How to keep your nails healthy and beautiful
Nails are not only a part of our appearance, but also a reflection of our overall health. Healthy nails are smooth, strong and evenly colored. Unhealthy nails can be brittle, discolored, infected or deformed. To keep your nails in good shape, you need to take care of them regularly and avoid some common nail problems. Here are some tips from dermatologists and nail experts on how to keep your nails healthy and beautiful.
• Keep your nails clean and dry. This prevents bacteria, fungi and other germs from growing under your nails and causing infections. Wash your hands with soap and water and dry them well. Use a nail brush or a clean toothbrush to gently scrub under your nails and remove any dirt or debris. Avoid soaking your nails in water for too long, as this can weaken them and make them prone to splitting or peeling.
• Cut your nails straight across. This helps prevent ingrown nails, which can be painful and lead to infections. Use sharp nail scissors or clippers and cut your nails when they are dry, not wet. Wet nails can bend and tear more easily. Don’t cut your nails too short or too close to the skin, as this can cause bleeding or damage the nail bed. Leave a little bit of white at the tip of each nail.
• Use moisturizer. Your nails need hydration just like your skin. When you use hand lotion, rub it into your nails and cuticles as well. This will help prevent dryness, cracking and splitting of your nails. You can also use a cuticle oil or cream to nourish and protect the skin around your nails. Massage it gently into your cuticles once or twice a day.
• Apply a protective layer. Your nails are exposed to many chemicals and substances that can damage them, such as detergents, nail polish removers, solvents and cleaners. To protect your nails from these harsh agents, apply a base coat before you polish them and a top coat after you polish them. This will also help your polish last longer and prevent chipping or fading. You can also use a nail hardener or strengthener to fortify weak or brittle nails.
• Ask your doctor about biotin. Biotin is a vitamin that helps your body produce keratin, the protein that makes up your nails. Some studies have shown that taking biotin supplements can improve the quality and growth of your nails. However, biotin is not suitable for everyone and may interact with some medications or conditions. Therefore, you should consult your doctor before taking biotin or any other supplements for your nails.
• Avoid biting or picking at your nails. These habits can damage your nails and the skin around them, leading to infections, inflammation or deformities. They can also expose you to germs that may enter your body through your mouth or wounds on your fingers. If you have trouble stopping these habits, try using a bitter-tasting nail polish or a stress ball to distract yourself.
• Wear gloves when doing chores. Cleaning, gardening, washing dishes and other household tasks can expose your nails to water, chemicals and dirt that can harm them. To protect your nails from these elements, wear rubber, vinyl or plastic gloves when doing chores. Make sure the gloves fit well and are not too tight or too loose.
• Choose quality nail products and tools. Not all nail products and tools are created equal. Some may contain harmful ingredients or be too harsh for your nails. To avoid damaging your nails, choose products that are gentle, non-toxic and suitable for your nail type. For example, use an acetone-free nail polish remover if you have dry or brittle nails, or a moisturizing nail polish if you have dull or flaky nails. Also, use clean and sharp tools for cutting, filing and shaping your nails.
• Give your nails a break. Sometimes, the best thing you can do for your nails is to leave them alone. Constant polishing, filing and buffing can weaken your nails and make them more susceptible to damage. To let your nails breathe and recover, go polish-free for a few days every once in a while. You can also apply a clear coat of nail polish instead of a colored one to give your nails a natural look.
• See a doctor if you notice any changes or problems with your nails. Some nail problems may be signs of underlying health issues, such as anemia, diabetes, thyroid disorders or fungal infections. If you notice any changes in the color, shape, texture or thickness of your nails, or if you experience any pain, swelling or bleeding around your nails, see a doctor as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment.
By following these tips, you can keep your nails healthy and beautiful all year round.
• How to Keep Your Nails Healthy (with Pictures) – wikiHow – This article provides a comprehensive guide on how to care for your nails, use supplements and creams for healthy nails, and take precautions to avoid nail problems. It also covers how to identify signs of unhealthy nails and when to see a doctor.
• 15 Tips for Healthy, Strong Nails – The Best Nail Care Tips – This article gives some tips on how to keep your nails clean, dry, moisturized, protected, and trimmed. It also explains how to choose quality nail products and tools, and how to give your nails a break from polish and chemicals.
• 10 Tips for Strong, Healthy Nails – Florida Academy – This article also offers some tips on how to maintain your nail health, such as using gloves, avoiding biting or picking, filing in one direction, and eating a balanced diet. It also suggests some natural remedies for common nail problems, such as lemon juice, olive oil, and tea tree oil.