Your nail's cuticles (the skin that surrounds the hard part of your nail) keeps your nails healthy and protects them from fungal infections. Cuticles are quite sensitive to injury. Do not cut them or pick at them; this may damage them permanently. Instead, after a shower, bath, or after soaking your nails, use a soft wooden stick to gently push back the cuticle. Overgrooming cuticles may cause them to thicken so be sure to use gentle care when grooming.
· Cleaning - If nails are dirty, use a bristled nail brush to remove debris from around cuticles or from under fingernails. Remove all polish with nail polish remover; do not pick at polish as that can damage the surface of nails.
· Shaping - Nails should be gently filed with a fine emery board, never with a metal file that can cause damage. File in gentle, long strokes from corner to center; do not "saw away" at nails. Keep the emery board poised at a 45 degree angle in relation to the fingertip to prevent damaging the nail layers. Do not file deep into corners of the nail; this weakens the nail. In general, shorter nails are easier to maintain.
· Protecting - Do not use your nails to scrape or lift anything, or to pull anything open. Wear gloves when washing dishes and use nail and hand lotion daily to keep hands and nails moisturized.
· Polishing - You may wish to use only a ridge-filling colorless coat on your nails to give them extra shine and strength. If you polish your nails, use a ridge-filling base coat followed by color and then a protective top coat for the best results. Give your nails at least an hour to dry before using your hands.
Original posted by Miss Fashion
The most widespread nails problem and how to fight them.
• Dry, brittle nails - Moisturize often with a hand cream or oil. Eat more foods with essential fatty acids, such as eggs, meat, seeds, whole grains, and fish. Also, avoid overusing nail polish removers which contains acetone which can dry the nails and wear gloves when washing dishes.
• Chipping nail polish - Use quality nail polish; cheap nail polish chips more easily. When you polish your nails, be sure to use a ridge-filling base coat, two coats of colored polish, and a protective top coat. These coats keep polish from chipping and help protect nails.
• Nail infections - Nail infections may cause itchy, dry nails, blisters, and a loosening of nails. See your doctor for anti-fungal cream or tips.
• Bitten nails - Biting or picking at nails can damage them permanently. If you bite nails, coating them with anti-biting liquid can make you think twice about biting.
• Hangnails - These bits of dead skin next to the fingernail can be very painful. Trim the hangnail carefully, moisturize nails, and take Vitamin B and C supplements or eat more foods such as green leafy vegetables, peppers and citrus fruits.
• Ingrown nails - This painful condition occurs when the nail grows into the skin on the side of the toe. Soak nails in water. Run a soft rosewood stick between the nail and skin to separate. Trim carefully if needed. If nail does not improve, see a podiatrist.
Anyone can have strong, healthy, and well-groomed nails by following just a few simple rules. Your nails, like your hair, are made of the protein keratin, and consist of dead cells. They grow quickly (about .1 millimeter per day) and protect the skin at the ends of your fingertips and toes. Nails can also be an indicator of certain health conditions or vitamin deficiencies.
· White lines or spots can be a sign of a zinc or iron deficiency or protein deficiency. More rarely, these white patches or lines can signal liver, heart or kidney disorders.
· Thin, flat nails may indicate a Vitamin B-12 deficiency.
· Ridged nails may indicate an iron deficiency.
· Brittle, dry nails may indicate a calcium deficiency.
· Frequent hangnails may indicate a Vitamin C deficiency.
· Yellowish or discolored nails may indicate a Vitamin B-12 deficiency, or may indicate diabetes, allergies, liver problems, or poor health.
· Greenish nails may indicate infections in the nail bed.
· Bluish nail beds may indicate breathing problems or severe malnutrition.
Otherwise, healthy and well-manicured nails, short or long, should be smooth, without spots, hollows, or ridges. If they are unpolished they should be pinkish and clean. If they are long the ends, they should be curved and filed smooth.
Nails grow faster in young people. With age, nails may become thicker, harder, and may develop ridges. This is why caring for your nails becomes more important as you grow older.