Okay, raise your hand if you bite your nails…
This somewhat bizarre “nail biting” behavior is usually learned from family members when we’re young and impressionable. Statistics show that the majority of people give it up once they reach adulthood, however a massive 45% of teenagers bite their nails on a regular basis.
Most children and adults bite their nails due to stress, excitement or out of boredom. It is a habit we should consider breaking, however, in order to keep our nail beds healthy and clean from infections.
In order to keep your nails healthy, it is important to keep your nails dry and clean. Wash under your fingernails with warm soap and water for 30 seconds. In order to protect your nails, wear cotton-lined rubber gloves.
These gloves help protect your nails against chemicals and breakage. They also prevent your nails from soaking for a while in the dishwater. Moreover, keep your nails out of your mouth. The more you bite your nails, the more you invite infection and bacteria not only to your mouth, but into your cuticles as well.
In addition, you may want to consider moisturizing your nails. Keep your nails hydrated by rubbing a small amount petroleum jelly onto your nail’s cuticle, which is the bottom part of the nail closest to the skin. Also, put some petroleum jelly on your skin surrounding your nails if they feel dry. The jelly aids moisture back into the skin. It helps keep the nails strong so that they grow healthy and straight.
It is also important that you do not abuse your nails. It is not a good idea to use your nails as a tool, such as opening pop cans. This often leads to painful nail breaks, which could lead to ingrown nails or nails that grow in crooked. Ingrown nails often occur when the nail is infected and sore. Never, ever dig out an ingrown toenail. I can only imagine how painful this is, but it does not sound like any sort of fun. If this has happened, see a dermatologist for treatment. They may put you on an antibiotic, but it will be worth it.
Furthermore, in order to keep your nails healthy, make sure you are cutting them correctly. Stop biting your nails—that is not the right way! The more you do this, then you run the risk of damaging them. Invest in a good pair of nail clippers and try to always keep them short. This prevents them from being injured during the dishes or any task. You may also consider purchasing an emery board to file your nails smooth. This prevents sharp hangnails and keeps the nails healthy. If you are finding your nails difficult to cut, try soaking them in warm salt water for about 5-10 minutes. This softens the nail and makes it much easier to trim.
If you have brittle nails, you may want to consider taking Biotin. A B vitamin remedy for nails makes them strong and healthy. In addition, biotin also promotes weight loss and treats conditions such as diabetes, depression and acme. You may also get biotin through eating biotin-rich foods such as salmon, cauliflower, carrots and mushrooms. Brittle nails are often associated with aging, showing signs of cracks in the nail beds. You may consider seeing a dermatologist if you are seeing symptoms of this.
In order to have healthy nails, it’s crucial to be smart about nail polish and nail polish removers. First, do not continuously paint your nails. Like the rest of our body, our nails need to breathe. The nail polish prevents oxygen from getting to our nails, causing them to turn a yellowish color. This only makes your nails look unhealthy and unattractive. In order to avoid this, clean off the bacteria from your nails. Avoid acetone-based nail cleaner because it is too harsh on your nails. Rather, choose a remover that has acetate in it and will be easier on your cuticle.
Nail treatments may also help your nails shine and look vibrant. Cuticle oil (here’s how you can make your own) is the best solution to use on your nails. Cuticles are actually part of your skin and act as a protective barrier for the nail. If this cuticle is removed, it could cause white lines or invite infections into the nail. If you do not have any cuticle oil, try using hand lotion. You may want to use a cotton ball or Q-tip to apply it directly to the skin. Rub in the lotion until the skin absorbs it and your nails are going to look beautiful.
In addition, dermatologists suggest that customers be wise about their manicures. It is best to go in and get your nails cleaned, have them shape your nails and put on one layer of polish. Acrylic nails could lead to infections in the nails. It is much harder to keep bacteria out of acrylic nails than it is natural nails, and it is easier to break a nail. There are all sorts of pros and cons to both sides, but just be educated about it.
Furthermore, recognize the signs of infection in your nails. Anything such as redness, swelling and pain may indicate you have a bacterial infection. Puffy, red and irritated skin around the nail may indicate a fungal infection. These may be treated with over-the-counter medicines or a doctor may give you a prescription. It is crucial to wear flip flops or water shoes if you go to a public pool or waterpark. This keeps your nails healthy and prevents them from picking up bacteria.
Finally, a popular home remedy might make your nails shine. Massage them with a mix of sugar (to smooth), olive oil (to moisturize) and lemon juice (to lightly bleach.) Combine a teaspoon of each in a small bowl and rub your nails in a circular motion. This increases the circulation, which gets the blood pumping more to your nails and makes them look more beautiful. Continue doing this for 5-10 minutes. It is worth it to try to keep your nails healthy. So let us all stop biting our nails and give them a bit more love. Our nails say a lot about us, and they should reflect how beautiful we are!