in the first place. Foot fungus thrives in hot and humid places, which is why sweaty toes are so enticing. Do your best to keep your feet clean and dry all day long:
- Avoid tight shoes
- Put on a clean pair of socks every day
- Choose breathable sneakers instead of thick hiking boots
- Enjoy being barefoot when you rest your feet
It’s a good idea to take off your shoes (and your socks if you don’t mind being barefoot) when you’re at home. The more air your feet get, the fresher your nails feel.
3. Soak Your Feet in a Relaxing Foot Bath
It’s not easy to trim thick, dry or brittle nails. Attempting it can result in jagged edges or painful tearing as you take too much off the top. Figuring out how to soften toenails for cutting doesn’t have to be hard, though. Just give your nails a chance to hydrate before trimming.
A cool bath feels amazing for tired feet. You can add bath salts or vinegar if you want, but plain water is fine, too. This type of soak can help your toenails become softer. For a white vinegar foot soak, dilute it at a ratio of 1 cup of vinegar to 2 cups of water.
4. Be Careful With Nail Polish
Women love to show off pampered, attractive feet at any age. That said, you need to be careful when using nail polish and nail polish remover. Acetone is rough on your nails and the surrounding skin, stripping them of moisture and leaving them brittle.
Many older adults prefer to skip the hassle by going completely polish-free. If you love polished nails, try to choose a non-toxic option for sensitive skin. Opt for an acetone-free and alcohol-free nail polish remover, too.
5. Spend Time Outdoors in Sandals
When you learn how to take care of your toenails the right way, the habit is enjoyable. For example, when it’s warm outside, you can take advantage of the outdoors to give toenails lots of time to breathe. Enjoy a cup of coffee on the patio in the morning or relax on your chaise lounge with a favorite book. Invest in a comfy pair of sandals that provide good stability but have plenty of space for your toes.
6. Don’t Trim Too Short (or Too Long)
You can minimize the chances of infections by learning the correct method to trim your toenails. That way, ingrown toenails aren’t a problem. After soaking your nails, use a toenail clipper to trim them straight across. Make sure you leave a portion of the “white” part of the nail. Your toenail should be even with the edge of your toes. Of course, toenails that are too long are bad, too, because they can crack and snag on your socks.
7. Moisturize Your Nails
When you think of moisturizing, you probably only think about your skin. It may surprise you to learn that toenails can benefit from hydration, too. Apply a generous layer of moisturizer to your toes, gently massaging it into the nail and the skin around the edges. Hydrate at least once a day, preferably twice daily.
If you’re an older gentleman, you may think that these tips are too feminine for your taste, but that’s not the case. Taking care of your toenails — and avoiding infections — is a good habit for anyone’s overall health.
How To Take Care of Toenails: Natural Moisturizing Ingredients
If you want to save time hydrating your toenails, you can turn to the same moisturizer you use for taking care of dry feet. Another option is to choose a toenail softener or toenail cream specifically designed for fingernails and toenails.
What ingredients should you look for? There is a wide range of plants and oils that work great for toenails:
- Aloe vera
- Vitamin E oil
- Coconut oil
- Hyaluronic acid
Aloe vera is a tropical plant with a clear gel. The gel has amazing effects for hydration and healing, potentially helping skin and nails look incredible.
How To Take Care of Toenails: When To Visit a Doctor
You can take good care of your feet at home, but there are times when everyday remedies don’t cut it. Keep an eye out for any signs of bacterial or fungal infections:
- Red, swollen skin around your toenail
- Pain, bleeding, or pus under the skin
- Yellow or green nails
- Brittle, thick, or misshapen toenails
- Bad smells
While over-the-counter products can help with toenail fungus, if your condition has spread far enough, you need a doctor’s help to beat this type of infection.
How To Take Care of Toenails: Everyday Care
You can’t turn back the clock, but you can learn how to take care of your toenails. The key is to hydrate and protect. Let your toenails breathe during the day and remember to moisturize in the evening. Discover our amazing foot and toenail care ingredients right away.