A Guide To Make Your Nails Healthy
Your hands and nails say a lot about you. Perfectly manicured and healthy nails are every girl’s dream but it is not all about manicures, cleanliness and hygiene. Your nails are also closely related to the functioning of other body areas. They are our mini health indicators and hint at what is going on inside the body. That is why we say, nail health should not be ignored.
Your fingernails are composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin. It grows from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. Healthy fingernails are generally smooth, without pits or grooves. They should ideally have an even colour and have no spot or any other form of discolourations.
What are your fingernails telling about your health?
1. Pale nails
Pale nails could be a sign of malnutrition and anaemia. If you think your nails have suddenly gone pale, consider visiting a doctor.
2. Ripples on nails
In case, if you notice ripples on your nails, it could be an early sign of arthritis or psoriasis. Consult a specialist doctor if you notice other symptoms in your body related to these.
3. Yellow nails
One of the most common causes of yellow nails is a fungal infection. The other reasons could be an allergy or any reaction to the products we use. If you notice that your nails are turning yellow, immediately stop any nail product you are using. In rare cases, yellow nails can indicate a more serious condition such as severe thyroid disease, lung disease, diabetes or psoriasis. Take advice from a doctor, if it gets worse.
4. White spots
If you have white spots on your nails, it could be a sign that there is some deficiency in your body. It could be a vitamin deficiency, mineral deficiency, allergy or infection. Consider consulting your doctor if you spot white spots on your nails.
5. Bluish Nails
A slight tint of blue in your nails indicates that your body is not getting enough oxygen. Bluish nails can indicate some heart problems.
Healthy Nails- Do’s and Don’ts
It is our duty to make our fingernails look the best. Dirty nails are a major setback. Here is our do’s and don’t list in order to take make your nails healthy.
1. Keep fingernails clean and dry.
It is the basic towards your nail care and the most important step in the regime. You have to keep them clean and dry. This prevents bacteria from growing under your fingernails. If a bacteria is developed in there it is very dangerous as it could be transferred to your mouth while cooking or eating food. Or while handshakes you can pass it on to someone else, hence properly dried and clean nails are important.
Keeping your nails dry all the time is not possible. However, you will wash your hands, wash dishes, clothes etc. but make sure when you work you always dry your hand with a clean towel and allow your nails to dry out completely.
2. Practice good nail hygiene.
Getting dirt or any particle stuck up in the nails is fairly common if you have a long nail. Apparently, you can prevent this.
Keep your nails short and well maintained!
To cut your nails use sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve. If while working, there is some dirt stuck up there, use a pointed manicure tool, to take that dirt out.
Note- If you have kids, it’s your job to regularly trim their nails and clean them up. Kids have a high chance of scratching themselves. While playing, they can also get dirt on their nails. Therefore, keep a check on your kid’s nails.
3. Use moisturizer.
After every hand wash, apply a generous amount of moisturizer on your hands and use the same moisturizer on your nails. Your nail might become weak or brittle with subsequent washes, so in other words in order to keep them strong, good hydration is required to keep them strong and sturdy.
Note- You could apply oils or serums to give your nails a special massage once weak to make them strong.
4. Apply a protective layer
A nail hardener helps strengthen your nail if they are weak and break. Sometimes they break quite deep which is very painful therefore, make them strong!
1. Stop biting your nails now!
Many people have a habit of feeding onto their nails. It’s not literal feeding but biting and chewing of nails. It not only looks gross but also has the potential of damaging your nail beds. In short, don’t bite or nibble on your nails.
2. Don’t pick at your cuticles.
This is another no. Your cuticles are very sensitive. Not only it will cause pain if you go a little overboard accidentally, but it will also cause potential infections. These cuts will allow fungi or bacteria to grow and cause infections. Think of your cuticles like the protective caulking around a bathtub. If you cut them back too far or push them around too aggressively, you damage them. That, in turn, leaves your nail bed open to infection.
3. Pull off hangnails.
I understand it is quite satisfying to remove dead tissues around your nails but you might rip live tissue along with the hangnail. It is extremely painful and should be avoided at all costs. Instead, carefully clip off hangnails with the help of clippers or scissors.
4. Long nails.
Undoubtedly, long nails look pretty and they are super trendy but practically they are not a good idea. They not only make the work difficult but also become a breeding ground for many bacteria as the dirt or particle could get stuck up there. Therefore, long nails should be avoided.
5. Never use toxic nail products
Nail products just like any cosmetic product should be checked before the purchase in order to see what ingredients it has. Toxic ingredients should be avoided for healthy nails. Avoid every nail product which has toxic chemicals. For example- phthalates, formaldehyde, silicone, toluene and camphor should be avoided in nail products.
Consider cruelty free, vegan and non-toxic formulas.
Some cruelty-free and vegan brands for instance are Sally Hansen, O.P.I and Ellement Co
6. Turn down harsh nail care products
Limit your use of nail polish remover. When using nail polish remover, opt for an acetone-free formula. Use nail paints or gel from reputed brands which have formulas especially designed for the nails to minimize the damage.
7. Ingrown nails
You should avoid your nail growing into your skin at all costs. If it ever grows big and rips off the skin, then immediately consult a doctor.
8. Ignore problems.
In case, you have a nail problem that doesn’t seem to go away. Or if you see that these signs are linked with other symptoms of a disease, consider consulting your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.
How To Get Healthy Nails?
A] At Home Basic Manicure For Healthy Nails
Step 1- Firstly, remove any nail paint or any other product present on the nails.
Step 2- After that, trim your nails at the desired length.
Step 3- Next up, clean if there is any dirt inside.
Step 4- Further next, push back the cuticle.
Step 5- Lastly, apply oil or moisturizer and give your nail a good massage with it.
Our favourite Nail Oil- The Body Shop’s Almond Nail And Cuticle Oil.
Step 6- In addition, apply a nail hardener if you have weak nails or apply a desired nail paint.
Our Favourite Nail Hardener- Sally Hansen Hard As Nails Vitamin Strength Serum
B] For Internal Health
Biotin, a B vitamin is considered a very good supplement for people with weak or brittle nails. Consider taking it on the advice of your doctor in case you feel that your nails need an extra cair.
Our Final Thoughts
Nails are the mirror of your health and therefore, healthy nails should be a priority. Never ignore it. In short, nails should be taken well care of. If the need arises, consult a doctor if you feel that something is not right.