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The Do’s and Dont’s for Healthy Nails

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Just like well-kept hair, and healthy skin, well-kept nails also put forth a good impression and a positive impact. However, we seldom take as good care of them as they need, and fall prey to unscientific tips that do more harm than good. Many of us rely on salons and manicure places to take care of our nails when we can do a better job at home.

Here are some tips to keep the nails healthy and in good condition:

Don’t cut the cuticles:

According to Dr. Dana Stern, dermatologist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC, cutting or manipulating the cuticles is like ripping away the natural nail protection and inviting bacteria and fungi to infect the nail bed. Infections of the nail bed often need long term treatment and sometimes can even cause permanent nail damage.

Moisturize the nail beds:

Dr. Margaret Ravits, dermatologist at Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey advises putting oil around the cuticle that will help to moisturize the entire nail and prevent chipping, splitting and even cracking of nail.

Cut the nails properly:

Cutting the nails with the wrong technique can weaken them. It is better to cut the nails straight across and then using a nail file to round the corners. The same technique can be used for the toenails to reduce the risk of ingrown toenails.

Disinfect the clippers:

It is important to keep the fingernail clippers and toenails clippers separate and to disinfect them regularly. You can use a scrub brush soaked in isopropyl alcohol to get rid of nasty germs on the clippers. Scrub your clippers with the alcohol-soaked brush, rinse them with hot water and dry them.

Take supplements:

Eating food rich in biotin, zinc and iron or taking supplements rich in these, is a great option for keeping hair, skin and nails healthy. Biotin increases nail thickness and decreases the chance of breaking. A prescription strength of 2.5 mg daily is a good dose for healthy nails. Zinc helps the body to absorb protein and is therefore necessary for healthy nails. According to the World Health Organization, about one-third of all people have a zinc deficiency.

Limit manicures:

Manicures consist of harsh chemical treatments that deplete moisture from the nail bed and make them brittle. In fact research has shown that people who frequent manicure parlours, often suffer from redness around the base of the nail, and have chronic nail infections. To reduce the risk of infections, it is better to use your own manicure tools, but despite that, the chemicals manicurists use are not too healthy for the nails.

Avoid nail polish:

Nail polishes, especially gel nail polishes are bad for nail health. It thins out the nails, and make them brittle. They are a barrier between the nail bed and the air, thus preventing necessary airflow. If you want to wear nail polish, then avoid wearing it for an extended period of time.

If you are concerned about your nail health then it is better to seek professional help. Book an appointment with top dermatologist in Rawalpindi, Karachi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.
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