There is nothing more attractive than well cared for hand and a nice manicured nails. Right? Take a look at your nails right now: are they strong and healthy or weak and brittle? If you see areas of unusual color or shape and dents, your nails are unhealthy. You can avoid experiencing uncomfortable and unsightly nail issues by taking proper care of your nails.
What is Normal and What is Not?
Your nails are made of laminated layers or proteins known as keratin, and they grow from the area at the base of your nails beneath the cuticle. If your fingernails are healthy, they should be smooth without grooves and pits. They should also be uniform in color and free of discoloration.
Sometimes, your nails might develop harmless vertical ridges running from the tip of the nail to the cuticle. These ridges will become more prominent with age. Your nails can also develop white spots or lines, but they will grow out eventually.
However, not all nail conditions are normal. You need to consult a doctor if you notice any of the following:
– Changes in color, such as discoloration of the entire nail or dark streaks beneath it
– Thickening or thinning of the nails
– Changes in shape, for example curled nails
– Bleeding around the nails
– Separation of the nail from the skin around it
– Pain and swelling around the nails
When it comes to aesthetic appearance, if you want to keep your nails looking their best, you should do the following:
Practice Good Hygiene
When doing manicures, make sure that you use sharp clippers and scissors. Start by trimming your nails straight across and around their tips in a gentle curve shape. You also need to keep your nails short to avoid damaging them.
Keep Nails Dry and Clean
Keeping your nails clean and dry prevents bacteria from growing underneath them. If you keep your nails in water for extended periods, they will start splitting due to brittleness. You need to wear cotton-lined gloves whenever you are doing the dishes or using strong, harsh chemicals.
When using hand lotion, you need to rub it into your nails and hands. You can use any nutrient-rich oil to keep your nails and cuticles hydrated. Use this nail care regimen every night before you retire to bed for healthier nails and cuticles. If you do not have any lotion, you can use lip balm.
Give Your Nails a Break
Save the elaborate nail art designs for the weekend and let your fingernails rest during the weekdays. Doing so will allow your nails to rest and recoup after being bombarded by chemicals. Going from one color to the next will turn your nails yellow and weaken their structure over time.
Use Gel and Acrylic Treatments Sparingly
No matter how desperate you are to use gels, pay attention to use them sparingly because they can be hard on your nails. However, if you really want to get this treatment, take some precautions to minimize the damage to your hands. UV-gel-based treatments use a drying device that makes the gel dry faster which is better for your nails. Also, maintain your the nail so you do not have to return to fix a chipped nail frequently.
Take Care of Your Tools
You need to disinfect your nail tools in between uses to kill bacteria and keep your nails infection-free. Wash your tools with soap and water after every use, then use rubbing alcohol to wipe them. You need to replace emery boards frequently.
Read the Labels
Just like with almost anything, not all nail products are created equal. Therefore, make sure you are using the right product. You need to avoid products that contain toxic chemicals such as toluene and formaldehyde. These toxins can make your nails weaker and cause them to crack.
By following this guide you will be on a path towards healthy and better looking nails. It will also instill the discipline in you to take such care of other parts of your body as well.