Nail disorders generally do not cause as many problems with day-to-day life as other skin conditions. However, ingrown toenails can make walking and running uncomfortable or painful. Paronychia does not normally affect everyday life, but chronic cases may impact some activities. People with the condition may need to break habits such as nail biting or finger sucking to help manage it. Onychomycosis affects people slightly more than the other conditions. It can make walking and typing uncomfortable or even painful. Discoloration and thickening of the nail may be seen as unattractive and therefore embarrassing. In severe cases, the limitations and disfigurement can lead to emotional or psychosocial stress.
Fortunately, people with these conditions can take steps to manage them and prevent them from reccuring. Here are some tips:
- Keep feet clean and dry.
- Avoid nail polish and acrylic nails, which prevent air from reaching the surface.
- Avoid walking barefoot in public showers, pools and locker room areas.
- Change shoes and socks frequently.
- Keep nails clipped short and straight across.
- Wear well-fitting socks and shoes made of breathable materials.
- Disinfect clippers and other instruments used to treat nails.
- Avoid nail-biting.
- Avoid finger sucking.
- Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes and or performing other activities that require prolonged exposure to water.
- Clean cuts and scrapes promptly to prevent infection.
- After removal of an ingrown nail, follow good nail hygiene practices and choose properly sized footwear.