If there's one thing where there are plenty of myths, misinformation, and flat-out untruths, it's the human body. From head to toe, there's a lot of false information out there. Here's a look at some of the most common myths about trouble with your feet, and the real truth behind them.
Myth #1: An ingrown toenail can be cured with a cut
An ingrown toenail can be incredibly painful, and the first reaction of many people is often to reach for a blade. A persistent myth states that you can cure an ingrown toenail by cutting a "v" shaped notch at the end of the nail. This will cause the nail edges to rise as the nail grows together, the myth goes, curing the ingrown part. But toenails grow from the base of the nail, right at the skin. Cutting the end of the nail won't affect how it grows, nor will it cure your trouble. The only real cure is chiropody treatments or a very small surgical procedure.
Myth #2: Hot water will soothe a foot injury
While soaking in hot water may feel soothing for a foot or ankle injury, it's one of the worst things you can do. Heat actually encourages blood flow, which will cause swelling to increase. The greater the swelling, the more pressure on your foot's muscles and nerves, and the more pain you'll encounter. If you suspect a fracture or sprain, use a cold compress. The cold numbs the nerves and reduces blood flow (which reduces swelling, which then reduces pain). Usually, you'll want to seek medical attention for a foot injury fairly quickly. Early attention is incredibly important to make sure you're not aggravating the injury further.
Myth #3: Foot fungus is infectious
Foot fungus is often a persistent problem, primarily because it can be around for years without any real pain or discomfort. Discoloration is sometimes the only indicator. While it may be an unsightly condition, it's not contagious. The infection grows underneath the nail's surface, and it's just not transmittable by casual contact. Elderly people and people with diseases that impair the immune system will find themselves at a higher risk for a fungal infection.
If you're experiencing any of these problems, make sure you're not falling into any of these myths! A little knowledge can go a long way in this situation. Of course, the best line of defense is going to be to see a podiatrist. They've likely seen hundreds of cases just like yours, and they know exactly how to best deal with your specific situation. Visit websites like www.betterfootcareohio.com for more information.