Nail Care - Caring for Nails - How to get beautiful nails?

Gorgeous NailWe always wonder why women have gorgeous nails. Imagine the girl who extends a shabby finger in the Church for her boy friend to adorn it with a ring!  Well polished, shapely and colourful nails add to the overall appearance of women. Even though nails are waste materials, caring them and keeping them clean and shapely is very important. The size and shape of nails depend on the size of the finger.  A thick finger will have a large nail. Nails are to protect the finger tips which are very sensitive.  They look beautiful on female hands because they have long fingers compared to men. 

Since nails speak out of the general health condition and habits of a person, caring them and keeping them clean and shapely is indispensable. Also, an untidy wet nails can cause infectious diseases too.  Spend about one hour a month, you can keep the nails in good condition. First of all modify the bad habits like -

  • Chewing the nail.
  • Avoid using chemicals with bare hands and always use gloves.
  • Do not wet hands for long time. Wet nails may break very soon.
  • While using the computer key board type with the tip of the fingers instead of typing with the nail tips.
  • Do not give pressure on the nails as it will break soon.

Properly maintained nails last for a longer period. Polishing, filing, re-shaping and repair of damaged parts will give life for nails.  Since nail polishes and removers are chemicals, use approved brands as it may cause allergic reactions.  If you are not able to do it yourself, a beauty parlour is the best place you can visit. They are trained and licensed to use such chemicals.  Manicurists always use sterilized equipments.

Some Good Habits

  • Nails will always tell others where you work and what you eat. If you are working in cashew nut factory, confectionery shop or bakery you will always have a coloured nail.  Try using a hand gloves.
  • Put your legs in a half tub of warm water with liquid soap for 15-20 minutes. It will remove dirt and will give colour to your foot.
  • Hand gloves can be worn while gardening. This will prevent sand entering into the nail. 
  • Trim the nail carefully. Short nails last longer as the chance of breaking is less.
  • Use only branded nail polish always.
  • While using hands, use the ball of the finger and not the nails. You can also use tools instead of hands.

Definition of nails and the need for nails 

Broadly, nails can be defined as the protective caps of your finger and toe tips.  As hands and feet are the most commonly used organs in a human body, fingers and toes are more prone to injuries and shocks.  Nails are the nature’s boon to mankind to prevent the fingers and toes from direct injuries and shocks.

Nail PlateThe finger tips and toe tips are highly sensitive areas as these areas are rich in nerve endings.  Therefore an injury to the tips of the toe or a finger can be very painful and at the same time serious.  A nail, which in fact is a type of  skin itself, cover and protect these delicate parts of the human body. 

The outmost layer of a nail which is called the nail plate consists of dead cells and is therefore immune to mild shocks and injuries.  The main ingredients of a nail plate are keratin, a fibrous protein, and calcium.  It is therefore very hard in nature which makes it an ideal protective layer for finger and toe tips. 

The nail plate rests on the nail bed. Nail bed is another thick layer of the skin.  However it consists of living cells and it holds the nail to your body.  Nails are transparent in nature and increased blood circulation through the nail bed gives it a pink shade. Therefore finger and toe nails which are pink in colour and without any deformity are termed to be the signs of good health. A protein rich diet will help you maintain strong and healthy nails.

Toe NailsNails can help in protection and helps in being a part of healthy and disease free person. The uses of nails are:

  • Apart from providing protection to your finger and toe tips, nails help you to grip objects more firmly and efficiently.  Toe nails protect you from banging your toes against hard objects.
  • Nails also play an important role in diagnosing various diseases at its initial stages.  The change in colour, texture, and appearance of nails often denotes abnormalities in the functioning of internal organs and can go a long way in identifying such abnormalities at the threshold.  Even life threatening disease like cancer can be detected by closely monitoring the changes occurring to one’s nails. Needless to mention timely detection of cancer is crucial in its cure.
  • The change in colour, texture and appearance of nails may be hereditary or due to other simple reasons. Therefore there is no need to panic on simple identification of some abnormalities regarding your nails.  Consult a qualified physician in case of nail deformities and he will be able to guide you and diagnose serious troubles if any and suggest a treatment plan accordingly. 
  • Apart form biological importance; nails have an important role to play in the outward appearance of the person. A person with clean, healthy finger and toe nails creates an impression among others to be upright, punctual, gentle and energetic.  Personal cleanliness of a person can often be correctly assessed by verifying the cleanliness of his toe nails.  Among women, beautiful long nails are considered to be signs of beauty and glamour from time immemorial.  

Nail Structure 

The nails act as a protective cover to the delicate tips of fingers and toes. It is made of hard protein known as keratin. 

Nails are composed of three important parts, a root, body and an edge. Root is that part of the nail that joins with the skin and is placed underneath the skin. Body of a nail is the centre portion of the nail that constitutes the nail plate. Finally edge is the tip of a nail that often grows beyond the finger tip. 

Nail StructureNails grow from the root region. As the nail grows it gradually pushes the edge of the nail beyond the finger tip. When the cells constituting the nail die, it becomes the nail plate; the outer surface of the nail. Chemically analyzed, nail plate consists mainly of a protein called Keratin and calcium.  

