Normal, healthy nails appear smooth and have consistent coloring. As you age, you may develop vertical ridges, or your nails may be a bit more brittle. This is harmless. Spots due to injury should grow out with the nail. Meanwhile, below are some tips to maintaining healthy nails.
- Do not bite or tear at your nails, or pull on hangnails—always use nails clippers. Keep your nails dry and clean, and trim after you bathe, when nails are still soft. Using sharp manicure scissors, trim your nails straight across, rounding the tips gently.
- File your nails regularly to maintain their aesthetic look. A woman ought to keep a nail file with her on the go. You know, just in case your nail gets one of those annoying break that would eventually tempt you to bite it off.
- If you have a problem with brittle or weak nails, keep them short to avoid breakage. Use lotion on your nails and cuticles to keep the nail and nail beds moisturized.
- If you get professional manicures or pedicures, make sure your nail salon is properly certified and that nail technicians use proper sterilization techniques.
- You should avoid long-term use of nail polish and nail polish removers. If you use removers, make sure you rinse it thoroughly with soap and water.
- Consult your doctor if you notice a problem with your nails to rule out any serious conditions. Some changes in your nails are due to medical conditions that need attention. See your doctor if you have any of these symptoms:
- Discoloration (dark streaks, white streaks, or changes in nail color)
- Changes in nail shape (curling or clubbing)
- Changes in nail thickness (thickening or thinning)
- Nails that become brittle
- Nails that are pitted
- Bleeding around nails
- Swelling or redness around nails
- Pain around nails
- Nail separating from skin
Show yourself some love, go for that manicure and pedicure. Sometimes it makes all the difference.