Taking care of your nails

Taking good care of your nails involves looking at internal and external factors. For the purposes of this article, we will regard internal as nutrition and external as environmental components that you can usually control. Nails are made out of the protein, keratin, and their appearance will reflect what you tend to eat and your general health. If your diet is insufficient for proper health then the nails will tell you with abnormal signs. The status quo for a nail bed is pink. If your nails start to deviate from that color you should do some research to find out why they look the way they do, and consult a doctor. A nail bed can turn any color under the sun, and one color may not be indicative of only one disease in two different people. So it is essential to get blood tests from a doctor if you notice discoloration.

To keep nails looking their best, you will want to eat foods with decent levels of the B vitamins(especially B12), vitamin A, and vitamin C. Adequate amounts of protein will also prevent weak nails. Be sure to include zinc and iron in your diet along with folic acid to facilitate absorption of nutrients. One of the most common abnormalities(or perceived to be so) is white spots on nails. Many people love to look at your nails, see white spots, and embarrass you by saying you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet, as if they are a trained doctor. White spots on the nail beds are usually caused by basic nail trauma.

Trauma in this instance need not be that severe. For instance, if you hit your nail bed off the corner of a desk, and it doesn’t hurt that much, you could still get a white spot there. And it need not happen immediately, the reaction can be delayed. White strips, or a totally white nail, may be a sign of something more serious, so it is best to consult your doctor if the white persists after a long period time.

Nails can become brittle, just as skin gets dry. To help dry skin you use moisturizers. Similarly, you want to use cuticle oil on your cuticle and actual nails to keep them from becoming rigid and prone to cracking. Applying cuticle oil liberally 2-4 times a day will promote healthy nails. When cutting your nails always use sharp scissors to prevent any tearing action that results when using dull ones. Filing a nail is usually performed when finishing a manicure. Don’t file back and forth, file in one direction only, to prevent tearing. Buffing nails helps to get their blood pumping and promotes healthy growth. And of course, don’t dip your well kept nails in any water mixed with cleaning agents without gloves. Be sure to use a pair of gloves that are dry on the inside as wet gloves promote fungal growth.

One Response to “Taking care of your nails”

  1. Peggy Bran says:

    I have been doing fiberglass nails for many years. I do not understand why you say they are water soluble when they are not. They cannot be removed by “adding” water. Fiberglass are actually the thinnest and strongest of all artificial nails. To remove them they must be soaked off in acetone the same as gel or acrylic.

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