The nail is held to the skin by the so called the cuticle. It holds the nail from its bottom side and is referred to as the eponychium. Cuticle that holds the nails from side is known as the paronychium and that which holds the nail at its edge is called the hyponychium. Cuticle is in fact a thick layer of skin itself. Nail fold is that portion of cuticle that overgrows on to the base and sides of a nail. The vital role of cuticle in holding the nail to the body is in fact the reason behind the advice not to cut the cuticles for enhanced look of your nails. Always take care to push the cuticles back rather than cutting it for cosmetic purposes.

Nail BedThe underside of the nail that connects the nail to the finger tip is called the nail bed. The upper most portion of the nail bed is scientifically known as lunula which is white in colour. In fact a nail is transparent in nature and it is the lunula that lies beneath the nail plate that gives the nail its white appearance. 

A normal and healthy nail will grow by a centimeter in hundred days. Finger nails grow faster when compared to toe nails. Normally a finger nail takes about six months to grow completely. The growth rate of a toe nail is about fifty percent slower and it takes more than a year for a toe nail to grow out completely. Growth rate of nails is dependent on various factors and often varies from person to person depending on the age, climate, activity level and also his hereditary factors. 

Like any other external organ in the human body, nails too require constant care and protection. Nails are prone to infections and if left unattended, it can lead to more serious diseases as there is every probability for the bacteria and other infectious micro organisms to enter your body through hand and mouth contact. In the circumstances proper maintenance of nails is a must to protect your general health condition. In fact healthy nails are pointers of good health. Viewed in a cosmetic angle, proper care and maintenance of one’s nail go a long way in enhancing the external appearance of the concerned person. 

Effect of nails 

Effects Of NailsOne cannot ignore the importance and effect of nails in the total outlook of a human being. A beautifully maintained nail attracts every one’s attention. A magnificently dressed up lady with patchy nail polish will create an impression among others that she is not keen in minute aspects of perfection. It will promote to create a negative impression about her among spectators.   

The colour and appearance of nails have an impact on your appearance. It makes your dressing complete.  One can easily assess the cleanliness of a person by verifying the nails of that person especially the toe nails. A shabbily maintained toe nails full of dirt is a sure sign of shabby character.

    
Discoloration Of Nails And PatchesApart from the cosmetic value, nails have an important role to play in keeping a man healthy. The discoloration of nails and patches appearing on nails may be an early indication disorders to some internal organs. In short it acts as an indicator of your general health.  In fact condition of nails is an effective tool in a physician’s armory to diagnose various diseases.   

  • White patches of nails can be a sign of some disorders in the functioning of your liver.  A nail appearing half pink and half white in colour attracts attention of a medical practitioner as it may be an indicator of kidney malfunctioning.
  • A red coloured nail bed can be a pointer to disorders relating to one’s heart. 
  • The nails of a patient suffering from lung diseases usually appear yellowish in colour.   Thickening of nails with yellow colour also acts as an indication to lung disorders. 
  • The nail bed of a patient with acute anemia usually seems to be pale in colour. 
  • In a diabetic patient, nails will appear yellow in colour with slight blue colour at the base of the nail.   

Physiologically the main function of the nail is to protect the tender tips of fingers and toes.  Nails are made of hard protein known as keratin.  Nail covers the tips of fingers and toes from damaging.  It also helps to pick up things.   
 
Nail Hygiene  

Nails are designed to protect finger tips and toe tips from damage. Nails being pointers to the general health of an individual; they have an important role to play in medical science also.  

Exposure of nails to polluted environment makes it highly prone to infections.  We use hands to take food and it is easy to transfer bacteria accumulated under the nails to mouth.  So it is essential that everyone should have a minimum awareness regarding nail hygiene.   

  • Nail HygieneExcessively long nails trap more bacteria.  So always keep your nails short and clean. 
  • Make it a regular habit to spend a few minuets a day to care your nails. 
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before and after taking food.  It would be better if you can use lukewarm water for this. 
  • A plain washing is not enough.  Wash your hands including wrists vigorously, giving special attention to areas under nails. 
  • Always use a mild soap for washing your hands and finger nails.  You should follow the same procedure whenever you touch your pets, garbage, after sneezing or coughing etc. After washing, pat your hands and finger nails dry using a soft towel.   

Never allow your finger nails to grow too long.  Chances are more for dirt and micro organisms to accumulate under long finger nails. So keep your finger nails short as far as possible and beauty conscious ladies, who are eager to grow their nails, should take extra care to keep their nails and under areas of their nails clean and infection free. 

Before you visit a beauty saloon for manicure or pedicure, ensure that the saloon you are going to visit is clean and hygienic.  

  • Emery BoardsUsage or sharing of emery boards, filing instruments, pumice stones used in saloons may invite infections. 
  • Make sure that the metal instruments that are being used by your beautician while performing manicure or pedicure are sterilized properly. 
  • Even while you are undergoing a pedicure or manicure at home use only sterilized equipments  and take care to keep them separately every time. 

Never use sharp materials other than manicure equipments to clean the areas under nails.  Manicure kits are available in the market.  It is better that you purchase a standard one for your use. Be extra cautious while dealing with cuticles.  Cutting of cuticles may invite infections.  To remove cuticles   use only quality cuticle removers. You may gently push it off also instead of cutting it.

You should be extra cautious if you are suffering from hang nail problem.  In such a case, never use too much pressure on nails while undergoing a manicure or pedicure.

Hang NailComparing to finger nails, toe nails are more prone to infections. As in the case of finger nails, never allow your toe nails to grow too long. Properly maintain the length of your toe nails by timely shaping them.

