Nail health tends to be neglected by a majority of the people because of lack of awareness. It is desirable that the nails should receive good attention. Let us explore various measures to keep nails in good looking and healthy and stay away from behaviors that deform or infect them
· Nails are composed of a special protein which has the same structure as that of hairs.
· The finger nails in an adult human being grow nearly at the rate of one millimeter per week, with men showing a slightly higher rate of growth than women of comparable age.
· Whitish specks seen over nails have no clinical relevance
· The nails in the elderly require greater attention because of their low immunity and poor blood circulation
Prevention of Nail Damage/ Self Help Measures
Trimming: Nails should be regularly trimmed, the best time for this activity being either just after a bath or soaking them in water for 8-10 minutes to soften them. The nails should be cut straight across with the edges rounded off to make a gentle curve.
Nail Polish: The use of nail polish should be interrupted by intervals of several days between applications to permit the nails to be exposed to air and moisture
Cuticle: It is the thin membranous covering at the base of visible part of nail plate running up to skin of the digit. It is protective in nature. This layer should not be damaged deliberately. Manicure sometimes damages this layer weakening the nail structure.
Filing: A fine filer can be safely used to gently grind nail plate and to round off their edges.
Biotin: It is a vitamin that is safe for oral use to improve nail health.
Avoidance of risky behavior: Frequent immersion of hands and feet in water, soapy or chemical laden solutions is harmful for nail fitness. Nails should not be subjected to force as experienced in wearing footwear with a tight inner toe space, cleaning of groovy surfaces, and trying to force open containers. Diabetics need to take extra care as they are more prone to infections of the nail.
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Dr Vinay Kumar
Senior Consultant Dermatologist
+91-93 199 299 00
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