• Do My Toenails Need to “Breathe”?

    by Dr. LaMour
    on Apr 5th, 2017

If you frequent the nail salon, you may have heard from friends or family that you need to take regular pauses from pedicures to “let your toenails breathe.” In theory, this seems plausible—after all, the rest of your body wouldn’t do so great if it were constantly covered in paint. However, many professional pedicurists beg to differ. Clearly, you care enough about your feet to keep them looking attractive, so who are you to believe? Is the idea that your toenails need some air an old wives’ tale, or scientific fact? Fortunately, when it comes to podiatric problems like these, Dr. Jeffery LaMour and our team are here to help. In the following blog, we answer the common question, “Do my toenails need to breathe?” so you can stride into the nail salon with confidence and maintain your foot health.

Do Toenails Actually Breathe in the First Place?

The short answer is: no! In her Huffington Post piece on the topic, Dana Oliver explains, “The reality is that nails do not actually ‘breathe,’ as they receive their nutrients and oxygen from the blood stream and not the air.” Basically, whether you put on polish or not, your toenails will get the same amount of oxygen. So, suggesting that keeping your toenails au natural lets them “breathe” is a bit of a misnomer. However, having polish-less periods are a good idea for several other reasons.

The Benefits of Pedicure Breaks

Most likely, the reason the myth of “breathing” toenails became popular is because it actually can be detrimental to keep them constantly covered with polish. Letting your toenails go au natural from time to time can help you avoid the following conditions:

Although they don’t exactly “suffocate” your nails, polishes, gels, and other nail products often contain chemicals that can be harmful to the appearance, texture, and health of your toenails. The old adage “everything in moderation” applies to pedicures, too.

Other Foot Factors

Of course, polish isn’t the only element of toenail health. You should also let your feet “breathe” by wearing appropriate footwear that isn’t too constricting. Tight shoes can put undue pressure on your feet, increasing your risk for infection or even cracking your toenails. Wearing supportive, roomy footwear that gives your feet space to move and “breathe” is especially important if you have longer nails.

Our Recommendations

For top-notch toenails, Dr. LaMour and our team suggest:

Taking care of your feet can help you enjoy the perfect pedicure!

Do You Have Other Toenail Questions?

Dr. LaMour and our team would be delighted to assist you. Contact us today to find out more and schedule an appointment at our Austin practice.

Original Source: http://www.drjefflamour.com/foot-care/do-my-toenails-need-to-breathe/

Author Dr. LaMour

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