  • Give more attention to your feet and toe nails during rainy season.  Constant contact of your feet with mud and water may adversely affect the health of your nails and skin. 
  • Always use good quality foot wear while walking in rain.
  • Make sure that your foot wear does not absorb water and soak your feet. This can have even more adverse effect on your nails and skin. 
  • Wash your feet thoroughly everyday and apply moisturizer to retain its lost moisture. 
  • Take care of the area surrounding the nail.  Bacteria may get accumulated there.   

Athlete FootAnother problem that usually affects the health of toe nails is a condition called athlete’s foot.  To get affected by this problem you need not be an athlete.  The main cause behind athlete foot is ring worm or fungus.  Normally only men over twenty years are seen to be affected by this problem and the reason is wearing of undersized shoes especially in cold weather. Peeling and cracking of the skin is as a result of reduced oxygen to the skin.  Itching can also occur.    

The persons affected while athlete’s foot should give extra care to their feet while washing. To maintain hygiene they should dry the areas between toes completely.

  • One can avoid this situation by using shoes of correct size.  Cotton socks are recommended to them. 
  • They are advised to change socks whenever they feel that they are wet. 
  • Use sandals or walk barefoot while at home. This will help to ease the pressure on your toe nails and skin caused by the use of foot wears. 

Fashion trends in nails 

The days of applying a single tone colour suitable for one’s costumes are gone.  Over the past few decades, fashion trends on nails have undergone a radical change. This is an era of fascinating nail colours. Creating eye catching designs on nails using materials like nail paints, glittering powders or even stones including precious ones and beads and tattoos are the dominating trends at present. 

Mat FinishedAppearance of your nails gives you the ultimate look.  Till recently we painted our nails using plain colours in accordance with the costume that we use.  To make it more fashionable, what we had was only a nail polish mixed with glitters.  Other varieties available were only mat finished or glossy finished nail enamels.   

Today the flashiest part of women make up is nail art.  Both East and West are after this new trend.  To get your nail painted, you can opt for the assistance of a skilled beautician or even you can do it yourself at home with the help of the nail paint kits available in the market.   Nail art kits that requires only five seconds to finish nail art are available in the market.  It all depends on the design that you choose to apply on your nail.  You can go for anything from classic floral designs to abstract paintings.  While you choose a design make sure that it suits your style and costume.   

Artificial NailArtificial nails can also be used for effective nail painting.  If your nails are short or you are suffering from brittle nail problem you can very well opt for nails made of fiber or acrylic.  Fiber nails require a simple pasting of the same on your original nail.  You can use these nails for one or two months.  Fiber nails are suitable for nail art as they are strong and flexible as original nails.   

Expense for nail fashion depends on the design you choose.  More complicated the design more will be the cost.  The procedure for nail fashion is simple.  First you can undergo a manicure treatment.  This is however not a must.  Then shape your nails by filing the sides of your nail.  There after apply the desired design on your nail.  Then you have to apply a solution to make it stay for a long time.   

Both finger and toe nails can be painted like this.  To paint nail pens and nail colors specially designed for the purpose are available.  Pierced nails are also setting a trend now.  Women pierce nails to wear small rings to give a special effect to nails.  Some others use decorative stickers to make it beautiful.  Even diamonds are being used by specialists to give nails an exclusive look. 

The trends in nail fashion are often seasonal.  On Valentine’s Day you can see teens and young women wearing small hearts coloured in red colour on their nails.  The fashion changes accordingly.  These days nail art competitions are becoming more popular. 

Nail FashionNow women are the ones seen to be crazy about nail fashion. Usually men who undergo manicure and pedicure opt only for a colorless coat of nail colour to give their nails a finished shiny look.    

Before you go after fashion, make sure that what you do suits your over all appearance and occasion.  Nails in vibrant colours and abstract designs are only suitable for parties.  Never use these designs on formal occasions. As on today black and dark blue are the most popular nail colors among the youth and celebrities. Applying a silver colored nail coating is also considered to be trendy. 

It is no doubt that flashy nail fashion is an easy way to catch the attention of others and definitely it will make you stand out in the crowd.  So do not hesitate, give it a try.     

Manicure procedure 

Manicure or treatment of nails and hands has an important role to play in the proper maintenance and beautification of hands and nails. The procedure has got three important functions to perform. 

  • Primarily it beautifies the hands and nails.
  • It relaxes the hands and nails.
  • It cures ENT problems. 

Manicure TreatmentHowever take note that manicure is not a medical treatment and is generally intended for beautification and relaxation of hands and nails. For optimum results it is advisable that you perform manicure at least once in every fifteen days.   Basically the procedures involved in manicure are simple.  It can be performed either at home or in a beauty saloon with the assistance of a qualified beautician. There is absolutely no need to pay regular visits to a beauty saloon for performing manicure.  However it will be better that you seek the assistance of a qualified beautician once in a while for manicure.  This will help you to understand the new trends if any and the latest quality products to be used for manicure.   

Following are the procedures normally followed by a beautician in a beauty saloon. At home we often use home made products for performing manicure.  However in a beauty saloon often various commercial products manufactured by branded companies are put to use.    

