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4 Steps for Healthier Nails

By Julie Davis
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 6, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Good nail care is important, but it's possible to overdo it.

For instance, it turns out that too much clipping can actually be harmful. Trimming nails every day can create stress across the entire nail. Over time, it can change nail shape and even lead to conditions like ingrown toe nails.

It's fine to trim your nails with nail clippers or scissors, but no more than once every week or two. Fingernails should follow the shape of your fingertips, straight across and slightly rounded at the sides. Clip toenails straight across at the level of the toe. File in only one direction to keep nails strong.

Here are other care tips:

  • Keep nails clean and dry whenever possible.
  • Moisturize nails and cuticles with hand lotion or cream.
  • Nail polish offers some protection, but don't use polish remover more than twice a month.
  • Try to avoid all nail products with toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to water when bathing and housecleaning. Protect nails from harsh chemicals by wearing cotton-lined rubber gloves when cleaning.

It's also important to check your nails regularly for warning signs of a problem that merits a doctor visit.

Signs to look for include:

  • Discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under a nail.
  • Any change in shape.
  • Any change in thickness -- thinner or thicker.
  • Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin or nail bed.
  • Bleeding, redness, swelling or pain around the nails.

If you see any worrisome signs, get prompt medical attention from your doctor or a dermatologist who specializes in nail problems.

More information

The Mayo Clinic has more do's and don'ts for healthy nails.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved. URL:http://consumer.healthday.com/Article.asp?AID=727919

Resources from HONselect: HONselect is the HON's medical search engine. It retrieves scientific articles, images, conferences and web sites on the selected subject.
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Disclaimer: The text presented on this page is not a substitute for professional medical advice. It is for your information only and may not represent your true individual medical situation. Do not hesitate to consult your healthcare provider if you have any questions or concerns. Do not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting a qualified healthcare professional.
Be advised that HealthDay articles are derived from various sources and may not reflect your own country regulations. The Health On the Net Foundation does not endorse opinions, products, or services that may appear in HealthDay articles.


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