How Healthy Are Your Nails?

African American woman manicured nailsPeople often find pleasure getting their nails done. Usually, manicures and pedicures are the desired service in nail shops. People enjoy having their hands and feet clean and appealing. What many do not realize, however, is that just because you get your nails serviced regularly does not mean they are necessarily healthy. In fact, some services, especially if not done incorrectly, can actually damage your nails. Many people practice bad nail care habits, such as nail-biting, pulling hangnails, and using harsh nail products, per a Mayo Clinic article.

Biting your fingernails damages the nails bed, and often times small cuts are left on the skin, which allows for bacteria and other germs to enter. This can lead to an unwanted infection. Hangnails can be annoying and sometimes painful. The common mistake made by biting them off is the pulling that puts pressure on the hangnail, eventually causing it to tear farther back, resulting in live tissue being damaged in the process. Therefore, when you get a hangnail, always clip them.

Harsh products such as nail polish remover is drying on the nails. Be sure to use acetone-free nail polish remover to avoid this issue. As always, your natural nails should be given time to heal in order to grow, therefore nail care is important in and outside of the nail shop. The American Academy of Dermatology Association provides readers with some ways to help maintain healthy nails.

Practice good hygiene. Nail hygiene is an important first step. Keeping your nails clean and trimmed helps them grow faster and stronger. Be sure to keep your nails dry in order to prevent bacterial growth underneath the nails. Continuous exposure to water can cause fingernails to split.

Moisturize and strengthen. Moisturizing your hands and nails helps keep the cuticles hydrated. The cuticle contributes to nail growth, therefore it is crucial to keep them healthy. Having moisturized nails will prevent them from becoming dry, cracked and brittle. To add an extra layer of protection, a nail hardener will prove good use. As your nails grow out, they will need to be strong so they will not break easily.

Trim regularly. Often times people wish to grow their nails in order to achieve the longer look. However, in most cases people find it is hard to keep their long nails from breaking. These breaks can cause trauma and injury to the nails. Regular trims will help reduce the risk of trauma and breaks.