Ageing nails require care and maintenance. There are several problems caused due to ageing nails.

Dr. Kavita Sheth delves deep into the factors that affect ageing nails, precautions to be taken at home to maintain healthy nails and professional care required at salons to maintain ageing nails.

How can ageing affect nails?

Ageing affects nails due to different factors. As far as texture is concerned, there is uneven texture. Nails can become ridged and discolored. There could be thickening. The nails can be brittle. The growth of the nail slows down as well.

It is also prone to breakage because the collagen production decreases with age.

In some cases, nails especially the toe nails get so thickened that it becomes difficult to cut it with a regular nail cutter. Secondly, nail experiences discolouration. It sometimes turns darker like brown or black. This occurs due to lack of circulation. If an individual has diabetes or varicose veins, it decreases the circulation that leads to discolouration.

Mostly I witness ridge nails especially vertical ridges as one ages. This occurs because the nail root called matrix starts ageing. With ageing, it leads to rough and uneven surface. The appearance is also uneven. Lastly it could be the growth of the nails. With ageing, the growth of the nails slows down too which can lead to nails that take longer time to grow. Dryness is one of the important thing that happens with ageing. The nails become dry and thin due to decrease in moisture retention and natural thinning of the nail plate. Lastly onycolysis is a condition where the nail separates from the nail bed. This happens due to trauma, fungal infections or other conditions.

How do you handle clients with ageing nails?

In our salon, we handle people with gentle care. Care is taken to avoid further damages. Filing techniques is gentle, excessive buffing is avoided and harsh chemicals are not used for nails of elderly people. Moisturizers and cuticle oils are used a lot as they help immensely in keeping the nails hydrated and combating dryness. Protective coating is applied over the nails. Similarly, a nail hardner is used for brittle nails.

We also suggest a gel over natural or dipping on natural nails. As a result, the nails don’t get chipped. Using of gel polish is also needed. A regular maintenance is required for this.

We encourage our clients to maintain nail appointments for manicure, trimming, shaping or maintenance to keep their nails look healthy.

Additionally, clients are educated about proper nail techniques like avoid using any harsh soap, wear gloves while doing household chores. These help to some extent.

In case of fungal infections, help from a medical practitioner is recommended.

“Ageing nails certainly require professional nail service because it is difficult to do it at home. ”

Ageing nails do require a lot of attention, both home care and professional salon.

  • For home care, nails need to be kept clean and dry.
  • Regularly clean them with mild soap and water and dry them to prevent fungal infections.
  • Moisturizing the nails is very important.
  • Apply cuticle oil or moisturizers on the nails to keep it hydrated. This prevents brittleness and breakage.
  • Use professional help for trimming and filing nails.
  • Take a balance diet rich in vitamins and minerals especially biotin and vitamin E. These promote healthy nail growth.
  • Medical examination is done to find if the individual is suffering from diabetes, cardiovascular or arthritis, varicose veins etc. because it helps while doing the nail service especially while cutting the cuticles or scrubbing the feet.
  • Take professional salon care and maintain nail hygiene at home too.
  • We have also been doing paraffin wax bath which to some extent is helpful for the elderly as there is too much dryness in the skin as well as brittleness.
  • Electric pedicure is also available in our salon. This helps in conditions like cracked heels, thick heels or sometimes there is thickness under the toes. For these conditions, electric pedicure is recommended. This works better instead of scrubbing hard.

I recommend paraffin bath and electric pedicure for elderly people.