  • As the first step nail polish are removed from your nails using nail polish removers. 
  • Thereafter the hands are soaked in a bowl of lukewarm water mixed with liquid soap or mild shampoo. 
  • After fifteen or twenty minuets the hands are taken from water and brushed by using a hand brush. While brushing hands and nails it should ensured that the brush that is being used on you is a soft one.  Special care will be given to the areas surrounding the nails and the areas under the nails. 
  • Nail cleansers are then used to clean the nails.  Nail cleansers are basically detergents in liquid form.  It is applied by mixing it up with water.
  • To remove cuticles, cuticle oil, cream or lotions available in the market are often used.  After applying cuticle removing agents on the areas around the nails, cuticles are removed by gently pushing it off with the help of an orange wood stick. 
  • Nail bleaches that contain hydrogen per oxide or other organic acids are used for removing stains from the nails.    

Orange Wood StickOrange wood stick is used to clean the areas under the free edge of the nail plate.  Ensure that your beautician applies only moderate pressure while doing so.  Applying pressure in this area may lead to break or tear of nail plate and may ultimately lead to infections.   

Pumice stones are used for the purpose of removing dead cells from hands and the areas around the nails.  After that your nails are shaped by gently filing them in to the desired shape.

For the purpose of exfoliation a small amount of sloughing lotion is often used.  This is good especially for persons with dry skin.  Massage your hands by applying the lotion for a few minutes and rinse the lotion from your hands and wipe it off with a clean soft towel. 

BufferIf the surface of your nail is uneven, it can be smoothened by using a buffer.  A buffer is used in direction of the nail growth so that it does not cause any harm to the various layers of your nail plate.  Buffing the surface of the nail will also enhance the beauty of your nail as it will help the nails to shine.  Buffing the nails will also help them to remain stain resistant.

Beautician may advise you to undergo a paraffin treatment in case your skin is very dry.  In this procedure,

  • First the hands are sanitized thoroughly. This is to ensure that there are no impurities or micro organisms on your hands and nails. 
  • Your hands are then massaged gently with oil.  The hands are then immersed in to paraffin and taken out. 
  • The wax is allowed to dry out and the procedure is continued for quite some time.  
  • After this, each hand is covered with a plastic liner and then with terry cloth gloves. 
  • After keeping the hands as such for around five minuets, paraffin is removed from your hands. 

The hands are then washed thoroughly and patted dry with a soft towel.  It will be ensured that your hands and nails do not have the remains of the lotions and oils applied on you. After the entire process nail polish is applied on the nails.  At first a thin base coat is applied.  After drying, it is followed by a minimum of two coats of nail polish so as to leave your hands smooth and silky.

Manicure tips 

A manicure which involves thorough cleaning up of hands and finger nails comes under the category of cosmetic beauty treatment.  Either Manicure Tipshands or nails alone or both the hands and nails together can be treated by using manicure programme.  It involves the process of cleaning, filing, shaping and painting of nails by using nail polish or even applying nail art on it.   It may often include the application of artificial nails also.   

As the process of manicure involves a risk of infection, it is always advisable to seek the help of a beautician specialized in this field unless you are an expert in doing it.

Seeking the assistance of a specialized beautician to undergo manicure treatment definitely is expensive and so it has always been considered as a luxury by many.  But if you are ready to take enough precautions against infections and wounds, you can do it yourself at home without spending much money.

Here are some tips for performing manicure:

    Tips For Manicure
  • Do not forget to remove the nail polish on your nails before you start manicure
  • Collect the tools to be used in manicure before hands.  Tools usually include orange stick, nail file, pumice stone, dead cell removers, nail clippers etc.
  • Use only lukewarm water to soak your hands.  Using hot water will have a negative impact on your hands.
  • To mix with water use only mild shampoo or liquid soaps
  • Avoid using acetone based polish removers to avoid excessive dryness of your nails. 
  • Mixing up of a few drops of vegetable oil with nail polish remover will be helpful to avoid nails and skin from drying.
  • To remove nail polish, especially dark pigmented nail polish got on the side of the nails, use an orange wood stick wrapped by a piece of cotton on the end and soaked in the polish remover. 
  • To remove dirt from the side of nails, instead of digging the same with the help of sharp objects, you can opt for diluted hydrogen per oxide readily available in the market for cleaning purposes. 
  • Excessive filing is not good for nails.
  • Do not cut off the cuticles. Instead apply quality cuticle removal creams available in the market and softly push it off by using orange wood stick.
  • Pumice stone is good to remove dead skin cells from the hand.
  • When you apply cream on your hand pay special attention to the areas around and under the nail.
  • While you brush your nails, brush it softly in a down ward motion. Finally with the help of an emery board give it a smooth and shiny look.
  • Make sure that your nails are clean and dry before applying polish.
  • Always use a base coat white colouring to your nail. 
  • To apply the second coat of nail polish wait till the first coat dries up.
  • Soaking nails in a mixture of lemon juice and water is helpful to remove stains from the nails. 
  • Soaking nails in warm olive oil will strengthen the nails.
  • Do not forget to give your hands a rejuvenating massage every time you undergo manicure treatment. 

Do it yourself manicure

A routine manicure without fail is a must to maintain your nails beautiful and attractive.  Doing manicure every now and then may appear to be an expensive affair for you.  In fact it is easy to under go a manicure programme at home with the help of a few materials without much effort or money at home.   

