Fingernails might be one of the parts of the body that we take for granted. Other than washing and cutting them periodically, people tend to overlook the maintenance and care for their nails. Well, take a closer look because your fingernails can provide valuable clues to your overall health.
- Keep your nails clean and dry.
- Avoid nail-biting or picking.
- Apply moisturizer to your nails and cuticles every day.
- File your nails in one direction and round the tip slightly, rather than filing to a point.
- Don’t remove the cuticles or clean too deeply under your nails, which can lead to infection.
- Avoid nail polish removers that contain acetone or formaldehyde.
- Bring your own instruments if you get frequent manicures.
- If you have artificial nails, check regularly for green discoloration (a sign of bacterial infection).
- Eat a balanced diet and take vitamins containing biotin.
Your nails can be warning signs for various health conditions, from hepatitis to heart disease. For example, you can tell if a person has anemia by looking at his or her nails. Pale, whitish nail beds may indicate a low red blood cell count, which is an indicator of anemia.
When to See a Dermatologist About Questionable Nails
When fingernails being to change color or texture, it is likely that the nails are infected. If the nails start to dislodge and pain or swelling begins, please seek a dermatologist for professional treatment right away. Be alert to changes such as texture, shape or color that aren’t due to bruising or fungal infection, because these warning signs could be helpful in determining future skin conditions or skin cancer.