Take a good look at your nails, do they look healthy and smooth? Or are they rough and discoloured? Certain studies reveal that your nails have a lot to say about your health. Nails generally are made of proteins called keratin which grows from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. They’re uniform in colour and consistent and free of spots or discoloration.
Fingernails can also develop harmless vertical ridges, white lines or spots due to injury but these eventually grow out with the nail. If you notice any abnormal change in them like the following; Changes in nail colour, such as discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under the nail, changes in nail shape, such as curled fingernails, thinning or thickening of the fingernails, separation of the nail from the surrounding skin, bleeding around the fingernails, swelling or pain around the nail then its best you see a doctor. However, undesirable nail conditions can be avoided through proper fingernail care.
Clean your nails: You should ensure you keep your fingernails short and clean at all times. like you wash your hands regularly, it is important to also wash under your nails especially when you wash your hands. Germs can be easily trapped under the nails and get transferred to our foods unconsciously, this can lead to food poisoning which commonly seen among people who have poor food hygiene.
Keep your nails dry: When nails are wet, bacteria can more easily grow underneath your fingernails. Always dry your nails thoroughly after washing them. You should wear gloves when doing household chores, like washing dishes or cleaning with products containing chemicals if this isn’t feasible endeavour to wash and dry hands as soon as you are through with washing.
Use moisturizers: Frequent washing of hands with soap and water can leave it dry and hard especially the cuticle around the nail bed. To prevent dryness, ensure use of oil-based moisturizers on your hands regularly and take care to apply it around your finger nails. Get a moisturizer that is free of added chemicals or scent. if you notice itching or rashes upon use of any moisturizer stop use immediately.
Avoid sharing nail equipment: Sharing of nail equipment can promote fungal infections. Endeavour to have your own set and clean after each use with anti-bacteria and water. Make sure to dry after use as well
Soak nails before trimming: Toenails can sometimes become thick and difficult to trim. To do this, simply mix a teaspoon of salt in with a pint of water. Soak your toenails for 5 to 10 minutes before trying to trim them.
Don’t bite your nails: Biting your nails is a bad habit than can damage your overall nail health. You can end up damaging the tissue surrounding your nails, making it harder for nails to grow. To curb this habit, keep your fingernails trimmed and short.
Do not pull off hang nails. If you have a hangnail on your toenail or fingernail, do not pull it off. This can rip tissues near your cuticles, causing pain or infection. Instead, clip off hangnails using nail clipper
Be careful of the manicures and pedicures you use: Manicures and pedicures is a way of adding fun and beauty to your nails. If you must use it ensure your take the necessary precautions like; Make sure any salons you use are licensed and the manicurist and pedicurists you work with are licensed by the state board.
- Avoid having your cuticles removed, as this can lead to an infection.
- Make sure to have your nail technician sterilize any tools he or she will be using on your nails.
- Ask if foot baths are cleaned regularly.