If you want to be turned out in your best, your fingernails and toenails should always be prim and proper. Cracked and crumbling toenails can be unsightly, especially when you are wearing flip flops. Aside from cosmetic aspect, a cracked toenail is also a cause of health concern and they are often painful.
A cracked toe nail may result from variety of reasons; it can be a sign of fungal nail infection, skin diseases or occur as a result of an injury to the nail. A cracked toenail if neglected can eventually breakdown or it can be a source of secondary bacterial toenail infection.
Causes Of Cracked Toenails?
Several causes can attribute cracked toenails. The condition can affect either a single toe, or it can occur in several toes at the same time.
- It often occurs after an injury to the toe. It can be a blunt injury or an accident. There may be associated bleeding from the toe or a hematoma under the toenail.
- Unhygienic conditions or simply neglecting to cut overgrown nails.
- If you are wearing very tight shoes, and your foot and toenails do not have ample space to breathe. With this, if there is excess of perspiration and moisture, your toenails are perfect site for bacteria and fungus to grow in abundance. They can damage the nails and lead to discoloration and cracks.
- Toenail fungus is most common medical cause for your cracked nails. Besides wearing tight shoes and the moisture remaining inside the shoes, the fungus can also enter into the nails while walking barefoot on swimming pool floors, or public showers.
- Skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema can also lead to cracked toenails.
- If your toenails are constantly coming in contact with petrol, diesel, or chemicals used for cleaning the house, they are prone to get damaged and cracked. To avoid this, you should always wear gloves while handling these chemicals.
- As a natural process, nails become frail and fragile with aging.
Home Remedies For Cracked Toenails
If you want to get rid of cracked toenails that look unhealthy and ugly, there are ways to treat it at home. They are as follows:
- Apply Vicks vapor rub: It is not so popular remedy, but it is very effective in treating cracked toenails. Before retiring in bed at night, clean your toenails with tepid water and dry them with a clean cloth. Apply Vicks vapor rub on the affected toenails and wear cotton socks. In the morning wash your toenails with a mild soap. Do this daily until the nail becomes soft and smooth.
- Apple cider vinegar: it is an effective cure for fungal infection of toe nails, which is the culprit for cracked toenails. Take equal amount of water and vinegar. Soak your toes in it for few minutes. Pat your feet dry once the procedure is over. Follow this routine regularly until the fungus infection heals. Once the fungus is killed, the toenails will change to its original appearance.
- Tea tree oil: it is a renowned natural medicine for its anti-fungal activity. Apply it regularly on the affected toenail every night. Wear cotton socks overnight after its application.
- If your toe nails crack due to trauma or an injury, do not try to treat it at home, rather consult your doctor. This is because an injured nail may become a source of bacterial infection. Your doctor may apply an antibiotic ointment and bandage the injured and cracked nail. Remember to change the bandage daily and keep the area clean.
- Avoid wearing tight shoes. Since tight shoes will delay healing of cracked toenails.