More often than not, we tend to look for the loud flashing signs for health issues like fever, weakness, pain, etc. but we end up ignoring more powerful subtle signs like hair fall, breaking of nails, skin pigmentation that can tell us a lot about our body. Many of us may not know that our nail constitutes an organ of the body. Hence, like other organs, it needs a lot of care and they perform many important functions to safeguard our health.
Nails are important for covering and protecting our fingertips, the bone at the end of our finger as well as the soft tissues around the nail and bone. These are very sensitive parts hence you must ensure excellent nail health.
Before we discuss how to keep your nails healthy, let’s discuss ways to find out the trouble. Some of the nail related signs that your body may need attention are:
- Pain around or in the nail region
- Changes in nail color such as dark lines, yellow/green coloration
- Swelling around the nails
- Separation of nails from the skin
- Depression in the nails (a sinking line in the center)
Now that we know what to look for, let’s see what to do about these things. Major ways to keep your nail healthy are listed below:
Biotin or Vitamin H belongs to the B-complex group of vitamins. Lack of Biotin is our body is one of the major causes of common nail related issues. Nail brittleness, pigmentation is caused due to Biotin deficiency. Biotin is naturally available in foods such as fish, egg yolks, milk, sweet potato, yogurt and can help mitigate the deficiency.
However, if you have any allergies or diet restrictions involving these, you can opt for biotin supplements. The advantage of some biotin supplements, especially Nutrivog Biotin supplement is that it contains other helpful minerals and amino acids aiding nail health. Additionally, as we mentioned in our previous blog, Nutrivog also contains amino acids that help with the production of Keratin in our body.
Our nails structure is made by a specific type of protein called Keratin in our body. Keratin is responsible for the formation and growth of nail tissue and helps make them strong from trauma and damage.
2. Moisturize hands/cuticles
While vitamin intake and diet interventions are vital for nail health, there are some hygiene-related factors that also play an equally important role. Like most skincare routines will tell you, Moisturization with the correct product can improve the skin a lot. The same goes for nails. Moisturizing around the nails helps keep them moist and prevent cracking or damaging the soft tissue around the nails.
The small skin below the nail is responsible for keeping the germs out of your nails and skin. Without proper care, it could break or form cracks leaving you open to risks of various infections.
3. Clean nails regularly
Cleaning nails is again a part of the same hygiene routine mentioned above. A very important fact regarding nails is that they can get infected quite easily. If you clean your nails regularly, you keep them away from infections forming from dirt, sweat, and chemicals, etc. In case you have long fingernails, please take care to clean under the nails as well.
4. Nail polish
Wearing nail polish is known to protect the outer layer from getting damaged or dirt getting in around the edges. However, there is some basic care that has to be taken during this. If you are going to wear polish at home, choosing an acetone-free polish can reduce damage possibilities from chemicals. Also, while working with your hands, wearing gloves can prevent the polish from breaking and going under your skin.
Regular usage of polish is also not advisable. Taking a break now and then helps the nail repair themselves from the damage caused during the manicure if any.
5. Nail length
There is a popular thumb rule that says “quality over quantity”. It works for nails as well. Having healthy, clean and strong nails is much more essential than long nails. Long nails make the nail prone to damage or trauma. When this happens, the soft tissue also gets distressed leaving you vulnerable for infection. Hence you must maintain a normal nail length and if you do have long, take really good care of it.
6. Regular clipping
Nail is a fragile component and if you do not clip it regularly, it can become brittle as the length increases. Regular clipping also maintains hygiene levels by preventing dirt accumulation under the nails. Using properly sanitized clipping tools is advised to avoid infections.
7. Nail care tools
A lot of the nail care regime depends heavily on tools such as clippers, brush, and file, etc. Since these are used regularly for nail care, you have to ensure that these are in working order and clean. Sanitizing your nail care tools before and after use can go a long way in ensuring that you keep your nails healthy. Blunt or unclean tools can lead to loss of shape, tearing of nails and infection, etc.
Nail may be a very small part of us but it plays a very important in maintaining our overall health and hygiene. Hence, taking the right nutrients and following a strict nail care regime can help you avoid unnecessary health and hygiene issues. If you feel that despite following a careful diet plan and care regime, you still have issues with your nails you should look into taking a Biotin supplement. Do consult a physician before starting any new routine or supplement.