August 17, 2012

Top 5 Tips for Clean, Strong, and Healthy Nails

Not unlike the claws or hooves of an animal, your finger and toenails are made up of a tough protein called keratin. Claws and hooves, fingernails and toenails alike have a primary function- to protect paws, fingers and toes from injury. The secondary function is to serve as a tool for digging, scratching, and picking. No matter the species, it is important that nails stay healthy so that these purposes can be served throughout life. Think about how difficult it would be to remove a splinter without nails, or how much worse a misaimed hammer would feel on your thumb. However unlike dogs, cats, horses and goats, we humans also use our nails for show. Healthy fingernails make a hand more inviting to shake. And clean toenails look oh so much better in sandals. Whether it's simply vanity that drives you, or the desire to maintain an overall healthy body here are 5 tips for keeping your nails clean, strong and healthy.


Wash, clean and dry your nails regularly This all-important step should be number one in your nail care routine. Keeping your hands well washed will decrease the chances of bacteria finding it's way underneath the nail bed. Once your hands are washed, be sure to dry them and moisture is an open invitation for infection.

Take your vitamins Make sure you're absorbing enough of the right kinds of vitamins in your daily diet. A lack of calcium and vitamins A and D can create dry, brittle nails leaving them prone to cracking. Vitamin B12, which can be found in chicken, fish and dairy products can also help your nails from drying out. And the protein, essential fatty acids and folic acid found in foods like meat, fish, canola, flax seed and leafy greens play a part in the development of both healthy skin and nails. If you eat a balanced diet regularly you shouldn't have to worry too much about getting enough of these vitamins. But if problems with your nails arise, consult a doctor and see if he/she recommends upping the intake of a particular vitamin until your nails are back on track.

Don't bite your nails Nail biting, in addition to causing unsightly nails is also a great way to invite infection. Biting damages the nail bed and makes space for fungi to live.

Salon best practices Having our nails cared for professionally can be one of life's little luxuries. Not only does it feel good, but it's also a good way to keep your nails in good shape. When choosing a salon, be aware of the methods used to keep tools cleaned. You don't want to go to a salon that merely cleans their tools. You want complete sterilization. Watch to be sure that tools get sterilized in a steam sterilizer after each, single use. The spread of finger and toenail fungus can be easily avoided if a salon owner is on top of industry best practices. Otherwise the chance for spreading germs is just too great for you to take the chance.

Don't ignore problems If you see something is out of place with your nails talk to a specialist and get the problem taken care of. Many nail issues can be easily avoided or cured but there are some that may be an indication of bigger problems. So don't ignore a nail issue just because it doesn't hurt. Take care of your body and it will take care of you.

(Guest Post by Carol)

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  1. my nails kept snapping everytime i tried to grow them
    and then i bough 'sally henson - mirical grow' and now they are really strong.
    its only about £3- £5 in boots

  2. Revati3:23 PM

    Eat/drink food with calcium, like milk. You can also buy nail hardner.

  3. Shaila3:59 PM

    I made a homemade mixture for long strong nails!! You need: A bowl with warm water, 2-3 tablespoons of salt, and 1 tablespoon of orange juice.
    Mix it all and soak your fingers in it for 10-15 minutes. Also you can use lemon juice/lime juice! Hope this works!!:)

  4. Rachana3:59 PM

    File them occasionally. And run the file up and then down vertically. It may feel wierd and many dont like the feel or noise but it helps strengthen them and prevent them breaking.


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