Why nail hygiene is crucial to good health

Nails should be trimmed at least once a week. Photo: iStock/Foremniakowski

Many people are aware of the need for hand hygiene post-COVID, but it is doubtful whether as many pay attention to cleanliness when it comes to nails, specifically. A 2021 study found that 32 different types of bacteria and 28 types of fungi lie hidden under the nails. Keeping the nails clean is essential, as these germs are capable of causing many types of diseases. Nails should be trimmed at least once a week. After cutting straight, the sides should be rubbed to make them rounded. Care should be taken not to cut too close to the skin and not to over-cut the cuticles, as this may lead to infections. The nails should be cut in the same direction to avoid breakage.

Keep nails dry
Prolonged contact with water can weaken nails. Do not forget to dry your nails after washing them. Using gloves when doing things like washing dishes in the house can prevent dangerous chemicals from harming the nails. Keeping the nails moisturised will help prevent them from cracking. Vitamin E, jojoba oil, and shea butter can be used to moisturise the nails. Those who use nail polish should use only high-quality, chemical-free products. Acetone-free removers should also be chosen to remove nail polish. Your nutrition is just as important for nail health as it is for the outside.

Diet for healthy nails
Eating foods rich in biotin, vitamins A, C, D, and E, and minerals like iron and zinc are good for nail health. Choose a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and nuts. Biotin supplements can also be taken for nail health if prescribed by a doctor. Drinking enough water will keep your nails hydrated. Try to drink at least eight glasses of water a day. Discolouration, and changes in nail thickness or shape, are all signs of unsatisfactory nail health. If the symptoms persist, seek medical attention.

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