Sunday, May 10, 2009

Nail Health 101

Nails are the windows to your body's inner health. Certain changes in their color or growth rate may indicate "various lung, heart, kidney and liver diseases, as well as diabetes and anemia". (Click here to read more about specific nail conditions.) Let's discuss some basic nail care tips ...

STEP 1: EAT RIGHT
Healthy nails begin with a proper diet. Sufficient protein intake is important since our nails are made up of keratin. This is not a problem for the average American, but vegetarians or vegans should be sure to incorporate adequate protein sources. Calcium is also critical to nail health. Several other nutrients are important as well (see links below).

STEP 2: KEEP THEM CLEAN
Dirty nails are an ideal foundation for nail infections. Thus, it is essential to regularly clean your nails. Simple soap and water should suffice. Do not forget to clean under the nails.

STEP 3: KEEP THEM DRY
Moist, warm environments are conducive to fungal growth. Sweaty shoes, shower floors, and prolonged periods in wet gloves should be avoided. Change your socks regularly. Wear flip flops in wet places. Prolonged periods in moist environments may also weaken the nail and make it more prone to damage. Keep your nails dry (but moisturized).

STEP 4: KEEP THEM TRIMMED
Trimmed nails are less likely to get caught on articles of clothing, hair, etc. and risk damage.

ADDITIONAL TIPS:
Wear comfortable shoes to avoid ingrown toenails. Moisturize your nails regularly to avoid hangnails. These are just a few of several ways to maintain healthy nails. Check out the links below for more.

SOURCES and MORE READS:
NAIL DOS & DON'TS
NAIL DISEASES
NUTRITIONAL DEFICIENCIES
NAIL CARE
NAIL FUNGUS

1 comment:

  1. I love this Post! I feel our nails are often neglected. Thanks for sharing.

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