Following are the steps to be followed while performing manicure at home:

  • Steps Before You Start ManicureBefore you start manicure always remember to remove the existing nail polish from your nails.  For that you can use mild nail polish remover.  Mixing a few drops of vegetable oil will help you to prevent dryness of nails caused by application of nail polish remover. 
  • To do a little exfoliation, you can rub your hands with a mixture of oil and sugar.  You can use oils like almond, olive or any other vegetable oils.  Wash it off using lukewarm water.  Sugar mixed with lemon juice can also be used as a substitute to this. 
  • To start with your manicure, take lukewarm water mixed with a few drops of shampoo in a plastic basin.  Soak your hands in this water for about fifteen to twenty minutes.  Take a soft brush and remove all the dirt particles giving special care and attention to the areas around and under the nail. 
  • To remove cuticles you can apply cuticle removing creams. After application, simply push off the cuticles using an orange wood stick.  Never attempt to cut off cuticles as it may invite serious damage to nails by way of attracting infectious bacteria to this area.     
  • Rubbing Of HandsA gentle rubbing of hands with a pumice stone will help you to remove dead cells from your skin.
  • Now take a flat headed dead skin remover and scrub your nails to give them a shiny and smoother look and give your nails and a beautiful shape by removing dead skin from the side of your nails.
  • Wipe off water from your hands using soft towel and pat it dry. 
  • After cleaning hands with a towel, apply some quality hand cream on your hands and nails. 
  • For complete relaxation of your hands, massage it gently. While massaging, clench your fist and stretch the thumb and fingers of your hands by holding it in the other hand and press all the joints with the thumb.    Rub the hand while supporting it by the other to give it a smooth and shiny look. 
  • Now apply nail polish on your nails.  To give it an even look you have to apply at least two coats of nail polish on the nails.   If the shade of your nail polish is very light then go for three coats.

To apply nail polish first dip the brush in to the nail polish bottle and press it lightly against the edge of the bottle’s mouth to remove extra nail polish from the brush. Apply nail polish first in the centre of the nail. Then proceed from root to the end of the nail and then side ways.  When the first coat dries up apply the second coat. This time apply the nail polish side ways and then in the middle.  After application, leave the hands free to dry the nail polish.

Now you are ready with soft pretty looking hands.  Here are some other tips for the better care of your hands.

  • If you have dry skin, apply some quality moisturizing cream lavishly on your hands at bed time and go to sleep with cotton gloves on it. 
  • When you get time, apply the mask that you use for your face on your hands also.
  • Dipping your fingers for about fifteen minuets in a bowl of warm olive oil will help you to soften the skin of your fingers and to nourish the cuticles.
  • White vinegar is good for discolored nails.  Take a cotton bud, pour two three drops of vinegar on it and rub your nails with it.  Thereafter clean    your nails by dipping a tooth brush in lemon juice and wash it off with lukewarm water. 

Caring for nails at home

Caring For Nails At HomeAttractive beautiful nails are a dream for every woman. Cleanliness and health of one’s nail are pointers to one’s character and attitude towards personal hygiene.  They reflect one’s personality as well as general health.  Beautifully made up nails compliment your dressing.  Appearing in public wearing patchy nail polish will destroy your total appearance.  Apart from this, a total neglect of your nails may ultimately lead you to serious infections.

If you can spare a few minutes daily for your nails, fingers and toes, you can make your nails good looking and attractive without wasting much money and effort. Here are some tips for a routine nail care programme at home.

The best method to keep one’s finger nails beautiful is to manicure them regularly.  As far as toe nails are concerned, pedicure is the simplest way to keep them attractive. It is easy to perform manicure at home.  It will not take much time. The following are the tools required for a simple manicure:

  • A round shaped basin to soak your hand
  • A few drops of mild shampoo
  • Emery board
  • A few drops of almond oil ( any vegetable oil can also do)
  • A pumice stone
  • A soft nail brush
  • A flat headed dead skin remover
  • Moisturizer
  • Nail polish remover

Various stages of manicure 

  • Remove Nail PolishAt first remove your nail polish using a nail polish remover. You can mix a few drops of oil to avoid excessive drying of your nails.  Never use sharp objects like blade or knife to scrap off nail polish from your nail.
  • With the help of an emery board file your nails properly.
  • Take enough lukewarm water in a basin to soak your hands.  Add a few drops of mild shampoo to it.  Soak your hands in this for about fifteen to twenty minuets. Take care that the water is not too hot. 
  • Softly brush the nails using a soft nail brush.  While doing so extra attention should be paid to the corners of the nails and if your nails are long, to under nail areas also. 
  • With the help of pumice stone rub off dead cells from your hand.
  • Use a flat headed dead skin remover to scrub the nails.  This will make your nails smooth looking and beautiful. 
  • Beautiful Shape Your NailTo give a beautiful shape to your nails, remove dead skin from the corners of the nails.
  • Use a fresh clean soft towel to wipe off water from your hand. 
  • To soften your nails and hands, apply hand cream on your nails and hands liberally.  Petroleum jelly can also be used around the nails to make them soft and beautiful.
  • Now give your hands and nails a soft massage paying more attention to the joints of fingers. 
  • Let the skin absorb the cream.

Care for your feet and toe nails at home (Pedicure)

Care Your Feet And Toe NailsA routine care of the feet and toe nails at least once in two weeks would be helpful to keep them healthy and good looking.   Diabetes patients should undergo a routine feet care programme without fail.

