Sock It Up to Avoid Nail Fungus

Two things that we know are always evolving are language and fashion – and at the intersection of evolving language and evolving fashion is the word “mankle.”

Now, consider the fact that Merriam-Webster adds as many as 1,000 new words to the dictionary every year. Recent additions include “Bitcoin,” “net neutrality,” “binge-watch,” and “first world problem.” But at Montgomery Foot Care Specialists, we’re still on the lookout for the word “mankle” to appear.

“Mankle” is a word that’s been slow to enter the American lexicon, although it does get bandied about in British English. You might guess that it’s a combination of “man” and “ankle.” It refers to the fashion trend of men baring their ankles, especially whilst wearing a narrow-legged suit and maybe some Converse sneakers.

The mankle may offer a cool look, but podiatrists Chanda L. Day-Houts, DPM and Heidi M. Christie, DPM raise an eyebrow or two when men regularly plant sockless feet into their shoes.

The sockless danger

Anyone who wants to bare his mankles needs to know that there’s a health hazard behind this fashion statement, and that’s nail fungus. Feet sweat, and unless there’s a moisture-absorbing sock providing a barrier between your sweat and your shoes, your shoes become prime real estate for fungus to grow. Here’s why you want to avoid getting fungal toenails:

  • It’s ugly. White spots appear on your nails. They become brittle and crumbly. They turn colors or become thickened.
  • It can be difficult to get rid of. Over-the-counter medications exist, but really bad cases may need the intervention of our podiatrists. A podiatrist can evaluate the extent of your infection and prescribe stronger medications, including antibiotics if necessary. She can also properly trim and file infected nails, or, in worst case scenarios, remove the nail.
  • It’s contagious. It’s possible to spread nail fungus through direct touching or from other surfaces.

If you still want to sport the mankle look, mimic it by wearing low or no-show socks. Keep your feet clean and your nails trimmed. And don’t let an infection take over – visit us at our office in Montgomery, AL for expert advice and treatment for fungal nails. Call us at (334) 396-8668 or contact us online.