8 Ways to Keep Your Nails Healthy

Nails Healthy : Your fingernails and skin are highly vulnerable to environmental factors. Soaking them for extended periods can erode them, weakening them further and leading to hangnails.

Careful attention to the health of your nails is not only good for them but can be an early indicator of other medical conditions. Here, experts share tips for maintaining healthy nails.

1. Try Biotin

Biotin has become widely recognized for its many health benefits to nails, hair, and skin. Studies have demonstrated how biotin helps strengthen keratin protein structures found in nails, hair, and skin – all essential elements.

Biotin can be found in foods such as sardines, cooked eggs, beans, and nuts; additionally, you could try taking a biotin supplement such as Nature’s Bounty Biotin Gummies, which contains 1000mcg and is designed specifically to support nail health.

Zinc is another essential nutrient for maintaining healthy nails. This mineral assists your body in producing red blood cells that carry oxygen to the nail beds and encourage thickening. You can find zinc-rich foods such as oysters, beef, fortified breakfast cereals, chickpeas, soybeans, pumpkin seeds and walnuts.

If your nails have become brittle, vitamin C could be to blame. Vitamin C is necessary for collagen production, which provides shape and strength to many tissues, including skin, nails, and hair. Good sources of Vitamin C include citrus fruits, kiwis, and bell peppers.

2. Enjoy Polish

Enjoy Polish
Enjoy Polish

Nails provide us with an important indicator of our overall health. Brittle nails may indicate nutritional deficiencies or other medical problems; At the same time, the polish isn’t necessarily harmful, it’s still wise to minimize potential damage as much as possible and maintain healthy nails.

If you turn out manicure after manicure without taking breaks to let your nails recover and breathe, consider choosing nontoxic nail polish without harmful ingredients such as toluene and formaldehyde that won’t have adverse effects.

Look for products labeled “five-free,” which refers to ingredients without formaldehyde, toluene, DBP, TPHP, or methylbenzoate in their ingredient lists. When applying polish, remember to moisturize both nails and cuticles regularly with either nutrient-rich cuticle treatments or a hand cream that contains moisturizers that contain vitamins or hydrants like essential fatty oils for cuticle health; Holly Falcone of New York City nail expert suggests filing nails one direction rather than filing back-and-forth which could weaken nails over time. A good moisturizer contains both elements: glycerin provides essential emollients like fatty oils while protecting from harmful UV radiation while using oils contains moisturizers with anti-occlusive properties like silicones to keep cuticles healthy.

3. Moisturize Cuticles

Cuticles are an important barrier and protector for nail matrices, but when dry or cracked, they may allow bacteria or fungus to enter and damage nails. A cuticle oil with nourishment will keep them looking their best.

Cuticle oil provides moisture and softening benefits for nail beds around nails, helping prevent hangnails. It is packed with nutrients like Vitamin E and moisturizing oils like sweet almonds, jojoba, or apricot seed oil, often combined with beeswax as a protective sealant.

Cuticle oil can be an ideal way to protect and hydrate hands before applying polish, cleaning dishes, gardening, or engaging in other activities that expose them to water and harsh chemicals that dehydrate them. Furthermore, since our skin and cuticles lose moisture due to cold temperatures, using daily cuticle oil will help counteract its drying effects and provide relief during wintertime.

4. Keep Nails Trimmed

Keep Nails Trimmed
Keep Nails Trimmed

Trimming nails is often an overlooked hygiene task, yet according to the American Academy of Dermatology, it’s an integral component of maintaining healthy skin and nails.

Diet is also essential for nail health, with protein-, calcium- and biotin-rich foods (such as leafy greens, avocados, and nuts) providing essential benefits. A multivitamin may be helpful if these essential vitamins and minerals are lacking in one’s diet.

Keep your nails short to reduce the likelihood that bacteria or fungus will grow underneath, potentially leading to infections like fungal nail disease. Also, shorter nails are easier to file without creating rough or uneven edges.

Use small and sturdy scissors to trim your nails – it is best done when your hands and nails are dry so you can avoid cutting into the skin – and regularly sanitize all tools used, such as clippers. Sandpaper or woodworking files may also help shape and trim nails effectively, though biting can strip keratin away and weaken nails over time.

5. Clean With a Nail Brush

Clean nails are essential to avoid infection, yet many women risk infection by vigorously cleaning under their nails with long, pointy tools at home or during manicure appointments. Instead, it’s recommended that women regularly brush their nails and nail beds using a nail brush; this gentle motion removes buildup that could contribute to infections while lifting dirt that might otherwise accumulate underneath the surface of their nail beds.

An effective nail brush must have durable bristles capable of lifting dirt without scratching or damaging nails, and the nail bed must be designed for comfort with an ergonomic handle.

Fuller Brush Hand ‘N Nail Brush is an excellent option. Featuring soft and stiff nylon bristles on its double-sided brush, this nail brush gives two distinct cleaning options. It has a convenient hole for drying between color changes, helping prevent cross-contamination. If you plan to use one brush for both cleaning and application of clear gels, consider purchasing two separate ones to avoid cross-contamination; in any event, after cleaning, consider applying cuticle oil or moisturizer afterward to keep cuticles and nail beds healthy and hydrated – especially after cleansing!

