Simple Tips for Healthier Nails

Jul 29, 2018
Beauty expert Vida Emanuel, owner of a Beverly Hills Day Spa, has a few tips for people who want to take better care of their nails at home.

People do not always have time to pamper themselves at a professional manicure or pedicure. Simple habits can help keep their nails in good shape.
   
People should try to keep their nails clean and dry. This will help prevent infections from developing underneath the nail. Regular hand washing and showering is enough to clean under the nails. When doing the dishes, working with chemicals, or doing other activities where the hands are in unsanitized water for prolonged periods of time, people should wear gloves.

When trimming the nails, people should cut straight across and curve slightly at the ends. This shape is the safest for strengthening the nail and preventing ripping or breaking of the nail. Should a fingernail develop a chip or a snag, Vida recommends filing the nail with an emery board to smooth the edges. This prevents the nail from catching on things and getting torn.

Biting the fingernails and cuticles should also be avoided. This can weaken the nail and cause cuts in the cuticle and skin. These cuts leave the fingers open to infection especially from bacteria in the mouth.
   
Keeping the nails, especially the toenails, short helps to keep them safe and strong. Too long of toenails can push up against shoes and cause discomfort to the foot and damage to the nailbed. For toenails that are thick and difficult to cut, soaking the foot in warm salt water will soften the nail and make it easier trim. Sharp nail scissors or clippers should be the only implements used to cut the nails. These tools will make a smooth cut to prevent snags and are made to fit the nails so the nail does not bend and twist when being cut.
   
Lastly, people should make sure to wear properly fitting shoes with room for the toes. Shoes that are too small or too narrow jam up the toe nails and cause ingrown nails, discomfort, and infection. Ladies wanting to wear pointed-toe shoes or peep-toe shoes that crowd the toes should make sure to rest their feet by rotating in other type of shoes. People should always wear sandals at the pool or public showers, to prevent contracting an infection.
   
With these basic tips, people can put their best nails forward.