Things needed for routine feet and toe nails care are:

  • Round shaped deep basin or utensil to soak feet.  
  • Emery board
  • A few drops of shampoo or mild liquid soap
  • A tooth brush
  • A pumice stone
  • A metallic foot feet scrubber
  • Cream
  • A nail shaper

Various steps of pedicure

  • Remove old nail polish using a mild nail polish remover.  To avoid excessive drying after the use of remover, you can mix a few drops of vegetable oil in the nail polish remover.
  • File Nails Using Emery BoardFile your nails using an emery board.
  • Dip your feet in shampoo mixed lukewarm water for about ten minuets.
  • Use a tooth brush (should not be a used one) to clean nails and feet
  • Clear all the dead cells by using pumice stone
  • Remove dead skin cells from heels with help of metallic feet scrubber.  It will give your heels a smooth pinkish look.
  • Take your feet out of water and pat it dry using a soft towel. 
  • Remove Dirt particles From CornerApply the cream on the nails and their sides to soften them up.  You can use petroleum jelly for this purpose.
  • Now take a nail shaper and shape the nails.  Remove dirt deposits inside the nail without digging it. 
  • Remove dirt particles from the corners of the nail with the help of a pin nail scrubber. 
  • Massage the lower part of your feet using cream to give it a smooth finish. 
  • In the same way apply cream on the upper part of the feet also. 

Undergoing the above feet care programme will make you feel refreshed and relaxed. It will also give you a charged feeling and sense of self confidence. 

Bridal nail care

Nail art is the most modern way of nail beautification.  The fashion world gave up the old traditional way of colouring nails by using single toned nail enamel.  The trend now is to paint the nails in catchy designs using vibrant colours and even by sticking stones, beads, tattoos etc on it.

   
Nails In Catchy DesignA bride has to pay extra attention to her nails as it can be noticed by every one who wants to see her wedding ring.  So it is a must that she should maintain beautiful fingers as well as nails.   

One cannot acquire beautiful nails in one or two days. It is not a one day magic. It requires routine maintenance to make your nails look healthy, beautiful and attractive to others. 

To keep nails good looking a bride has to undergo regular manicure treatment.  For that she can seek the assistance of a beautician or opt for doing it at home simply without spending much money on that.   

  • Wash your hands giving special care to nails by using lukewarm water mixed with a few drops of mild liquid soap or shampoo.
  • Let your hands remain in water for fifteen minutes and there after gently remove dirt particles by using a soft hand brush. 
  • If you feel that cuticles around the nails are harder, just push it off without cutting cuticles by using a cuticle remover. 
  • It is recommendable to use cuticle removing creams to remove cuticles, if possible. 
  • File nails if needed by using a nail file. 
  • Apply moisturizing cream or lotion to retain the lost moisture.  While doing so give extra care to the areas around nails as the nails tend to absorb more moisture than the skin. 

Bridal NailTake effort to continue this process till the day of your wedding.  It would be better if you are able to begin this treatment at least a month before your wedding date.   

If you are intending to grow your nails long for your wedding day you may have to adopt some nail growth techniques to avoid breaking off or splitting off of your nails.   

  • What is more important is to take a healthy diet enriched with proteins, vitamins and other essential nutrients. Include lot of raw vegetables, fruits, milk and fish in your daily diet.  
  • Drink plenty of water. 
  • A little finger nail exercise will also be helpful.  For that simply rub the finger nails of both hands against each other for five to ten minuets.  This exercise will be helpful in increasing level of blood circulation.        
  • Acrylic NailAvoid constant contact with water by using rubber gloves while washing dishes or using detergents to save your nails from breaking.        
  • If you are intending to use acrylic or artificial nails on your wedding day pay an early visit to your beautician to check weather these artificial nails will suit you or not.       
  • Though a bit expensive comparing to ordinary manicure, considering the importance of your wedding day, you can even opt for a French manicure. It will give your nails a clean and natural look.         
  • Leave your nails without applying any nail polish for a week or two so that your nails could regain its natural texture.   

When you start to plan your costumes think about your nail colour also.  A colour of your nail should go in tune with the colour of your wedding dress and jewelry.  Try to give your self a unique look.

Decorating nails with the help of a nail technician is the most modern trend in nail beautification.  A bride who likes to go for nail art should plan the design of nails, the colours to be applied and the objects to be used to decorate the nails by consulting a nail technician at least one week prior to the wedding.
 
Nail care products – Overview

Nail Care ProductThe products that help to enhance the beauty, health as well as appearance of the nails have a long history.  In the beginning of 19th century women liked nails in almond shape and used chamois cloths to buff their nails and also used perfumed red oil to give it a different colour.   

The orange wood stick introduced by Dr. Sitts is the first known scientific nail care product.  Before this metal instrument, scissors and acids were used as tools for manicure and pedicure.

In the beginning of 20th century women started using metal files to file their nails. Creams were used to massage hands and nails.  A sort of glossy varnish made available in the market became popular among women by this time.  This can be considered as the first nail polish. 

