Debunking Foot Myths Part 1

The month of April is “All About Feet” at Toe-Tal Foot & Ankle Care. Specifically, we focus on foot fact or fiction. This is the first of a two-part series on debunking foot myths.

Myth: How you cut your toenails can cause or prevent ingrown toenails.

Reality: Ingrown toenails can be caused by trauma, shoe gear, improperly cutting your nails, and genetics. So, this myth is partially true and false. How you trim your toenails can contribute to developing an ingrown toenail. Some people believe if you cut a V in their nail that will prevent the nail from becoming ingrown. Typically, the opposite occurs as this promotes the nail to grow downwards and become ingrown. Practice trimming your toenails straight across and avoiding the temptation to dig deep into the nail border. Ultimately, though some people are prone to ingrown toenails regardless of how they trim their toenails.


Myth: Nothing can be done for my broken toe

Reality: Many people ignore broken toes and do not get proper treatment. If a broken toe is not treated properly painful complications may develop including painful walking, pain with shoe gear, toe deformities and arthritis. There is plenty a podiatrist can do to help a broken toe heal better and avoid painful complications. Xrays can be taken in the office to determine the severity of the fracture. After evaluation, care can be determined from splinting, off-loading, and shoe gear modifications to possible surgical treatment options if the fracture is severe.


Myth: My all natural, pesticide free, cage free, home remedy will cure my fungal toenails

Reality: Not all discolored, thickened toenails are the same unfortunately. Different organisms and conditions can infect the nail causing it to become deformed. Not all discolored nails are fungal. Nails can be deformed due to trauma, yeast, and systemic diseases such as psoriasis. Taking a nail sample of the affected nail can provide much needed information about the underlying condition and how to properly treat the nail. Proper treatment of fungal toenails typically consists of anti-fungal topical polish, oral anti-fungal medication and newer technology including laser treatment. Improper care of nails can contribute to a delay in healing and spread of the infection to other nails and skin on the foot.


Myth: I didn’t step on a frog, how did I get a wart?

Reality: You can stop hiding from frogs/toads. You don’t get warts from touching them. Warts are caused by a virus. The virus gains access to your foot through many ways such as a cut, scrape, poor hygiene or spread through contact with another person that has a wart possibly in a gym shower or pool deck. Warts can be both unsightly and painful if on the bottom of the foot. Proper treatment by a podiatrist is critical to eradicating the wart as quickly and pain free as possible.


Myth: “It’s best if I just let my foot wound or incision breathe out in the open, rather than keep it covered”

Reality: Think of a wound on the foot or incision site after surgery as an entry point for bacteria to contaminate. By keeping those areas uncovered you risk the potential for harmful organisms to infect the area. The air alone can have many harmful contaminates. Additionally, people who go swimming with an uncovered wound expose them to many other organisms in the water that can lead to infection. Following your podiatrist’s strict wound care orders will ensure the risks of infection are kept as minimal as possible and get you healed quickly.


Please go to our website at www.toetalfootandanklecare for more information or call us at (817) 656-0303.

Watauga Podiatrist
Written by Dr. Daniel Cairns
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