Wonluishon Phungchamnao decodes the different nail conditions that need care apart from ageing nails and issues that lead to changes in nails due to weather conditions
Healthy nails are an indication of one’s overall health. A routine nail care regimen like regular manicure, moisturizer etc. goes a long way in maintaining nail health. Uniform colour and consistency, and nails free of spots or discoloration are signs of healthy nails. However, there are certain nail conditions that need care:
- Dark streak: If a fingernail or toenail has a new or changing dark streak, it could be melanoma.
- Nail lifting-up: If a nail starts to lift up so that it’s no longer completely attached, you’ll see white discoloration which is often a fungal infection, psoriasis, injury from an aggressive manicure or from cleaning under your nails with a sharp object.
- Redness and swelling around a nail: Redness and swelling around a nail indicate an infection that can be treated with soaks and antibiotics.
- Pitted nails: If you notice dents in the nails that look like they were made by an icepick, this could be a sign of psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, and alopecia areata.
- Yellow nails: If the nails turn yellow, thicken, and seem to stop growing, it could be a lung disease and rheumatoid arthritis.
Care for ageing nails
Like other body parts, nails undergo changes with age. From nutritional deficiencies to long-term exposure to ultraviolet light, a variety of influences affect how nails grow in older adults. These can be taken care with the following measures:
- Use a nail clipper to regularly trim the nails.
- Dirt, germs, and dead skin cells gather beneath long, uncut fingernails. Scrub under the fingernails using a fingernail brush. This tactic loosens and removes the accumulation of dirt and gunk under the fingernails.
- Dry the nails thoroughly after every wash. Wet nails are more prone to breakage and bacterial infection.
- Moisturize the nails and cuticles regularly applying cuticle oil.
- Consume nutrient-dense meals to help support healthy nails. Lack of nutrients can cause dry, brittle nails.
Weather and its impact on nails
Wonluishon Phungchamnao, National Head Trainer, LYN elaborates the changes caused by weather conditions to nails, “The nail grows slower in cold weather and faster in warm weather because circulation is slower in the cold weather. The skin’s sebaceous glands produce less oil and the skin’s protection against dehydration is greatly reduced. Hot showers also contribute to the removal of this protective layer. This often leads to cracks in the nail beds and also the nails.”
General nail care measures
- Moisturize and safeguard the nails from splitting, peeling, and breaking in cold weather.
- It’s a common practice to cut, push back, or try to get rid of cuticles altogether, but cuticles aren’t the enemy. In fact, the cuticle is the nail’s natural protective seal. Moisturizing the cuticles with cream or oil helps protect and strengthen the nails.
- Wear gloves for better nail care. It protects the nails from getting dry.
Care at a nail salon
Different nail concerns need to be addressed at the earliest to prevent it from aggravating. If a client seeks regular manicure and pedicure, there are certain factors to keep in mind before opting for a nail technician or nail salon.
Hygiene: The nail station and pedicure foot-baths should be thoroughly disinfected before use. It’s important that nail tools are thoroughly sanitized and disinfected to prevent any risk of cross contamination.
Equipment: Using the correct equipment and products together prevent reactions. Unfortunately, some clients may not realize they’re allergic until it’s too late.
Nail care is an important aspect of self-care that should not be ignored. From preventing bacterial infections to considering safety in a nail salon, expert and professional nail care go a long way in improving the self-esteem of clients.
Do’s and don’ts for caring of nails
- Keep fingernails dry and clean.
- Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split fingernails. Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals.
- Trim your nails straight across, then round the tips in a gentle curve to maintain hygiene.
- Rub cuticle oil into your fingernails and cuticles twice a day.
- Apply a nail hardener to strengthen nails.
- Don’t bite fingernails or pick at your cuticles.
- Don’t pull off hangnails. You might rip live tissue along with the hangnail.
- Don’t use harsh nail care products.
- Don’t ignore problems. consult your doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation for prolonged nail problems.