Nail PolishEven today, nail polish is the most popular nail care product available in the market.  The question as to whether it is a nail care product or a nail beauty enhancing product is yet to be resolved.  However the fact remains that nail polish provides a minimum protection to your nails.  At the same time continuous wearing of nail polish is not advisable as it prevents your nail from breathing and does alter the natural texture of your nail.   
The main function of nail care products are to keep one’s hands clean and good looking. Countless nail care products are now available in market claiming to be the best in making your nail beautiful and healthy.  The most commonly used nail care products are the following:

  • Nail polish

It is the first thing that comes to one’s mind when we think of nail beautification.  Nail polish is available in market in different colours and shades.  Cost of this nail care product is totally dependent on the company that manufactures the product. 

  • Nail polish removers

Use of nail polish necessitates the use of nail polish remover also.  As the very name indicates polish removers are used to remove nail polish from nails.  Frequent use of nail polish is not recommendable.  Nail polish removers have a tendency to dry at the skin and nails.  Better not to use nail polish removers more than twice a week.  Also try to avoid use of acetone based nail polish removers.

  • Cuticle creams

Cuticle removers are essential for those who undergo a manicure process.  This nail care product is very helpful in removing hardened cuticles.  The habit of cutting of cuticles may invite serious infections to the skin around the nails.   Use of cuticle creams is helpful to avoid the situation. 

  • Nail whiteners

These products help to give a shiny white color to dull coloured nails.  Nails usually become yellowish if you wear nail polish for a long time. 

  • Nail files

Nail files are commonly used to file nail to shape and them. 

  • Nail strengtheners

Nail StrengthenersNail strengtheners are developed with an intention to correct your nail problems.  These products are helpful to those who are suffering from brittle, weak and fragile nails.  Nail strengthening agents are usually the nail polishes itself that are enriched with natural proteins and vitamins that are meant to make brittle nails to grow fast and strong.  Nails strengtheners include a combination of basic nail coat and nail polish.  Nail strengtheners can be classified as problem nail products, weak nail products, peeling nail products, brittle nail products etc.

  • Nail enhancers

Apart from nail strengthening products, nail enhancers that are specially designed to enhance the nails are also available in the market.  Acrylic nail enhancer is an example for this. 

  • Anti fungal cream

This product is helpful to keep nails away from fungal infections and to protect nails affected by fungal infection.  Different brands of anti fungal creams are available in the market.  These creams are helpful to keep away germs from nails and the skin around the nails.  It is also helpful to prevent spreading of infection to other nails.  The most common ingredient of an anti fungal cream is Benzalkonium Chloride or Tea tree oil.   

Nail care kits 

Nail Care  KitProper nail care includes its protection, beautification and repair.  Nails are made of a protein called keratin.  In order to have strong healthy nails, basically you have to take a protein rich diet. In order to have healthy nails, one should ensure proper blood circulation to the finger tips.  Massaging your hands and nails using quality moisturizing creams or lotions will help you to maintain good blood circulation to your finger tips.   
You should keep your nails clean and for the purpose you have to trim and shape your finger nails. To add glamour to your nails, you may have to apply various cosmetics to it as per the prevailing fashion trends. 
Use of your hands for various purposes may result in developing cracks and breaks on nails.  In such circumstances you may have to repair your nails. An ideal nail care kit should contain such ingredients that would help you to protect, beautify and repair your nails as and when necessary. 

  • Stainless steel nail scissors

You should have stainless nail scissors for trimming your finger nails and toe nails.

  • Stainless steal nail clippers

A stainless steel nail clipper set for finger nails and toe nails for fine trimming.   

  • Nail files

Nail FilesYour kit should contain a nail file for shaping your nails without damaging the nail surface.  Separate nail files should be used for finger nails and toe nails.

  • Cuticle nipper

A cuticle nipper is a must in a nail care kit which will help you to trim the cuticle. It is better to use a cuticle nipper with large cutting surface as it will help you to cut your cuticle with fewer strokes. 

  • Nail brush

Nail brush is used to remove dirt from the under portion of your nails.   
Coming to the protection of nails, your nail care kit should ideally contain a nail strengthener to strengthen the nails, a calcium nail supplement, a nail and cuticle moisturizer and some quality product to keep your nails hydrated.  These basic elements are highly essential to keep your nails healthy and strong.

As far as nail repair is concerned, you should basically have an adhesive or nail bond which will help you to bond your nails in cases of cracks or breaks occurring on nails.  The kit should contain a cuticle stick to apply the adhesive to the crack, a buffing board to remove excess of adhesive and a buffing block to remove excess shine. 


Adhesive BondIn order to add glamour to your nails, you should essentially have various colouring materials like nail polish and materials like nail polish remover to remove the same. Always wash your hands thoroughly with special attention to nails after work.  Pat your hands and nails dry after wash with a clean soft towel. Liberally apply, moisturizing creams on your hands.

As far as toe nails are concerned, always use quality footwear while working outside.  Try to avoid direct contact of nails with dirt.  Clean your toe nails while at home and try to be bare footed while resting. 

Repairing broken nails 

Breaking of finger nails is a common phenomenon among women.  This is because hey often grow their finger nails long and do the house chores with that.   Hands with uneven broken nails often look ugly.   Maintenance of long nails without breaking may not be possible always.  It is in these circumstances that methods to repair broken nails were developed by beauticians.

Often small cracks or breaks to the nails can be rectified by smoothing the uneven edge by using and emery board.  It is therefore good to have an emery board with you while traveling. 

The procedure to be adopted to repair a broken nail depends on weather your nails are natural or artificial.  If your nails are artificial, the broken nail can be removed and replaced by a new one. 

