Healthy fingernails are very significant for our overall health. Clean, neat hands and healthy fingernails are some of the most important things for making a positive first impression. But, sometimes can be really hard to keep your nails strong and healthy because there are many fingernail problems that can occur. Some of the most common causes of fingernail problems include infection, injury, and skin diseases such as psoriasis and eczema.
Tips for Strong and Healthy Fingernails
Fingernails grow about 3 times faster than toenails. In order to maintain healthy fingernails, you should avoid infections and injuries, and improve nail appearance. Following, you can find some self-help strategies for healthy fingernails.
- Ways to decrease the risk of nail problems include:
- Practice good hygiene;
- Wear protective gloves for wet jobs (as washing the dishes or cleaning the toilet);
- Avoid harsh chemicals, such as detergents and strong soaps;
- Avoid or limit the usage of chemicals, like hair dyes;
- Take care with the use of nail polish;
- Do not clean under your nails too aggressively or very often;
- When giving yourself a home manicure, don’t push back the cuticles;
- Do not tear off or bite hangnails, always use nail clippers;
- Do not bite your nails;
- Take away artificial nails carefully and in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions;
- Do not smoke;
- Moisturize the hands frequently, especially after washing them;
- Don’t forget to rub the moisturizer over the nails and cuticles, too;
- Treat any signs of eczema on your hands on time;
In order to protect yourself from fungal nail infection (find more about this condition: LINK), always dry your hands and feet thoroughly after washing (especially between the toes), do not share towels, and always wear flip-flops in communal bathing places such as swimming pool or local gym. Moreover, ensure your shoes are well-fitting and have enough room for air movement.
A Healthy Diet Leads to Healthy Nails
If you eat a well-balanced diet, you are probably giving your body adequate amounts of the minerals and vitamins it needs to function. But, if not – there is a good chance your body is lacking in essential nutrients. Not just can this lead to many chronic diseases, but your nails (and skin and hair) will also suffer.
Healthy sources of protein, like organic eggs, grass-fed meat, and whey protein are truly important. Also, grass-fed beef is a good source of zinc that is necessary for making proteins as those found in your nails. Vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants found in berries, leafy greens, and some other whole foods are also important for healthy fingernails. Biotin, vitamin B7, is a good example.
Our body needs biotin for metabolizing carbohydrates, amino acids, and fats, but it is most well-known for its great role in strengthening your nails and hair.
Biotin plays a great role in building keratin that makes up your nails. Organic egg yolks and animal-based omerga-3 fats are one of the best sources of biotin. Most people in the U.S consume too many inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids (consider vegetable oils) and just a few anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids, thus, making a place for health issues like heart disease, depression, diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis, just to name some. Inflammation can also interfere with nail development.
The perfect ratio of omega-3 to omega-6 fats is 1:1, but the classic Western diet is usually between 1:20 and 1:50. Soft or brittle nails are a common sign that your omega-3 to omega-6 ratio might be out of balance. You should try cutting back on vegetable oils and consuming more animal-based omega-3s from sardines, anchovies, and krill oil.
Healthy fingernails are normally smooth and consistent in color. Don’t remove the cuticle, which could cause infection. Proper personal hygiene and a well-balanced diet are some of the most important things for keeping your nails healthy. Certain types of nail discoloration and variations in growth rate may be signs of heart, lung, liver, and kidney diseases, as well as anemia and diabetes. Vertical ridges and white spots are harmless. However, pale, yellow, rippled or cracked nails can be a sign of some serious health condition. Here you can find more information about what your nails say about your health: LINK. Keeping your nails dry, clean, and trimmed will help you avoid some nail problems.