6. Wear Dish Gloves

Wear Dish Gloves
Wear Dish Gloves

Washing dishes barehanded can expose you to harmful germs and chemicals that can contribute to various ailments, but wearing gloves acts as a protective shield to maintain nail health and appearance.

Wearing gloves can also help you avoid dishpan hands. Expose yourself to hot water and soap without protection, and over time, and your fingers will become cracked with frayed cuticles, dryness, and cracks may form, along with discolored nails, which aren’t beneficial to health or looks.

Choose gloves with appropriate sizing and no holes or cracks, especially if you have sensitive skin or latex allergies. Cotton-lined pairs may provide added comfort.

This three-pack of reusable cleaning gloves delivers their promise by providing outstanding agility, durability, and comfort. They’re PVC and latex-free, too – making them suitable for those with allergy problems. We suggest giving these a try yourself to see how well they stand up against hot water use or rough household chores.

7. Minimize Manicures

No matter your style – from nail color enthusiasts to those preferring polish-free nails – healthy nails are one of life’s less obvious confidence boosts. While manicures may help your nails stay looking their best, it is also vital that they’re protected against environmental factors and lifestyle choices that can damage or yellow their appearance.

Washing your hands too frequently with hot water containing harsh detergents or other chemicals can damage nails. Excessive contact with wetness (think washing dishes in wet gloves or getting your hands caked in gardening dirt) may weaken them further and make them susceptible to infection, warns Stern.

Eating a diet rich in proteins, whole grains, and healthy fats is another essential step towards maintaining healthy nails. When it comes to manicures, aim for at least one polish-free manicure each week using an acetone-free polish remover to avoid drying out the skin around your nails.

Also Read : 7 Herbs and Spices Can Save Your Skin

8. Take Infections Seriously

Take Infections Seriously
Take Infections Seriously

Nail infections are painful, so they must be taken seriously. If your nail or cuticle becomes swollen, abrasive, red, or bleeding, contact a dermatologist ASAP, as it’s likely an infection and needs immediate treatment.

Mild nail fungus may not require treatment at all; however, if symptoms such as fever or brittle nails persist and require medical intervention, then your physician can recommend an antifungal medication or medicated polish to address more serious infections. Also, consult with them if other symptoms, such as fever and/or nails becoming brittle, are present, as this could indicate an underlying health issue that needs treating.

As part of your efforts for healthy nails, be sure to use gloves when cleaning with harsh chemicals or gardening; refrain from biting your nails and picking at your cuticles since these habits create entryways for bacteria and fungus into the nail; instead, opt for gentle, nontoxic polish remover and drink plenty of water because dehydration causes your body to reduce the nutrients sent directly to skin and nails causing dry and brittleness.

Conclusion

To maintain healthy nails, it’s important to follow a few simple yet effective practices. First, nourish your body with a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals to support nail growth. Keep your nails clean and trimmed to prevent infections. Moisturizing your nails and cuticles helps prevent cracking and peeling.

Minimize exposure to water and harsh chemicals by wearing gloves when necessary. Avoid nail-biting or picking at your cuticles to protect the integrity of your nails. Use gentle, acetone-free nail polish removers to avoid drying out your nails. Lastly, give your nails occasional breaks from polish to allow them to breathe. By incorporating these habits into your routine, you can ensure your nails stay strong, healthy, and looking their best.

FAQs

1. What are the best practices for keeping nails healthy?

The best practices include keeping your nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria from growing, avoiding biting or picking at your nails, using moisturizer on your nails and cuticles, and trimming nails regularly with properly sanitized tools.

2. How often should I moisturize my nails and cuticles?

It’s beneficial to moisturize your nails and cuticles every day, especially after washing your hands or using hand sanitizer, as these can dry out your skin and nails.

3. What should I look for in a nail polish remover?

Opt for an acetone-free nail polish remover as acetone can be very drying to your nails and cuticles. Removers that contain hydrating oils or ingredients can help mitigate damage.

4. Can diet affect nail health?

Yes, a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals can significantly impact nail health. Vitamins A, C, D, E, as well as B vitamins, iron, zinc, and protein, are particularly important for strong and healthy nails.

5. How can I prevent nail breakage?

To prevent nail breakage, keep your nails trimmed to a manageable length, avoid using your nails as tools to pry things open, wear gloves while doing chores that could damage your nails, and use a nail hardener if necessary.

6. Is it safe to get artificial nails or gel polish?

While generally safe, frequent use of artificial nails or gel polish can weaken your natural nails. It’s important to take breaks between applications and to have these products applied and removed by a professional to minimize damage.

7. What are the signs of unhealthy nails?

Signs of unhealthy nails include discoloration, changes in thickness or shape, swelling, and pain. If you notice any of these symptoms, it might be a sign of an underlying health issue, and you should consult a healthcare professional.