Fingernails: Do’s and Don’ts

Fingernails compose of laminated layers of protein called keratin. They grow from the area at the base of the nail under your cuticle. Healthy fingernails are smooth, without pits or grooves. They’re uniform in color and consistency and free of spots or discoloration.

Sometimes fingernails develop harmless vertical ridges that run from the cuticle to the tip of the nail. Vertical ridges tend to become more prominent with age. Fingernails can also develop white lines or spots due to injury, but these eventually grow out with the nail.

Not all nail conditions are normal, however. Consult your doctor or dermatologist if you notice:

  • Changes in nail color, such as discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under the nail
  • Changes in nail shape, such as curled nails
  • Thinning or thickening of the nails
  • Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin
  • Bleeding around the nails
  • Swelling or pain around the nails

Fingernails Care: Do’s and Don’ts

To keep your fingernails looking their best:

  • Keep fingernails dry and clean. This prevents bacteria from growing under your fingernails. Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split fingernails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals.
  • Practice good nail hygiene. Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers. Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve.
  • Use moisturizer. When you use hand lotion, rub the lotion into your fingernails and cuticles, too.
  • Apply a protective layer. Applying a nail hardener might help strengthen nails.
  • Ask your doctor about biotin. Some research suggests that the nutritional supplement biotin might help strengthen weak or brittle fingernails.

Healthy Facts

6 Surprising Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

  1. It counteracts all that sitting you do.
    Most individuals are dealing with some kind of postural stress. More often than not that stress tends to manifest in the shoulders and neck. It shows up as pain or weakness in the low back and gluteals caused by prolonged period of sitting. Massage can counteract the imbalance caused from sitting.
  2. It eases muscle pain
    Massage increases and improve circulation and help to relieve the pain.
    According to a 2011 study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, it found that massage therapy is as effective as other methods of treatment for chronic back pain.
  3. It soothes anxiety and depression
    According to a 2005 study published in the International Journal of Neuroscience, Women diagnosed with breast cancer who recieved massage therapy 3 times a week reported being less depressed and less angy.
  4. It improves sleep
    Not only can massage encourage a restful sleep, it also helps those who can’t otherwise comfortably rest.
  5. It boosts immunity
    A 2010 study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that massage boosts patients’ white blood cell count which plays a large role in defending the body from disease.
  6. It relieves headaches
    Massage decreases frequency and severity of tension headaches. Research from Granada University in Spain found that a single session of massage therapy has an immediate effect on perceived pains in patients with chronic tension headaches.