Personal Care

Healthy nail care tips

By Robin Becker
Info Guru,

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well manicured hands
Have the healthy, beautiful nails you've always imagined
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Try these tips for healthier nails

Like your skin, and hair, healthy, well-cared for nails are an important part of a woman's appearance.  Most women do at least the minimum to take care of their nails, but we can all use some healthy nail care tips.  There are a few tips every woman should know:

Keep your nails clean. 

Make it a habit to use a quality nail brush to clean under your nails when you shower.  This not only keeps your nails looking good, it can help to prevent the spread of germs.  Be sure to dry your nails well after washing – water under the nails can lead to problems, especially with artificial nails. 

No biting allowed.

It's a habit so many of us share, but biting nails not only leads to unsightly hands, it can actually allow bacteria to enter your nail bed.  An infection under the nail is both painful and difficult to treat.  If you're in the habit of chewing on your nails, try sucking on small mints like TicTacs® or chewing up a LifeSaver® whenever you feel the urge to bite.  You'll save your nails and have fresher breath!   If you still have trouble keeping your fingers out of your mouth, look for one of the bitter tasting coating they sell in drugstores, usually in the baby aisle or nail care area.  Or rub your nails with fresh aloe…the taste will discourage even the most devoted nail biter!

Gloves, please.

Take a lesson from old sitcoms and don a pair of household gloves when you wash dishes, change the litter box, or clean the bathroom.  Household cleaners and disinfectants can damage your nails, leading to weak, brittle nails. 

Oh so smooth.

The right nail implements are essential to good nail care. Invest in quality manicure scissors and use them to trim nails straight across.  Then file the edges to a slight curve.  This will give your nails greater strength, and prevent those dagger edges.  Keep a good emery board or file in your purse and car to catch rough edges before they turn into deeper chips or even broken nails. 

Soft and soothing

Make sure your nails get a daily dose of moisture in the form of a good hand and nail cream or deep moisturizer.  Rub it into each nail, making sure you get the cuticle.  This will help make your nails stronger, and prevent dry, cracked cuticles.   Get some friends together and take turns giving and receiving hand massages with a good moisturizer for a nail-healthy moment of relaxation. 

Hey Doc, what does this mean?

Did you know that some health conditions can be detected by changes in your nails?  It's true!  That's why your doctor examines them when you have an exam. He or she is looking for any underlying conditions that may not have other symptoms that are present. 

Finger nails are not bottle openers!  (or screwdrivers, or paint scrapers, or…) 

You shouldn't abuse your nails by using them to pick at things or rip open containers or other things.  We have tools for a reason!  Because your nails grow slowly, an injured nail can show signs of damage for months.

Drink those glasses of water

One of the best things that you can do for your nails is to drink a lot of water.   Not only will you have healthier, stronger nails, you'll have shinier hair, better skin, and might even loose a pound or two!

Healthy nails from the inside out

If your nails are sensitive and fragile taking supplements like zinc and Vitamin B can add to the overall health of your nails. 

For more healthy nail care tips, visit with your nail stylist or dermatologist.

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