Our nails are made up of several layers of keratin, a fibrous scleroprotein that occurs in the outer layer of the skin, hair, nails and teeth. Nails protect the tissues in the fingers and toes. As people age the nails thicken and become more susceptible to fungal infections. Nails can reveal a lot about an individual’s overall health, so developing good habits to keep the nails healthy is important.
Nails are an important part of the hands and feet and need to be taken care of properly.
Manicure- It is a cosmetic beauty treatment for the finger nails and hands. It often includes filing and shaping of nails, polishing and painting of fingernails. It also includes the application of artificial nail tips.
Pedicure- It is the care of feet and toe nails. It is basically a manicure for the feet.
Manicure and pedicure can be helpful to prevent nail diseases and nail disorders.
Nail care tips
- Keep the nails well trimmed
- File the ends of the nails to smooth them off
- Avoid biting fingernails
- Always wear rubber gloves while working at home
- To soften the cuticles (skin at the bottom of the nails) soak the hands in warm water for a few minutes
- Cuticles from the nails should not be removed from nails as it will make the nail more susceptible to infection.
- After washing hands apply hand cream or lotion using it on the nails as well.
- Use pads of the fingers rather than nails to perform simple tasks
- Old tooth brush or nail brush should be used to clean beneath the nails
- Always dry the nails after bath as the soap makes it dry and easy to break
- Avoid walking bare foot in public areas
- Antifungal foot powder can be used inside the socks to keep the feet dry
- Wear shoes to protect the feet
- Use only non acetone nail polish remover
- Drink a lot of water and include vegetables in the diet to have healthy nails
- Nail polish acts as a splint to protect the tips of the nails from further splitting.
- The nail polish removers remove from the nail plate the naturally occurring wax and lipid substances which aid the nails in retaining moisture and keep them supple and flexible. Therefore using nail polish removers more often than once or twice a week will tend to make the nails dry and brittle.
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For more information from the American Academy of Dermatology click here.