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Finger and toe nail care

Updated on October 24, 2013
Finger nails
Finger nails

What are they for?

Your nails play an important role in protecting your body. Your finger tips have lots of nerve endings. The nail helps to protect this sensitive area and serves as a kind of shield. The skin under your nails is very soft and is susceptible to getting damaged or infected easily without protection. Your nails also help the sensory system in your body. You use your hands and fingers to feel and touch things. Your nail heighten the sensitivity in your finger tips by acting as a counter weight or something to measure against. Another purpose for nails is for gripping and making it easier to tear into things. Your nails on your toes also have soft skin underneath that they protect. Your feet are sensitive to touch just like your hands. Your toes help your feet to balance so you can stand and walk. Your toe nails increase your toes sensitivity to touch.

What you finger nails can tell you
What you finger nails can tell you

What can they tell you?

Unhealthy nails and certain nail conditions can be cues for other more serious health problems. Small indentations in the nails can be a sign of tissue disorders. Nails that curve over the finger tips are a sign of low oxygen levels which could be a symptom of many serious diseases. Nails that flip out or look like spoons are a sign of low iron, this could also be a cue that that you may have more serious health conditions. Even the ridges in your nails mean something. If you have large ridges going sideways on your nails, it is a sign of poor nutrition. The color of your nails can tell you about your health too. Your nails should generally be a similar shade to skin on your hand. If they start to look to red, pink, or blue it could mean that you have poor circulation or need a more balanced diet . Hang nails could be a sign that you are not getting enough vitamin c. If your nails are abnormal looking and unhealthy you may want to speak with a doctor to make sure that they are not a symptom for something else. Sometimes these signs are just letting you know you need more of some vitamin in your diet other times it could be more. Usually if it is something serious you will have other symptoms throughout your body.

Nail care
Nail care

Finger nail care

Taking care of your nails is important since they have so many functions. Eating a balanced diet is the first step to healthy nails. By eating right you are ensuring that they will grow healthy and strong. Clipping your finger nails is good maintenance but you should be sure to cut them straight across instead of rounding them. This prevents ingrown nails and infection. Be careful not to cut them to short and expose the skin underneath. Cutting nails to short can cause injury and infection to the soft skin bellow the nail. It also important to push back your cuticles. The best time to do this is after a shower when your skin is soft. The cuticle is the clear and is in between your nail and skin. It is there to cover where your skin meets the nail so bacteria does not get in. You can use moisturizer or lotion on your hands to prevent hang nails. Another good thing to do if your nails are not that strong is to use a nail hardener this strengthens your nails while giving them a nice clean glossy look. Using these tips will ensure beautiful, strong, and healthy finger nails.

Toe nails
Toe nails

Taking care of your toe nails

Your toe nails are also important but they do not usually get the attention and care they need since they are on your feet. Toe nails are more likely to get infections and fungus because they are kept wrapped up tight in your shoes and socks. This warm sweaty enclosed environment is perfect for infections to grow. Proper care will prevent these uncomfortable ugly problems. A healthy diet is still the first step. This will allow them to grow healthy and strong. When you clip your toe nails do not cut them to short and be sure to cut them straight across. When showering use sandals or flip flops. This keeps the germs from the bottom of the tub from collecting on your your feet. Make sure that whenever you are showering or when you are getting your feet wet to dry them off thoroughly when you are done. Leaving your feet damp makes it easier for fungus and infection to spread and grow. Let your feet breathe, when ever you have the chance go barefoot and let them air out. This is good for the skin and the skin surrounds your nails. Rotating your shoes is also important. This gives your shoes and your feet a good chance to air out.

If you already suspect fungus or infection you can try a foot bath like this one bellow.

  • Take a small tub
  • Fill the tub half with water
  • Fill the remaining half with apple cider vinegar.
  • Soak your feet for ten to fifteen minutes.
  • Dry your feet thoroughly with a towel.

Another few good tricks are using a little bit of olive oil around your nails. You can also use a little bit of honey. These both have antiseptic qualities and are also good moisturizers.

Pamper your feet
Pamper your feet

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