Monthly Archives: July 2016

How to Improve Fingernail Health And Overall Health

Did you know that your nails are a good measure of your internal health? Caring for both fingers and feet and seeing a dermatologist when needed, can be a huge help when it comes to improving fingernail health, and protecting your overall health as well.

So, to care for your nails the safe way…

1. Keep your nails clean and dry and use an antifungal foot powder each day.

2. Don’t bite your nails… as this spreads infectious organisms between your mouth and fingers. This can also do damage to the skin around the nail, allowing bacteria to get inside.

3. Cut your nails (fingers and toes) straight across, slightly rounded at the center. This keeps nails stronger and avoids ingrown nails.

4. Wear shoes that fit and don’t try to self-treat an ingrown toenail.

5. Be aware of the sterilization procedures at your nail salon. Be sure that tools and surfaces are properly sterilized and technicians follow proper hand washing techniques between clients. Fungal infections are a risk; especially for younger salon patrons as nail salon parties are popular with preteen and teen girls.

6. Consider shellac rather than traditional nail polishes, as this is similar to dental sealants. You can get these products in many colors, have glitter and foil added to create a cool, durable manicure. What’s more shellac appears to help brittle nails forming by strengthening the nail, encouraging hydration. No wonder this option is quickly replacing nail polish in many salons.

7. If you have itching, burning or another allergic type reaction to any nail product, see a dermatologist at once, and discontinue using this product.

8. Take biotin supplements daily. This B vitamin supplement will help your nails get stronger.

9. Wear gloves for work in the yard, in water and doing regular household chores. Gloves protect your nails from being softened by water, or being exposed to harsh cleaners and brisk scrubbing.

10. Don’t let anyone buff or sand down the nail surface, as this thins (weakens) the nail bed. And don’t let anyone cut or push back the cuticles, as this allows organisms like fungi or bacteria an entry into the body.

How fast your nails grow depends on many things – your age, the time of year (summer is faster than winter), how active you are and your genetics. Nails grow faster on your fingers than on your toes, especially on your dominant hand. Some of the things that impact how fast your nails grow are medications, trauma to the nails, chronic illness or disease, fever, nutritional deficiencies or other diseases. Nail problems, like many things, are more common as you get older.

Here are some things to watch for in terms of keeping your nails healthy and looking their best…

– Redness, swelling and pain can signal an infection or some other serious medical problem.

– A dark mark or mole underneath a nail, often mistaken as an injury, can suggest melanoma, have a dermatologist take a look at this area as soon as you can.

– Lines, ripples and pitting on the nail could be indicative of psoriasis or another type of inflammatory condition.

– Blueness in nails can signal lung infections, diabetes or another type of circulatory problem.

– Split, yellowing and brittle nails could signal a fungal infection or possible thyroid disease.

– Nails with white nailbeds and a darker circle around the whiteness might suggest liver disease.

Experts suggest that if something doesn’t look right with your fingernail health, you should see a doctor. This will either get you the treatment you need right away, or set your mind at rest that nothing is wrong.

Keep Your Nails Strong and Pretty

It’s that time of year for spring cleaning and outdoor gardening. While our hands and fingernails are an integral part of these chores, you don’t have to ruin your manicure.

Consider the following nail care tips and your nails will never show that you have been digging in the dirt or scrubbing that kitchen floor.

1. For spring cleaning and daily household chores that require you to get your hands wet, wear cotton-lined rubber gloves to protect your nails. Why? Our fingernails swell when they get wet and shrink as they dry, which causes our fingernails to have less strength. Cotton-lined rubber gloves will help absorb moisture while keeping your hands and nails dry.

2. While working in the garden, it is important, as with cleaning, to wear the right kind of gloves. When dealing with damp soil, chemicals, or liquid fertilizers, it is best to wear rubber gloves that are water resistant. For gardening projects such as digging or weeding, consider wearing thicker gloves made of cowhide.

