Caring for the nails on your toes is much the same as caring for those on your fingers, says Hansen. Again, she recommends keeping cuticles soft and well-moisturized. She suggests getting into the habit of gently pushing the cuticle back (a cotton swab should do the trick) after showering and applying a penetrating oil at this time.
She does note that extra attention have to be paid to cleanliness of toe-nails. This is because when feet are trapped in the dark, moist environment of shoes all day, or, if you're wearing sandals, exposed to dirt, etc., they may be more susceptible to fungus. Thus, it is important to wash feet and dry them thoroughly daily. When choosing socks, cotton/polyester or polypropylene choices are best. (One-hundred percent cotton socks absorb too much moisture to be effective.)
A treatment for toenail fungus is to, after washing and drying the feet, apply tea tree oil or a combination of it and lavender oil on the affected area two to three times a day. If direct tea tree oil is too strong, then dilute it in a base of jojoba oil or another carrier oil. In addition to tea tree oil, James A. Duke, Ph.D., in his book, The Green Pharmacy, recommends these antifungal herbs for preventing, or treating, athlete's foot: garlic, lemongrass, arrowroot, licorice, chamomile, echinacea, goldenseal, cinnamon, ginger and turmeric.
Hair and nails are an indicator of our health, just as our skin is. They are also an important part of our appearance. Taking the time to maintain healthy hair and nails and ensuring adequate rest and nutrition will not only reflect in the way we look, but also in the way we feel about ourselves.