Beautiful and healthy nails- Guidelines of care from dermatologist

Written By Dr Surbhi, MD Skin

Last updated: 26/11/15
Beautiful, healthy, shiny and smooth nails are what we all desire. Nail care for getting beautiful and healthy nails involves careful cutting of nails, healthy diet, following Do's and Don'ts of nail care, taking a simple precaution, and timely dermatologist visits for nail problems. This article is a quick guide written by our dermatologist on how to care for your nails.

 

How should I cut my nails?

The fingernails should be clipped square with slightly round edges while toenails should be cut straight across slightly above the tip of toes. Nails can be filled with an emery board in one direction from side to centre. Nails should be cleaned with soap and nail brush or a soft bristle toothbrush once in a week.

What kind of diet contributes to healthy nails?

Balanced and nutritious diet (with lots of fruits, vegetables and whole grains), a diet rich in proteins, iron and vitamins (especially Biotin) is good for nail health. Biotin can be found in foods such as broccoli, eggs and fish. Contrary to the popular belief, calcium and fluoride intake does not make your nails strong.

What precaution should I take during pedicure and manicure?

The precautions are listed here:

  • The tub used for pedicure should be preferably of steel rather than plastic.
  • Tub and instruments used should be properly cleaned (ideally sterilised) before starting pedicure to avoid cross infections.
  • The cuticle should not be removed as it protects the nail.
  • Sharp instruments should be used carefully to avoid trauma to the nail and thus increase the chances of infection.
  • Excessive and overzealous pedicure and manicure can result in white spots on the nails.

What are some Do's and Dont's for the care of the nails?

Some Do’s for nail care are:

  • Do apply moisturiser daily at night on the nail and proximal nail fold to keep them shiny.
  • Do remove all the nail polish at least fortnightly and apply moisturizer on the nails.
  • Do buy shoes which have enough space for toe movements.
  • Do clean the nails, with tools like fillers and cutters.
  • Do wear gloves while doing household work especially if your nails are brittle.

Some DON’T’s for nail care are:

  • Do not grow your nails too long because this increases the chances of separation of the nail plate from the nail bed.
  • Do not soak your nails in water or detergent for too long.
  • Do not use your nails as a tool.
  • Do not pull or tear hanging nails, always cut them leaving the cuticle intact.
  • Do not overuse nail polish remover because acetone or alcohol content can weaken and dry your nails.

When should I consult a Dermatologist?

You should visit your Dermatologist, in case you notice the following changes in your nails:

  • Change in the nail colour, shape or size.
  • Thickening or thinning of the nail plate.
  • Brittle nails
  • Redness, pain or swelling of nail folds.
  • Any growth in and around nails.

     


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