3. Before putting on cleaning or gardening gloves, apply some lotion on your hands or apply cream on your cuticles to moisturize. Try hand creams that contain oils such as shea butter, eucalyptus, flower or jojoba.

4. To help prevent cracks in your nails, rub moisturizer that contains alphahydroxy acids or lanolin into nail tips. For another moisturizing agent, you can also massage vitamin E oil into your cuticles. Tip – keep a bottle of vitamin E oil next to your bathroom sink to remind yourself to apply it to your cuticles.

5. When filing or buffing your nails, always go in one direction. If you file or buff your nails back and forth, this will cause splitting.

6. To promote nail strength and flexibility, eat foods that contain folic acid such as whole grains, berries, kale, and citrus fruits.

7. It is also important to drink plenty of water. This is necessary for fingernail health because it keeps the body hydrated.

8. To avoid breaking nails, don’t use them as tools, such as digging or picking.

9. Use products containing alcohol sparingly. These products can make fingernails prone to breaking.

10. Do you file the corners of your nails? This may weaken the nails and cause them to break more easily.

Nail Polish Tips:

* To prepare your nails for polish, wipe them with nail polish remover. This will remove any grease from your nails and help your polish last longer.

* Be sure to let nail polish dry completely before applying another layer.

* Apply several thin coats of nail polish to your fingernails instead of one thick coat. This will allow the polish to dry faster and last longer.

* To avoid drying out your nails, try not to remove and reapply nail polish more than once or twice a week.

* Consider using a nail polish remover that contains moisturizers. This will help moisturize your nails while limiting the damage of the product.

* To keep your nail polish bottle from becoming glued shut, use a cotton ball and wipe the top of the bottle with nail polish remover after each use.

* The experts believe the best place to store your nail polish is in the refrigerator. If you store your nail polish in a warm place, it will change the consistency.

* If you don’t have time to polish your nails or choose not to wear polish, you can rub on a buffing cream and then shine them with a chamois buffer. This is a very pretty and natural look.

By following the above tips and making an effort to have healthy and beautiful nails, you will have better-looking hands. You might also want to consider getting a hand massage. This will help boost circulation, encourage nail growth, and best of all pamper you, your hands, and your fingernails!


Fingernail Problems in Kids

Healthy fingernails are an indication of good health. However, if the fingernails of a child are not looking good, then it is likely that something is wrong with the child’s health. There are several causes of fingernail problems in children. Nails can be affected by fungal or bacterial infection or injury. It could be a sign of some disease that has not yet been detected, or the problem could lie with the genetics of the child.

Fingernail Disorders in Children

Every type of nail disorder has its own characteristics. It is with the help of these specific features that we can identify the fingernail problems. Following are the most commonly observed fingernail issues found in children:

✦ Pitting on the Nails
This occurs mainly due to some abnormalities in the formation of the nail plate on the matrix of the fingernail. It may or may not affect all the fingernails. It looks like a small depression on the surface of the nail. The pits can be small and shallow, or large and deep. As a result of pitting, a nail may lose its natural tightness and fall off. It can be caused due to various skin diseases like psoriasis, eczema, atopic dermatitis, due to injury, and sometimes it is hereditary as well. When pitting is caused by psoriasis, then a number of changes are observed in the appearance of the fingernails. They are: discoloration of the nail plate, one or more lines on the surface of the nails, increased thickness of the skin that lies below affected nails, etc. Later the nails tend to get crumbled.

✦ Beau’s Lines
This can be described as a deep line of depression on the nail plate crossing the fingernail horizontally. Beau’s lines are formed as a result of sudden disruption in the process of cell division in the nail matrix. This can be caused due to some infection in the fingernails, skin disease, or any underlying disease like diabetes. Other possible causes of beau’s lines in children are malnutrition, low calcium levels in blood, blockage in blood vessels, side effects of some drugs, or some kind of injury in the fingernails. It can happen to children of any age group. It can be found even in newborn babies. If these lines are formed in all the fingernails of an infant, then the cause of this problem is likely to be some intrauterine distress.

