Your nails and the skin around them need to be healthy, strong, and well-equipped to tackle life’s challenges. Between your workday, your workout, and household chores… nails are subject to wear and tear from a long list of environmental exposures. Fortunately, following just a few best-practices can dramatically improve your nail health:
Be kind, be careful
Keeping your fingernails clean can help prevent fungal and bacterial growth. Rule 1 of nail care: avoid using your nails to pick or pry at things. Even if this doesn’t cause immediately apparent damage, the effects can add up. If you tend to bite your nails or cuticles, ease away from these habits for healthier hands. The cuts that often result can cause discomfort and even lead to infections.
Respect your cuticles
Avoid cutting or aggressively pushing back your cuticles. They’re there for a reason. Your cuticles are key to promoting healthy nail growth by covering and protecting the underlying matrix. Cutting them opens the door to infection, irritation, and a host of other nail headaches. Be mindful of how you’re treating your cuticles.
Maintain the strength of your nails by trimming directly across the top and rounding out the edges gently with a nail file. This will help prevent painful ingrown fingernails, as well as snags and splits that can catch on your clothing or other objects. Clip your nails after your shower while they’re supple for easier trimming.
Be moisture smart
Hot water, soaps, and detergents can leave the skin on your hands sapped of moisture, sensitive, and brittle. Rub hand lotion around your nails, particularly after hand washing to help to hydrate your nails, prevent splitting, and fortify the skin. Use gloves when cleaning or doing dishes. Applying vaseline to lock in moisture is also a sure-fire way to keep the skin around your fingertips healthy.
Long story short – don’t overlook your nails. And remember, all of the above tips go for your toenails too! Fortunately, the tools you need to receive care and treatment for conditions involving your nails are right at your fingertips. Your dermatologist specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of conditions affecting your skin, hair, and nails. Now, board-certified dermatologists in your area are just a click away with SkyMD. Visit online today.