Healthy nails don’t mean just a pleasant appearance, but also a small risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
Keeping your nails in shape does not involve making frequent trips to your manicurist, say dermatologists, because of all the aggression suffered in contact with sharp instruments. In fact, experts say that once you keep your nails strong and healthy, you will not need as often for a manicure. The following methods recommended by medical experts will help in this regard.
Healthy nails have a flat and smooth surface, without grooves or striations. Shade and completeness must be uniform, without spots or discolored portions. If you notice a distinct change in appearance and integrity of your nails, accompanied by bleeding, swelling or pain, consult a dermatologist as soon as possible…
There are several ways you can maintain healthy nails, and is recommended to turn them into a daily routine as part of your personal care:
Keep your nails clean and dry
Wear protective gloves when doing housework and avoid long baths in the tub, to keep your nails away from moisture, dirt and aggressive chemicals. This will prevent bacteria, fungi and other microorganisms to grow under the nails and cause infection.
Cut the nails properly and regularly
Use a sharp manicure scissor or nail clippers and cut nails straight (without pulling), then round corners with a clean nail file. Do not try to pull the ingrown nails; you risk developing infections. Nails allowed to grow too much accumulate contaminants and pathogens; hygienic is to shorten them to a medium size (do not ever cut them really short, because you’ll expose the sensitive skin they’re covering).
Supplement the intake of biotin
Experts say that people who follow a balanced diet do not need, usually, dietary supplements to ensure maintaining healthy nails. Even so, if you have brittle and thin nails, you might increase their resistance by increasing the daily intake of biotin (vitamin B2). It’s proved to be effective in strengthening nails and stimulates their growth rate. Also, eating more proteins and proper hydration helps the body maintain healthy nails on a long term.
Protect your nails from nail polish side effects
Nails polish itself does not damage your nails, but can cause their yellowing, especially when used consistently (with no rest period). You can protect yourself from the side effects of frequent application of nail polish, using a lacquer that acts as a barrier. It is also recommended to use a polish remover without acetone, an aggressive ingredient, which can have unpleasant effects on the integrity of the nail.
Moisturize the cuticles do not cut them
The cuticles exist for one reason: they protect the sensitive skin around the nails for infections, so it is dangerous to cut them or damage them in any way. Instead, you can push gently with a special tool, keeping their aesthetics by hydration.
Apply a moisturizer or serum and massage the cuticles with an emollient lotion you usually use. If you notice signs of infection (redness, pain and swelling) near cuticles, consult your dermatologist.
Regularly clean your nails with a special brush
Many women are exposed, without knowing, to the danger of infection when removing impurities under the nails with sharp objects, usually included in classic manicure sets. This usually leads to the appearance of burs and a space between the nail bed and nail, allowing bacteria and fungi to penetrate the small holes thus created.
The surest way that you can keep your nails clean is to use a soft brush specially designed for this hygienic ritual.
Use gloves when washing dishes and housekeeping
Even the strongest nails can suffer when they are held for long periods in hot water and dish soap. Washing dishes can cause excessive drying of the skin and hand nails, which is why it is recommended to wear gloves when you handle this task.
If you find it uncomfortable to wear gloves when dishwashing, try as much as possible to use warm or cold water and a dishwashing detergent less aggressive with the skin and nails.
Choose simple manicures
When at a beauty saloon, choose the simplest manicure for the sake and health of your nails. Let them just cut and file your nails, then apply a coat of nail polish.
Acrylic or gel nails increase susceptibility to infections and prevent natural nails to grow normally. In addition, there is a significant risk of developing skin cancer, because of the exposure to UV rays emitted by the lamp used to set the gel.
Never underestimate nail infections
Nail infections must be treated promptly to avoid complications. The bacteria are easily recognized (redness, swelling and pain), but fungal infections can be detected later because early symptoms are discrete (slightly irritated skin around the nail bed).
Fungal infections can be treated with antifungal ointments recommended by specialists, but preventing their recurrence and possible complications requires medical attention.
Stop biting your nails!
Nail biting, a widespread twitch, is extremely harmful, favoring peeling nails and their fragility. Rubbing nails, another nervous habit, does not bring more services to them, thinning them and causing grooves on their surface.