✦ Koilonychia
This disorder is also known as spoon nails as the affected nail looks like a spoon. The nail gets flattened in the middle while the edges move up, and thus gives a concave shape to the nail. The main cause of this problem is deficiency of iron in children. It can also be hereditary in some cases. Injury and overuse of oils and soaps by children can also lead to koilonychia. Other underlying health conditions like renal disease, thyroid dysfunction, and musculoskeletal conditions can also be responsible for koilonychia.

✦ Leukonychia
This is the medical term used to describe the problem of discoloration of nails. One or more white spots appear on the surface of the nail. It can affect one or more than one of the nails. Usually, it is caused because of some kind of injury on the base of the nail. These spots disappear as soon as the affected part of the nail regrows. Usually, the process of regrowing nails need almost eight months. So the spots will be gone after one year. Sometimes, it may happen due to deficiency of zinc, or because of diseases like cirrhosis.

✦ Anonychia
Absence of the nail plate/plates is called anonychia. Congenital anonychia of all nails (it can be partial too), a very rare condition, is usually associated with certain ectodermal or mesodermal malformations. It may occur without any other coexisting major congenital disorder, or as a part of a syndrome.

✦ Other Fingernail Problems
➺ Brittle fingernails is a condition quite common in small children. This happens particularly on the thumbnail. Habits like thumb sucking and nail biting, or frequent hurting of the fingernails may lead to such problem.
➺ Ridging is another fingernail problem in children, and is characterized by raised lines running longitudinally across the nails. Superficial longitudinal oblique ridges, across the nail plates (forming a V-shaped pattern) are often found in kids, who are in their early childhood. Such nails are referred to as chevron nails. However, the nails look perfectly normal as the kids reach adolescent age.
➺ Protein deficiency can result in thin and flat nails.
➺ Onychomycosis (fungal nail infection), may occur in young children.

There are various types of treatments for fingernail disorders. Therefore, as soon as you detect any disorder, you should consult a dermatologist. Some laboratory tests are conducted to identify the infection, and then the actual treatment starts. If the nail problem is caused by some underlying condition, then your dermatologist will advise you to consult a specialist doctor to treat the particular disease.

Tips to Beautiful And Healthy Nails

Nails tell a lot about a person. They show how good a person’s grooming and hygiene are. They can sometimes also tell a bit about a person health. Good looking, well taken care of nails can be sexy and attractive and could just be a make or break for that potential soul mate.

Keeping your nails strong and healthy and looking good does not need to be a lot of work. Here are some tips that can really help.

  • Be careful when trimming your nails. They may break or crack much easier when fresh out of a shower and still wet. Use a fine file occasionally avoiding the use of nail clippers. This will gently shape nails without risk of fracturing them.
  • Beware that many nail polish removers use very strong solvents and can damage your nails over time. They are very effective at removing paint, but are they worth it? Look for gentle paint removers that don’t have acetone in them.
  • Keep your nails hydrated. Just like you, your nails need to stay hydrated to be healthy. You can use a gentle oil like coconut or castor oil at night before bed to keep your nails healthy looking great.
  • Need thicker nails? Take biotin daily, about 2.5 milligrams a day. It has been proven to be very effective for many people for strengthening nails. In about 6 months you can really notice a difference.
  • Polish looks great, but once in a while the natural look can really be nice. Try giving your nails a break now and then. Your nails will get more oxygen, look great, and be better off for it.
  • Are you getting all your nutrients from your diet? Strong and health nails depend on proper nutrition. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables for the their natural nutritional benefits. Consider taking a multi-vitamin supplement to complement your diet. Drink plenty of water.
  • Get the gloves out. If you are working around the house with cleaners protect those nails. This will go a long way in helping to keep the skin on your hands looking good too.