Tips For Keeping Your Nails Healthy

Keeping your nails free from fungal infections is relatively simple when you take certain precautions. Healthy looking nails are often the sign of good overall health. Fungal infections tend to appear in individuals with compromised immune systems. Brittle, infected nails may signal a compromised immune system. So, in a roundabout way, taking good care for your nails can have an indirect effect on your whole health. Here are just a few simple ways to ensure that your nails stay healthy and free from fungal infections.

Like many conditions that are hard to get rid of, the best medicine is prevention. Nail fungal infections thrive in warm, dark environments. Keep your nails as inhospitable to nail fungus as possible. Keep your feet dry and clean. Wear non-porous clean cotton socks and try to wear closed shoes, especially if you know your feet will be exposed to water. You should avoid exposing your feet to wet public spaces, such as public swimming pools, locker rooms, shower stalls, and bathrooms. If you must expose your feet to wet or moist locations, wear water resistant sandals. If you must get your hands wet for extended periods of time, wear gloves.

If possible, avoid wearing nail polish. Nail polish wearers appear to be at much higher risk for developing nail fungal infections than those who do not wear polish. If you can't live without your nail polish, avoid applying it frequently or using repair nail enamel on a regular basis. Why do nail polish wearers suffer from nail fungus infections more than non-wearers? It appears that the layer of nail polish keeps the nails in a waterproof state, but it makes the skin under the nails stay moist for an extended period of time. If you must wear nail polish, try to use lighter color enamels. Lighter color polishes allow lighter to penetrate the nail, causing the area beneath the nail to dry faster. If you use a darker color, less light will penetrate and the area beneath the nail is more likely to remain dark and moist. Also, use nail polish remover with caution. Most nail polish removers are strong and can cause the nails and cuticles to dry. Dry nails and cuticles are generally more prone to infection.

To avoid nail fungal infections, don't apply acrylic or plastic nails. Applying artificial nails over your own natural nails can destroy the natural surface of the nails. The chemicals contained in the adhesives of the glue that is used to apply acrylic nails can also be harmful to your nail health. If your nail is already less than healthy, applying adhesive products can lead to greater damage. These adhesives have been known to absorb through the nail head and can greatly exacerbate already present fungal infections.

If you are vulnerable to nail fungal infections, strive to keep your nails clean and cut short and smooth. Avoid nail polish and keep your nails clean and dry. This can go a long way to preventing nail fungal infections.

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Q. I'm 21. I haven't had a “normal” big toenail on my left foot since I was 14. It came off when I was removing nail polish. Since then, the toenail has grown back (with fungus) over and over and then repeatedly fallen off. I finally went online and found your Web site with home remedies. I bought Listerine, Vicks VapoRub and white vinegar at the beginning of June. Since then, I have soaked my ...


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