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Much ado about healthy nails?
April 01 , 2013
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Chances are that you’ve never considered this but nails are important. Apart from helping with tiny tasks like picking up little objects, they also show a sign of good health or otherwise (weak nails often scream ”nutritional imbalance” faster than anything. 

Any change in the fingernails could also be a sign of several types of cancer or fungal infections. So the nails cannot be ignored.

The following tips will enable you understand the basics about nail health and help you treat yours better:

1. Keep your nails dry and clean as this prevents bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms from growing under your nails. As much as you keep them dry, they should be moisturized regularly with petroleum jelly or special cuticle creams (If you have access). These moisturizing agents should be massaged into your cuticle and the skin surrounding your toe nail and fingernails. Olive oil is another great option for moisturizing cuticles. 

2. Dry your hands for at least two minutes after doing the dishes, taking a bath/shower, etcetera. Also dry your toes - especially between the toes - thoroughly after swimming or showering. Leaving them damp increases your risk of fungal infection (Example - Athlete’s foot)

 You should also air your shoes often. Never put your feet into damp, sweaty shoes. That is a sure way to fungal infections that will take a long, long time to arrest. Guys, please Wear cotton socks. They’re best for absorbing dampness.

3. Do not misuse your fingernails. Don’t try to use your fingernails as tools. They aren’t. Please get a proper tool box with screw drivers and pliers and all. YOUR NAILS ARE NO SUBSTITUTE.

4. Do NOT. I repeat. Do NOT bite your nails or pick at your cuticles or Pull off hangnails. These ”popular” habits can damage the nail bed. You’ll be shocked at the amount of microorganism that will thrive in the tiniest of cuts along the nail bed. Hello infection! If you find hangnails, clip then with a cutter. Nothing else is permissible. If you notice any change in your nail or nails, consult a doctor or dermatologist because it can be the onset of something serious...or Not. 

5. To keep your nails healthy, add a glass of milk and a hard-boiled egg to your daily diet. This is because they are rich in zinc and can work magic especially if your nails are spotted with white (a sign of low zinc intake.) Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. This is particularly important for people with diabetes.

6. File your nails correctly.

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