10 Tips For Healthy Nails and Toes
We usually don’t think too much about our nails. We may or may keep them polished and pretty but as far as their overall health is concerned we don’t put too much attention on them.
Nails are a hardened keratin layer that protects and supports the tissues in our fingers and toes. Its important to keep them strong and healthy. Developing good nail habits are important.
To keep your nails healthy, dermatologists recommend:
1. Keep nails clean and dry. This helps prevent bacteria and other infectious organisms from collecting under the nail.
2. Cut or file nails straight across, rounding them slightly with a nail file at the tips for greatest strength. Be sure to use clean (sterilized) sharp nail scissors, sterilized nail clippers or a clean glass nail file to make sure you are using bacteria-free equipment. Filing the nails into points weakens them.
3. Keep nails shaped and free of snags.
4. Avoid biting fingernails, and never remove the cuticle.
5. Trim toenails regularly to keep them short.
6. When caring for extra thick toe nails soak feet in warm salt water (one teaspoon of salt per pint of water) for five to 10 minutes. Lightly dry feet using a patting motion and apply urea or lactic acid cream. This softens the nails, making them easier to trim.
7. Avoid “digging-out” ingrown toenails, especially if they are already infected and sore. See a dermatologist or podiatrist for treatment. (Ingrown toenail hack – if the ingrown toenail isn’t too deep and is only mildly sore without redness or swelling, you can cut a small “V” in the center of the nail edge. Doing so will help alleviate the pressure of the ingrown nail and it usually will then just grow out. Keeping these small “V’s” cut into your toe nails can help prevent ingrown toe nails.)
8. Wear shoes that fit properly and alternate pairs. Toes with pointy toes can aggravate toe nails so be sure to alternate shoe styles to give your toes a break from the pointy stilettos.
9. Report any nail irregularities to your dermatologist or Doctor. Swelling, pain and changes in the color of your nails could signal a serious problem.
10. Be especially vigilant of nail problems if you have diabetes or poor circulation. At the first sign of a problem, see your Doctor.