The Importance of Nail Care and How to Keep Your Nails Healthy

Published on September 28, 2017

Woman getting her nails done

Raise your hands (or not) if you recently had a broken nail. Or noticed that your nails are starting to break off too easily. Maybe you have enough snags on your knit sweaters and black tights.

If those annoying occurrences happen way too often, your nails are probably weak and unhealthy.

While you might give your hair the love and care it deserves, you likely don’t think of your nails all that much. But, your nails are important, too! They don’t just scratch an annoying itch or help you pick up a penny from the ground, they protect your fingers and toes. You need to take care of them so they don’t discolor, or become frail and brittle.

What’s Normal and What’s Not?

Healthy fingernails are smooth, without grooves or pits. They should have an even color, and should be free of spots. Sometimes, the nails develop vertical ridges, as well as white lines or spots. These are often harmless and eventually grow out with the nail.

If you notice some discoloration or a rather yellowy hue, you likely have a fungal disease of the nail. The nails may appear thicker than usual, or become brittle or crumbly. Cracking and dryness are signs of unhealthy fingernails as well. Your lifestyle may be a factor here, such as if you live in a place with low humidity, use polish remover frequently, or are exposed to water frequently (e.g. swimming, washing dishes, etc.).

Brittle nails could also be due to vitamins A and C deficiency or B vitamin biotin deficiency.

Fortunately, you can avoid many of these less-than-desirable nail conditions through proper fingernail care.

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How to Take Care of Your Fingernails

  1. Trim your nails regularly—and correctly.

One of the most basic ways to keep your nails healthy is to trim them frequently. But it’s important to trim them correctly, too, experts at nail salon in Orlando, Florida say, or you risk developing an ingrown nail. The nails should be cut straight across, and you should leave approximately a millimeter of nail showing. Or better yet, visit a salon for proper trimming.

If you’re doing the cutting on your own, cut your nails immediately after a shower when your nails are soft.

  1. Take B vitamin biotin.

B vitamin biotin strengthens horses’ hooves. Hooves are made from keratin, the same substance that makes up the fingernails.

According to a study, B vitamin biotin works just as well in humans. In the study, patients with brittle nails who took 2,500 micrograms of biotin had 25% thicker nails.

  1. Don’t push your cuticles too far and always moisturize them.

Don’t push your cuticles back too far. Your nail cuticles are much like the caulking of a bathtub. If you push them too far, you damage them, leaving your nail bed at a higher risk for infections. And avoid cutting your cuticles!

In addition, moisturize your cuticles. This helps replenish the moisture in your skin surrounding the nails, preventing infections from getting through the cracks.

Your nails reflect how you take care of yourself. Keep them well-kempt. While your efforts won’t get your nails to miraculously grow faster, they will enable them to grow stronger and healthier – less susceptible to infection and breakage