Remove the Polish

Polishedsummertoes2014It’s another beautiful summer in New Mexico with sunshine every day. For my female patients it is the time of year that sandals and open toed shoes of all kinds come out daily. For most, that means the toenails must be painted some color other than clear. Meanwhile, back in the clinic we see toenail fungus infections daily.

So what is the connection? Toenail fungus is an infection that gets in the toenails and causes them to get thick, discolored and generally ugly. Fungus resides in the floors and carpets and can be picked up almost everywhere we go. The fungus that infects nails loves a warm, moist environment and flourishes in those painted nails because under the nail it becomes dark, warm, and a perfect place to grow.

So how do you avoid that without giving up the beautiful nails that are so necessary for summer sandals? Instead of getting a pedicure and leaving it on for months at a time I recommend you remove the polish every few weeks and give the nail a few days to “air” out. Go out in the sun and enjoy a little sunshine on the nails. That UV light that is so bad for our skin is great for killing anything living in our nails and helps keep them healthy. Then go ahead and paint those nails a new color for the next week or so. This gives lots of variety and also helps lower your risk of infection.

If you have a history of infections and want to really cut down on possible infections use a nail polish infused with antifungal properties like Dr. Remedy nail polish available in our office as well as on our online store with a link from our website at www.nmfootandankle.com. So enjoy the summer and avoid the fungus! If you think you have toenail fungus call and schedule an appointment today at 505.880.1000. Nathan Ivey, DPM

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