• 08 Jan - 14 Jan, 2022
  • Mag The Weekly
  • Beauty

Take a close look at your fingernails. Are they strong and healthy looking? Or do you see ridges, dents, or areas of unusual colour or shape? Many less than desirable nail conditions can be avoided through proper fingernail care. So, are you taking good care of your nails? Here's what you need to know to keep your fingernails in tiptop shape.

Fingernail care: Do's

To keep your fingernails looking their best:

• Keep fingernails dry and clean

This prevents bacteria from growing under your fingernails. Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split fingernails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals.

• Practice good nail hygiene

Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve.

• Use moisturiser

When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too.

• Apply a protective layer

Applying a nail hardener might help strengthen nails.

• Ask your doctor about biotin

Some research suggests that the nutritional supplement biotin might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.

Fingernail care: Don'ts

To prevent nail damage, don't:

• Bite your fingernails or pick at your cuticles

These habits can damage the nail bed. Even a minor cut alongside your fingernail can allow bacteria or fungi to enter and cause an infection.

• Pull off hangnails

You might rip live tissue along with the hangnail. Instead, carefully clip off hangnails.

• Use harsh nail care products

Limit your use of nail polish remover. When using nail polish remover, opt for an acetone-free formula.

• Ignore problems

If you have a nail problem that doesn't seem to go away on its own or is associated with other signs and symptoms, consult your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.