Nail care is one part of looking your best that you can’t ignore. To be entirely beautiful one can apply the best makeup wear the most fashionable clothing, but it is not complete if you do not take good care of your nails. Nail care is essential to prevent nail problems such as fungal infections and ingrown nails from occurring.
Our hands are mirrors of how we lead our lives and how much attention and care we give to our skin and the rest of our body. Some believe that hands can show the age of a woman. Our hands are used for everything, to communicate, express ourselves, give emphasis to our words. We use them to cook the foods we serve our families, our hands help us to get dressed, write letters, welcome and congratulate others.
Nails are hardened skin cells but when it comes to nail care, we need to do more than just clean the nail itself.
The parts of the nail are the nail root, nail bed, nail plate, cuticle and nail tip. Factors that can make your nails uhealthy and cause damage include poor diet, malnutrition, drug abuse, endocrine disorders, anemia, and trauma to the nail itself. Having manicures done to your nails at a nail salon is one way to take care of your nails.
Fingernail Do’s and Don’ts
Take a close look at your fingernails. Are they strong and healthy looking? Or do you see ridges, dents or areas of unusual color or shape? Often less than desirable nail conditions can be avoided through proper fingernail care. Others require a physician or dermatologist care.
Whats Normal, What’s Not!
Your fingernails – composed of laminated layers of a protein called keratin- grow from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. As new cells grow, older cells become hard and compacted and are eventually pushed out towards your fingertips. Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. They are uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration. Sometimes verticle ridges develop that run from cuticle to the tip of the nail, they are harmless and typically become more prominent with age.
Not all nail conditions are normal, however, Consult your doctor or dermatologist if you notice:
- Changes in nail color
- Changes in the nail shape
- Thinning or Thickening of the nails
- Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin
- Bleeding around the nails
- redness, Swelling or pain around the nails.
Nail pitting is small depressions in the nails. Nail pitting is most common in people who have psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin. Nail pitting can also be related to connective tissue disorders, such as Reiter’s syndrome, and alopecia areata — an autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
Nail clubbing occurs when the tips of the fingers enlarge and the nails curve around the fingertips, usually over the course of years. Nail clubbing is sometimes the result of low oxygen in the blood and could be a sign of various types of lung disease. Nail clubbing is also associated with inflammatory bowel disease, cardiovascular disease, liver disease and AIDS.
Spoon nails (koilonychia) are soft nails that look scooped out. The depression usually is large enough to hold a drop of liquid. Often, spoon nails are a sign of iron deficiency anemia or a liver condition known as hemochromatosis, in which your body absorbs too much iron from the food you eat. Spoon nails can also be associated with heart disease and hypothyroidism.
With the condition known as Terry’s nails, the tip of each nail has a dark band. Sometimes this can be attributed to aging. In other cases, it can be a sign of a serious underlying condition, such as liver disease, congestive heart failure or diabetes.
Beau’s lines are indentations that run across the nails. The indentations can appear when growth at the area under the cuticle is interrupted by injury or severe illness. Conditions associated with Beau’s lines include uncontrolled diabetes and peripheral vascular disease, as well as illnesses associated with a high fever, such as scarlet fever, measles, mumps and pneumonia. Beau’s lines can also be a sign of zinc deficiency.
With a condition known as onycholysis, the fingernails become loose and can separate from the nail bed. Sometimes detached nails are associated with injury or infection. In other cases nail separation is a reaction to a particular drug or consumer product, such as nail hardeners or adhesives. Thyroid disease and psoriasis — a condition characterized by scaly patches on the skin — also can cause nail separation.
Yellow nail syndrome
With yellow nail syndrome, nails thicken and new growth slows. This results in a yellowish discoloration of the nails. Nails affected by yellow nail syndrome might lack a cuticle and detach from the nail bed in places. Yellow nail syndrome is often a sign of respiratory disease, such as chronic bronchitis. Yellow nail syndrome can also be related to swelling of the hands (lymphedema).
To keep your fingernails looking their best, follow these simple guidelines
Do Keep Your Fingernails Dry and Clean. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dished, cleaning or using harsh chemicals. avoid long exposure to water.
Do Trim and File Your Fingernails Regularly. Use sharpe manicure scissors or clippers. Trim straight across, then round the tips in gently curve.
Do use Moisturizer. When using hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles.
Don’t Abuse your Fingernails. Don’t use your nails as tools to pick, poke or pry things
Don’t Bite Your Nails or Pick at Your Cuticles. This can damage the nail bed and cause infection
Don’t Pull off Hangnails. You risk ripping live tissue and creating infection, instead gently clip with clippers.
Don’t Ignore Problems. If nail problems don’t seem to go away on their own or are associated with other symptoms consult your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.
Weak Fingernails can be a challenge to strengthen.
To protect them and reduce the risk of splitting or breaking;
Keep Your Nails Short ~ less risk of breaking
Use Moisturizer ~ Apply to nails and cuticles several times a day and at bedtime
Apply Nail Polish ~ a thin coat of clear nail polish can help keep moisture in
Limit Use of Nail Polish Remover ~ don’t use more than once a week, make sure to use acetone-free variety
Ask your Doctor about Biotin Supplements. Some suggest nutrition supplement of Biotin might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.
Its easy to ignore and neglect your nails, but there is much you can do to keep your fingernails healthy and strong. Start with basic fingernail care and your look will be complete!Once your fingernails are healthy and strong add some fun into your appearance. Add some color, or some sparkle, Art, Rhinestones, colorful designs or just plain beautiful color.