Nail shouldn’t be underestimated and neglected. Nail is an intimate part of beautification for women, however nail has got many other roles to play too. The historical findings suggest that the descent of primates had a claws called ‘grooming claw’. It was used for many-things including self defense. Even now in several combat sports uses nail in defense techniques.
Nail care is important to keep the nails healthy for lifetime. It also protects the skin and cuticles around the nail. Along with beautification for health and hygiene nail care is crucial. Right nail care can prevent fungal infections of the nail, painful ingrown nails, and infections of the skin in the hands and feet.
Nail care is especially important for growing children and in adults those are exposed to household chores like washing and cleaning. When the nail stays longer in water, soap or detergent it becomes brittle. Therefore women should take routine care of their nails. Those with health issues such as diabetes, as infections of the feet in particular are dangerous. We start following nail hygiene and care for nails since school days. It is always said to care for your nails, keep them short and trimmed, keep your hands and feet and their nails clean. Biting nails or picking at them or the cuticles must be avoided. Diabetic patients are often advised to consult a medical practitioner to care for and check their feet and toenails.
Now take close glance at your fingernails, are they strong and healthy looking? Are you seeing some ridges, dents, or yellowish nails? Many nail conditions can be avoided through proper fingernail care by self. Others might indicate an underlying condition that needs attention and consultation.
Nails: Structure and Composition
Your nails composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin, the same what you have in your hair. Healthy nails look clear, pinkish, shiny, smooth without pits or grooves, they are uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration.
Sometimes nails of fingers develop harmless vertical ridges that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail, it becomes more prominent with increasing age. Fingernails also develops white lines or spots due to injury, but these eventually grow out with the nail. If you go back to the memory lane and remember white dots/spots across fingernails during your childhood. They are the marks due to minerals deficiency. Nail is one of the first site where you can see the if there is any deficiencies or sicknes. There will be change in the color, shape and you get marks/spots. A healthy looked nail is a sign of a balanced body.
Not all nail conditions are normal, however consult your doctor or dermatologist if you notice major problems like;
• Changes in nail color like discoloration, white spots or a dark streak under the nail
• Changes in nail shape, such as (curled nails)
• Thinning or thickening of the nails
• Brittle nails
• Nail de-attachment from the surrounded skin
• Bleeding around the nails in severe cases
• Swelling and pain around the nails
• Failure of nails to grow out
To avoid the severity you need to take care of the nails on regular basis. Taking care of nail is not a tough thing, it only need some TLC.
Nail care: Do's
To keep your fingernails looking their best and healthy.
• Keep nails dry and clean. This prevents bacteria from growing under your fingernails. Repeated or long-time contact with water can contribute to split fingernails, it makes the cuticle soft and fragile.
• Practice hygiene.Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve.
• Have biotin. Research suggests that the nutritional supplement biotin helps strengthen weak or brittle fingernails. Specific Biotin supplements are available as OTC (you don't need a prescription to consume, its very safe for consumption).
• Moisturizer is a must. Rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too.
Nail care: Don'ts
To prevent nail damage, take care of these factors;
• Biting fingernails or picking cuticles. These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection.
• Pull off hangnails. Carefully clip off hangnails, see that your live tissues along with hangnails are not pulled off.
• Avoid high chemical cosmetic products. Limit your use of nail polish and nail polish remover. When using nail polish remover, opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover.
Manicures and Pedicures
Manicure is cosmetic treatment of hands and fingernails where as Pedicure is the cosmetic treatment of feet and toenail. You can do manicure and pedicure at home with available tools and things. If you go to saloons for manicures or pedicures, keep a few things in track. Opt professional and licensed technicians. Don't have your cuticles removed, they act to seal the skin to the nail plate, so removal can lead to nail infection. Also, make sure all tools used are properly sterilized during your procedure to prevent the spread of infection. Avoid applying nail paints immediately after the treatment.
Taking some basic steps can keep your fingernails healthy and strong. Healthy nails are the sign of a healthy being.