Contrary to popular belief, manicures are not the only solution to nail issues. Your nails need proper regular care, even outside of the salon. DCSI offers nail services for nail diseases and disorders, so we wanted to share some of our nail care tips. First, it is important to understand what our nails are made of so that we can take care of them properly. Fingernails and toenails are made of a protein called alpha-keratin. This is the same substance that your body uses to create your hair and even the top layer of your skin. The keratin also protects the nails from damage. Our Delray dermatologists want to now share what you can do to protect them and improve fingernail health.
Tips for Healthy FingernailsBelow are some of our top important nail care tips for at-home care.
- Keep nails clean and dry.
- Cut nails straight across - When cutting your nails, make sure the clippers are sharp. Rounding the nails slightly at the tip will increase maximum strength.
- Nails should be shaped and free of snags by filing - Using an emery board, keep the edge of nails smooth and snag-free.
- Do not bite or remove the cuticle - Doing either of these can cause damage to nails.
- Do not use your nails as a tool - Opening soda cans and other containers can cause nails to bend or break.
- Trim regularly - Keeping fingernails and toenails trimmed can reduce the risk of trauma and injury.
- Soak hands and feet in warm water - This will make the nails easier to trim and shape.
- Don’t “dig out” ingrown nails - See a dermatologist if you are suffering from an ingrown nail, especially if it is infected and sore.
- Wear shoes that fit properly - Alternate which shoes you wear each day. Airing out pairs between wearing is good for both your shoes and your feet. Also, ill-fitting shoes can cause damage to toenails.
- Wear flip-flops at the pool and in public showers - Wearing flip-flops can reduce the chance of infections that are often caused by a fungus that can get into the nail beds.
Fingernail HealthThe experts in our offices have worked with brittle nails and other types of nail conditions. To better protect your nails, here are some additional nail care tips:
- Apply a base coat for protection.
- Never scrape off nail polish.
- Wear gloves for protection.
- Avoid gels and acrylics.
- File nails in one direction.
- Stop opting for water-based manicures.
- Use a cuticle softener to avoid brittle nails.
- Avoid harsh nail polishes.
- Choose a good remover (avoid acetone.)
- Stay away from using emery boards that are too rough.
- Clean extra polish off cuticles.