Easy Tips for Healthy Nails
Many people go out of their way to keep their finger- and toenails perfectly polished and manicured at all times, but many of us mistreat and abuse our nails. Fingernails and toenails are looked at as a small-scale snapshot of our overall health, and if they look unhealthy, so do we.
Nail Fast Facts:
- Fingernails grow an average of 0.1 mm per day
- Fingernails grow faster than toenails, especially on your dominant hand
- Nails grow faster in summer than winter
Nail health is easy to maintain as long as you follow some simple do’s and don’ts.
- Always make sure to wear properly fitting shoes; too-small shoes can lead to ingrown toenails.
- Moisturize your cuticles daily (look for thick hand creams, especially those with Vitamin E in them), and make sure to always dry hands and feet thoroughly each time they get wet.
- Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes so your nails aren’t constantly soaking in hot water.
- Massage your nail-beds to increase blood-flow which stimulates nail growth.
- When using nail polish remover, make sure it doesn’t have acetone or formaldehyde, which can stain nails.
- Never pick at or pull hangnails, as it can lead to tissue tears.
Unhealthy nail signs include: yellow discoloration, separation of nail from nail bed (onycholysis), indentations that run across nails (Beau’s lines), nail pitting, opaque or white nails, and/or curved nails.
Yellowing of the nails can be cause by dark nail polish, nail polish remover, or could be a sign of psoriasis. White spots on nail beds are usually caused by nail traumas (like closing your finger in a door), but can be a sign of Zinc deficiency. Brittleness and peeling could be due to not wearing gloves while washing dishes, but also could be due to a lack of linoleic acid, which can be found in fish oils.
What you can do:
Improving your nail health could be as simple as adding a few more vitamins and minerals to your diet. Here are a few vitamins/minerals that can improve nail health:
- Silicon helps facilitate the formation of collagen, which is necessary for skin and nail health
- Vitamin E and Zinc are effective in the treatment of yellow nail syndrome
- Biotin increases thickness and strength of brittle nails
- Iron is especially important for those who are iron-deficient anemic. Anemia affects 20% of women, and 50% of pregnant women, and can cause thin and brittle nails
- L-cysteine is an essential amino acid and a key component of keratin, hair and nails.
- If you’re ever concerned about your nail health, be sure to schedule an appointment with your dermatologist.
At Knoxville Dermatology Group, any one of our board certified physicians can provide you with general information regarding proper care for nails; however, we suggest you contact a podiatrist to answer specific questions you may have.
Schedule an appointment today with one of our board certified physicians to gain more knowledge about your skin so it can reach its fullest, healthiest potential!
Contact Knoxville Dermatology Group at 865.690.9467.