Do you have strong nails on your hands and feet? Well, you should! Hands and feet are used most often, and the fingers and toes are very prone to injuries. Our nails, which is composed of hard protein called keratin, serve as protective covering to somehow shield our finger and toe tips.
Being rich in nerve endings, our fingers are highly sensitive areas making them prone to shock and various kinds of injuries like cuts, burns, bruises and trauma. That’s why we need to have complete and healthy nails.
However, do we give them proper attention or take them for granted? Are they as healthy as we want them to be?
Look at your nails now. Do they appear smooth and evenly colored? Are they hard enough? Do they have white or black patches? Not brittle or chipped?And do they grow continuously; as in more or less one centimeter in three months?
You see, nails are also prone to diseases, and they also serve as indicators of one’s health status. Caring for our nails and keeping them clean and well maintained are a must-do; in order for us to avoid infectious diseases and other health hazards.
In addition, it is said nails may reflect a person’s hygienic practices. Generally, having clean nails all the time indicate high personal sanitary standards; such that people may be drawn to admire clean and beautiful nails; or the exact opposite, be appalled at shabby or diseased nails! Hence, it becomes a choice on whether to hail or to hide our nails. Which is preferable?
Do we hail our nails? Or do we prefer to hide them?
What we should remember:
* Avoid biting or chewing your nail(s). Nail biting might also create an infection in your nails.
* Longer nails catch and trap more dirt and bacteria than short nails. Hence, more care on those who like to keep their nails long.
* Keeping hands wet for a long time may cause nails to break.
* Detergents and too much exposure to water make hands and nails dry, so always wear gloves when washing dishes or cleaning washrooms.
* Refrain from using chemicals with bare hands. Use gloves.
* Massage hands and nails with moisturizing cream or lotion to maintain good blood circulation to finger tips and prevent drying of skin.
* Manicure and pedicure are best treatment for keeping your nails beautiful and regularly cared for.
* Applying nail polish frequently is not recommended. It can make your nails turn yellowish and damage the natural texture of nails.
* Allow your nails to breathe by leaving it without nail polish for at least one week every month.
* Avoid cutting off cuticles to prevent infection. Instead, use cuticle removers for hardened cuticles; carefully pushing it off after you have soaked your fingers in the solution.
* Use only nail polish removers that are not acetone-based to avoid dryness.
* Using of knives or blades to scrape off nail polish from nail is definitely a big no.
* Artificial nails bring glamor, but not advisable for long use because nail beds can become more prone to fungal infections.
* Never use undersized or tight-fitting shoes to avoid nail disorders and bunions. Using of socks is highly recommended!
* At least once every two weeks, pamper your feet and toe nails with routine cleaning and care to keep them good looking and healthy. You see, nails are prone to disorders and diseases, too.
* When typing, use your finger tips and not your nail tips. Avoid using them as tools, too.
* Wet and dirty nails can bring about infectious diseases like Onychomycosis (ringworm of the nail).
* Patches on nails, discoloration or unusual growth of nails may signify disorders to some internal organs. So go check on your nail color and appearance regularly.
- White patches could be a sign of some disorders in your liver
- Half pink, half white nails may indicate kidney concerns
- Reddish nail bed may relate to heart problems
- Yellowish nails and thickening could indicate lung disorders
- Pale colored nail bed may warn you of anemia
- Yellowish nails with slight blue hue at the base of nail could indicate diabetes
- Nails that grow upwards, called spooning, is linked with iron or B12 deficiency
- Nails that curve downwards and bulging nail beds could relate to lack of oxygen, probably lung problem, heart or liver diseases
- Denting or pitting of nails is most often associated with psoriasis
- Unusual thickening of nails usually signifies circulation problems and ridges or furrows across the nail usually indicate stress
It is best to seek medical assistance when your nails show discoloration, brittleness, splitting, fraying, cracking, redness, swelling, unusual thickening, or any other irregularity. Likewise, nail conditions which show signs of infection, inflammation or other forms of deformity should be properly checked immediately.
Knowledge is power! The more we know and understand about our body parts (nails included!) and how to care for them, the better it will be for us.