Why Do We Have Toenails?

Why Do We Have Toenails?

Aside from their attractive aesthetics, toenails play several important tasks in the well-being of your body. 

Toenails’ primary function for your body is to act as a protective layer that makes you less vulnerable to infections and injuries. 

Humans need their nails to control objects and maintain a grip over them. 

We will discuss the existence and importance of toenails in this blog. Not only that, but we will also discover what happens if we don’t take care of their toenails.

Want to learn more about why we have fingernails? Check it out here.

How Do Toenails Grow?

Toenails are primarily made of keratin; the same tough protein is found in fingernails and hair.

In the toe, live skin cells generate a toenail. Older cells are pushed out and compacted while new cells grow, resulting in the rigid appearance of the toenail. 

The parts of toenails include:

  • Nail Plate – The visible part of the nails.
  • Nail Bed – The skin under the nail bed.
  • Cuticle – This is a sensitive tissue that partly overlaps the nail plate.
  • Nail Fold – The frame that supports the nail from the sides.
  • Lunula – The whitish crescent-shaped part of the nails.
  • Matrix – The remote part of nails under the cuticle.

The Importance of Having Toenails

Even after being the most overlooked part of the body, toenails have several important purposes for your health and well-being.

These are as follows:

  • Prevents Injury

Toenails prevent injury because they act as a protective layer to the skin. It helps protect your toes when your toes come in contact with particular objects without hurting the skin tissues.  

  • Fine Motor Movement

Toenails help in walking, running, dancing, and jogging without difficulty. It enables fine motor movement because they support the feet for performing everyday tasks.

  • Keeps Bacteria and Virus Away

Bacteria and viruses can enter your body in many ways because they need opening to enter. Toenails can prevent bacteria and viruses from getting inside the body.

  • Enhances Sensation

Nerve endings in the fingers and toes allow the body to process massive data. It receives the data every time something is touched.

Why Should You Trim and Clean Your Nails Regularly?

It is essential to take care of the nails to prevent dirt and bacteria from getting in. 

Trimming your nails is beneficial to their health, like cutting your hair is. 

Depending on your nail growth, take a few minutes to trim and shape your nail every 15-20 days. Moreover, you can trim your nails straight and square or round them off at the tips. This would give you the most outstanding results.

Dryness can harm your nails and looks flaky. Nails are highly fragile and are prone to breaking. So, make them strong by moisturizing them. 

For a healthy look, invest in some good foot cream for keeping your nails and feet looking lustrous. You can even apply coconut or olive oil to your feet and get the same results. 

Why Do Toenails Become Thick?

Yellow and thick nails look bad and can result from environmental changes or dryness.

With age, the toenails become brittle and prone to breakage. This breakage may develop a condition that makes the toenails thick.

Psoriasis and Diabetes can also thicken the nails due to fungal infection buildup. If it smells bad or hurts too much, there might be a complication that includes an infection.

You can treat toe fungus and infections with ointments, gels, and oral medicines in some cases. Besides, the worst cases may need painless laser therapy to help heal the toenails.

The Problem of Ingrown Toenails

Ingrown toenails occur when the edges of the nails get into the skin. 

This condition is prevalent in both men and women who have sweaty feet. Older people are also at a high risk of developing this because their toenails are thick. 

The children who actively participate in sports activities develop ingrown toenails. They kick objects with heavy pressure; hence, making the skin tender and swollen.

You can try some home remedies to treat ingrown nails:

  • Put the feet in hot water.
  • Push the skin away from the nail’s edge.
  • Apply steroid creams.

However, if you are experiencing intense pain and difficulty walking, stop the above options and consult a doctor.

What Causes Toenails to Turn Yellow?

The yellow toenail is an ordinary condition due to aging or excessive chemical-based nail paints. People do certain DIYs to treat the issue and will sometimes consult a dermatologist for certain cases.

You should consult a doctor immediately if the problem accompanies bleeding, pain, swelling, or liquid discharge.

If the yellow toenails result from an underlying medical problem, it could indicate that something is wrong. It may develop a fungal infection if you don’t treat it well.

However, there are specific prevention measures that you can do to maintain basic hygiene and the health of your toenails. 

  • Avoid wearing tight shoes.
  • Keep nails clean and dry.
  • Cut nails regularly.

What Causes Toenails to Turn Blue-Black?

The primary reason for dark toenails can be nutritional deficiencies, infection, or injuries that would cause the toenail to bruise.

Sometimes, debris builts around the nail region which can be infectious. They thrive in moist and warm environments. However, it is a mild condition that does not require doctor visits.

If you drop something on your toenail or injury your toenail, your nail may bruise and turn black and blue. In some cases, your toenail may fall off but not to worry, it will grow back!

It can become a sign of a severe medical condition if you don’t know the cause. In the most severe cases, it develops Melanoma, a kind of skin cancer that puts black-brown spots on specific areas of the skin.

Usually, it goes away as it is pretty standard in diabetic patients. You should consult a dermatologist if you suspect it to be Melanoma.

Final Thoughts

You may never neglect the importance of your toenails like you did before after reading this blog! They are more than just gorgeous in polish or buffed to a high gloss finish for the daring men out there!

Toenails are not as crucial as fingerless because we merely do anything from our feet except walking. 

The anatomy of toenails is as significant and precise as every other part of your body. However, always maintain a healthy and clean ritual with your nail hygiene to avoid complications later.

About the author

Jake is the lead publisher and director for Talk Radio News. Jake and his team are committed to providing the best information solutions for viewers like you.

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