The nails are often not given the attention they need. If you always get broken, frayed, or split nails, or if your nails have dents, ridges, or areas of unusual shape or color, then you might have less than healthy nails. It’s important to keep your nails strong and healthy because your nails can depict your overall health. Here’s a guide that’ll help you get back those strong, shiny, healthy nails.
Practice and maintain nail hygiene
Keep your nails clean to prevent bacteria from growing under them. However, when washing your nails, do not prolong contact with water since it can soften the nails and cause them to split. Keep your nails dry to prevent fungus growth. In trimming your nails, trim them straight across then round the tips slightly rather than filing to a point.
Leave your cuticles alone
The cuticles serve as a barrier from bacteria and fungus. Cutting them or manipulating them would leave your nails exposed to bacteria and fungus attack, making them susceptible to infection that could lead to permanent nail damage.
You might think that the nails don’t need moisture but they do. If you find yourself with nails that frequently break or with nails that look dry, try applying moisturizer or oil on them. Alternatively, you can include your nails every time you use your hand lotion. Include your cuticles too. Moisturizing the nails would help reduce the chances of chipped, cracked, or split nails.
Limit professional manicures
Frequent visits to the salon for manicures and pedicures expose your nails to harsher chemicals and ingredients that cause dry and brittle nails. Women that frequently get manicures are more likely to suffer chronic nail bed infections. Even the acetone-based nail polish alone is enough to damage your nails. Again and again, dermatologists have proved that acetone strips the nails, making them brittle.
Wear gloves when cleaning
It’s advisable to wear gloves when doing housework such as laundry and washing the dishes. This would keep the nails from getting brittle by exposure to chemicals.
Mind your toenails
Remember to regularly trim your toenails in order to minimize the risk of trauma and injury. Trimming them at an angle instead of straight across increases the risk of ingrown toenails. Don’t “dig out” ingrown toenails especially if they’ve become infected and sore. Instead, consult a dermatologist for treatment. Also, remember to wear shoes that properly fit. Cramming your feet into small shoes could cause the toenails to grow into the surrounding skin, thereby causing ingrown nails. Also, alternate the shoes you wear and wear flip-flops at the pool and in public showers to reduce the risk of fungus growth in your toenails.
Consider taking biotin
Biotin supplements are rich in vitamin B that could help increase nail thickness, keeping them from breaking and splitting.
If all else fails, consult your local dermatologists. Your nails may already be indicating some underlying disease that is best taken care of the right way.