Your nails may be small but they play an important role, serving to help protect your fingers and improve dexterity. They also may reveal clues to your general health. Women spend hours painting and decorating them. Beauty salons offer all kinds of services for them. But keeping your nails clean and healthy is a simple matter that doesnt cost much. Sometimes, all it takes is a little common sense. Take a close look at your nails. Are they strong and healthy looking? Or do you see ridges, dents or areas of unusual color or shape? Many less than desirable nail conditions can be avoided through proper care, but some actually indicate an illness that requires attention.
To keep your nails attractive and avoid undesirable problems like fungal infections that can make your nails ugly and deformed, here are some tips to consider:
Use your nails properly. Nails protect the ends of fingers and toes and help us pick up things. Dont abuse them by using them as a can opener, staple remover, screwdriver or scraper.
While watching tv, moisturize your hands AND nails with your favorite hand lotion. It’s not only relaxing, it helps strengthen the nails.
Dont bite them. Some people have a nasty habit of biting their fingernails. This not only ruins their appearance but damages the nail bed and puts you at risk for infection. If youre hungry, head for the nearest deli and order your favorite meal. Youll be doing your nails a big favor.
Keep your nails clean. You may have the looks and the most expensive suit. But if your nails are dirty, youre no better than a monkey! Dirty nails turn people off and reflect your personality so make sure they always look their best. Trim them and clean under the nails regularly. Use a good pair of manicure scissors and an emery board to smoothen nail edges.
It is also a good idea to have some cotton swabs handy, in case you get nail polish on your skin.
Bulletproof them. By this, I mean protect your nails from injury by wearing cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes or when soaking them in water for a long time. This will protect your nails from the drying effects of soap, water, and other harsh chemicals that your nails come in contact with.
Moisturize them. Just like your skin, your nails need moisture too. Keep your nails in top shape by using a good lotion or moisturizer after washing your hands.
While some nails benefit from not using polish, mine seem to love the stuff. If they are polished, I seem to notice them more and devote a little more attention to them. They really seem to like that.
If you have weak nails that tend to split or break, keep your nails short and trim them after bathing. Use a nail hardener but avoid products containing toluene sulfonamide or formaldehyde that can cause redness or irritate the skin.
Moisturize your feet daily, especially in the summer. Best to use a cream specifically for feet, as the skin needs of the foot are different that the rest of your body. Don’t get the moisturizer between your toes to avoid fungal infections.
Dietary changes that supposedly strengthen nails don’t work. Unless you’re deficient in protein rare among people in the United States adding protein to your diet won’t strengthen your nails. Similarly, soaking your nails in gelatin won’t help either.
It’s easy to neglect your nails. But a little basic nail care can go a long way to keeping your nails in healthy condition.