When you’re preoccupied with work and chores, taking care of your nails can seem like a luxury. However, maintaining clean and healthy nails is just as important as moisturizing daily. Poor nail hygiene can result in nail disorders such as brittle nails, ingrown toenails, and fungal infection, some of which require medical treatment. A recent study shows that 10% of all dermatology-related visits are mainly due to nail disorders. As such, taking care of your nails can actually help you save a trip to the doctor’s. Maintaining healthy nails, especially if you’re a busy woman, ensures that you can direct most of your energy to other, more productive things.
Maintaining healthy nails doesn’t even require too much effort – all it takes is a few tweaks to your habits, as well as some minor lifestyle changes. Here are some simple tips on how you can have healthier nails.
Nail care at home primarily consists of cutting your nails using clippers and nippers. When you do, make sure that you don’t cut too much so that you don’t expose your hyponychium, which is the skin just under the free edge of your nail. Exposing this part of your nail can lead to pain and infection. You might also want to leave your cuticles alone, no matter how tempting it can be to remove them using nippers. Cuticles are essential to protecting your nail matrix, which is where your nails grow from. So when cutting your nails, leave around 1-2 millimeters to be safe. Make sure that you gently file the rough edges left after clipping.
Take It Easy on the Polish
Nail polish does make nails look pretty and presentable, and wearing it can make you feel more confident. However, nails are quite permeable and can absorb pigment if nail polish is left on them for too long, which then dries them out. Dry nails, in turn, can attract fungus, yeast, and bacteria.
This isn’t to say that nail polish is bad. Go ahead and pamper yourself with a mani-pedi session once in a while, especially if it makes you feel good and confident. Just make sure that you don’t leave the polish on your nails for more than two weeks so your nails get to breathe and recover. If you love getting gel manicures, consider having a shellac manicure instead. It’s thought to be better for the nails since it doesn’t require scraping to remove the polish.
Develop Healthy Habits
A lot of emphasis is placed on a healthy diet for how it affects one’s weight and skin, but this is just as important for your nail’s overall health too. Nails are made up of keratin, a type of protein, so eating food that is rich in protein can result in nails that are in tip-top shape. The vitamins, especially Vitamins A and C, as well as minerals that you consume can also have significant effects on your nails, so make sure that you eat your fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget to hydrate and drink plenty of water, since lack of hydration can also lead to weak and brittle nails.
Aside from having a healthy diet, another habit that is good for your nails is moisturizing. Moisturizing isn’t only good for your skin, it helps in keeping your nails healthy as well. Nails that lack moisture can turn brittle, and this can lead to more complicated issues, such as breaking and splitting. So next time that you’re moisturizing, don’t stop at just your arms and legs, try to focus on your nails, too. It’s even better if you use a hand and nail lotion to moisturize, since it’s richer and more nourishing than ordinary body lotion.
Having healthy nails does not take much time or effort. Most of these steps can be done without changing your daily routine. By following these simple steps, you end up with healthy nails that are indicative of good overall health and hygiene.