There are many myths that float about the Internet about what are signs of healthy nails or the opposite. So it can be a minefield when you are trying to look after yourself as part of your self-care routine. These are simply my healthy nail tips I try to follow and recommended by reputable medical sources.
Our nails are a pretty important part of our fingers and toes. They help protect the skin underneath on our fingers and toes when they are being used as tools. And they do take a beating at times, because they are there to protect us. So often white marks or spots come up that are simply from damage happening to the nail or nail bed in our everyday lives. How often do you bang your hands on something, and then ten minutes later have completely forgotten that you did it until you notice a mark turns up. Most marks from damage like that will grow out (eventually…the time taken depends on how quickly your nails and hair grown and the time of year too).
Normal healthy nails should be pink where the nail is on the skin, and white on the part that grows off the nail bed. They can sometimes develop harmless vertical ridges down them (going from cuticle to nail tip that is), which can be more prominent the older you get.
(If you want to know what is NOT normal for nails, take a look at this article by the Mayo Clinic).
Tips to keep your healthy nails.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Drink plenty of water- 2 great things for your whole body.
- Moisturise your hands and nails daily with a non greasy moisturiser.
- Use Cuticle oil daily (applied to skin above nail, not to cuticles directly).
- Keep your nails trimmed and filed to prevent any devastating tears. And if one occurs, get to it quickly to save further damage.
- Keep your nails dry and clean – which means wearing rubber gloves if doing the washing up!
- Apply a nail hardener if you think your nails need more strength.
- Don’t bite or pick at your nails or hangnails. Always use clippers or sharp nail scissors. (Yes Steve this includes you!).
- Use gentle products on your nails. Try to use acetone free removers etc so they don’t dry your nails out as much.
To download these tips to keep as a reminder click here.
But if you are ever unsure about something to do with your nails, go speak to your doctor who can tell you if it’s something sinister…don’t just rely on those images of 10 signs of unhealthy nails you just googled! Some of them may be right, but some may be completely wrong and tell you that something is happening that isn’t really. Your doctor is the best person to ask in the end. Not Dr Google!
Want to take your self care that extra step? Then read about adding wraps and tips on how to apply them.