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Achieving Healthy Nails – A Sign Of Good Health




Beauty in all forms is well appreciated by all. A key factor that adds to the overall beauty of a person other than their outer appearance is the inner health of the individual. A healthy and fit individual automatically looks more beautiful.

We take extra efforts and follow a strict beauty regimen in taking care of our hair and skin. However, we forget to tend to the most important part of our body, which is tiny but of great importance in determining our overall health – the Nails. Nail health is an important indicator of our well-being as any changes in the nails could signify an ailment or disease. Many times the symptoms may appear first on the nails and then else-where on the body. Maintaining nails is an easy and inexpensive task. It can be done in the comfort of your home with simple tools available easily. By just paying a little attention and giving some time and effort it is possible to achieve shining and bright plum red colored nails.

You can try the following tips in taking care of your nails daily;

  • Never cut or manipulate your cuticles.
  • Do not use nail-hardeners.
  • Adequately moisturize and condition the nail bed and cuticles.
  • Wear gloves whenever you do house chores especially while washing dishes or cleaning.
  • Take biotin supplements to boost long and stronger nails.
  • Restrict professional manicures.
  • Do not use acetone-based nail-polish removers as they induce darkening of nails.
  • Massage your nails and hands.
  • Keep nails hydrated at night and dry through the day.

Just like ailments in other parts of the body, even nails come with their share of problems. The most common types of nail diseases are fungal infections that are caused by micro-organisms including bacteria and fungi residing in our bodies. Some fungi and bacteria have beneficial uses while others may spread infection and diseases. Some facts about fungal infections are as follows:

  • Fungi can live on dead tissues of our bodies and do not need sunlight to survive. They grow in warm, moist, and dark environment. They can enter the body through a minor cut or tiny opening or even squeeze in between the space between the nail bed and the nail.
  • Fungal infections are more common in toe-nails as compared to finger-nails because toes are confined to shoes most of the time during the day and this gives the fungi ample time to thrive in warm, moist, and dark surroundings. Less blood circulation in the toes as compared to the fingers makes it difficult for the body’s immune system to check, detect, and finally eliminate infections.
  • Other factors that can increase the risk of developing nail fungal infections are heavy perspiration, working in humid and moist conditions, being prone to skin infections like psoriasis, having diabetes, blood circulation problems, and a weakened immune system.
  • The nails when infected become thickened, brittle, distorted in shape, dark-colored, dull, lose luster and shine, have debris trapped under the nail, and sometimes may seem red, itchy, and ooze out puss and inflict pain.

People who share manicure/pedicure tools are at a greater risk of developing a fungal infection. Others with minor skin or nail injuries, who have to wear closed shoes throughout the day and people with moist skin, are also prone to fungal nail infections.