  • Repair Natural NailTips to repair natural nails

If your nails are natural and it tears off by snagging with some object, it is better to file your nail till the point of tear.   Even if only a part of the nail is torn off, it is advisable to file your nail evenly rather than leaving the other portion intact.

If your nail breaks at the base, file the nail up to the point it touches your skin.  Allow your nail to grow as such and continue trimming regularly at the point it touches your skin until you reach the point of tear.

In case of a break at the base, you can also use a good nail glue to hold the broken parts of the nail together till such time the nail grows and you are able to file off the broken parts.

A broken nail can be repaired by using a nail repair kit.

  • Method of using a nail repair kit

A nail repair kit often consists of an adhesive material which can hold the natural nail together, a cuticle stick, a buffing board to remove excess adhesive apply to the broken nail, an a buffing block to remove excess shine from the nail due to the presence of the adhesive material.

Nail Repair KitApply adhesive material directly on the crack using the cuticles stick.   Allow the material to dry out.  Remove excess adhesive material if any using the buffing board.  Remove excess shine using the buffing block.  After repair, you may apply a good coat of nail polish so that the repair done to your nail is not visible at all.

It should however be noted that repairing of nail using a nail repair kit is not a permanent solution for breakage of your nails.  It may temporarily help you to avoid embarrassment while attending a party or hanging out in public.  Ultimately you will have to file of the broken part of the nail when your nail grows sufficiently long for filing. 

  • Tips to repair artificial nails

In case you are using an artificial nail, you can either replaced with a new one or repair it.  It is better to repair your artificial nail by removing it from your finger.  Bond the cracked edges of the nail using glue and allow it to dry.  If a patch is required to repair the nail, glue the patch evenly on the nail and allow it to dry.  Re-fix the artificial nail on your finger and smoothen it using a buffing board.  Apply appropriate nail polish to cover the repair. 

Nail care - Myths and Facts

Myths And Facts Of Nail CareThere exist a lot of myths regarding the functions and maintenance of nails.  To maintain one’s nails in good condition one should have awareness about the true functions of nails.  Blindly following the existing myths regarding care to nails invite unnecessary trouble and complications. 

Here are some myths and realities in connection with the maintenance and functions of nails.  

  • Nail polish and nail enamel will protect and make nails strong. 

This is not true.  The fact is that nail polish and nail enamels can do nothing to enhance the quality of your nail.  Instead continuous wearing of nail polish and nail enamel may destroy the natural texture of one’s nail.  It is advisable to leave your nails without nail polish at least for a week every month to enable it to breath. 

  • Eating gelatin and drinking milk will help you to avoid splitting of top layer of nails

This is also a false belief.  The nails are actually made of hard protein known as keratin.  Drinking of milk may help you to strengthen your nail by providing calcium to your body.  But splitting of top layers of nails has nothing to do with calcium deficiency. 

  • Hand CreamHand cream is enough for nails

The fact is that nails absorb moisture faster than skin and also it dries up speedily. So nails require creams rich in moisturizers and frequent application is necessary when compared to skin. 

  • It is healthy to cut  cuticles often

Contrary to this belief, cutting of cuticles will not do any good for the nails. In stead it will make the finger nails as well as toe nails more prone to infections.  One can remove cuticles by using cuticle removers and not by actually cutting the cuticles. 

  • All beauty saloons are safe places to do nails treatments

This also seems to be a myth.  Undergoing nail treatments like manicure and pedicure in a beauty parlor that do not follow strict hygiene standards will not be safe.  Before you go to a beauty parlor ensure that they are sterilizing all the metal instruments used for treatment and that they are using quality products to treat your nails.

  • Dark nail colours cause discoloration of nails

This belief also is not true.  Dark nail colours never cause discoloration of nails.   

Do’s and Don’ts on nail care

Tips For Healthy And Clean NailsNails play an important role in the over all appearance and health of a person.  Neatly kept nails will create a positive impression about a person in others.  It is therefore very important that you keep your nails neat, tidy and attractive.   

In order to maintain your nails clean and healthy, you should take care of the following things:

  • Do not wear nail polish continuously for a long time: Continuous wearing of nail polish will destroy the natural look of your nail.  You should always give enough time for your nail to breath.  Wearing nail polish continuously will make your nail yellowish and dull looking.  This will have a negative impact on the natural growth of your nails. 
  • Do not prick nail polish: Most of us have a habit of using sharp objects like knife and blade to remove nail polish.  This should be avoided.  Only use mild polish removers to remove nail polish. 
  • Do not use polish removers frequently: A Polish remover usually dries up the nails.  Using polish removers regularly will adversely affect the natural texture of your skin.  Its better not to use polish removers more than twice a week. 
  • Do not appear in public in chip nail polish:  Appearing in public wearing chipped nail polish will create an impression among others that you have a shabby character.  Apart from that it will affect your dressing also.  Always remember that what makes your dressing complete is the shape and colour of your nail. 
  • Do not try to cut off cuticles:  Cutting off cuticles is not a good habit.  It will attract infections.  Whenever you want to get rid of hardened cuticles, use good cuticle removers available in the market or just push it off after soaking your fingers.  
  • Wear gloves while washing dishes: Too much exposure to water will make your hands and nails dry.    Make it a habit to wear rubber gloves while dealing with detergents or detergent based soaps. 
  • Do not use your nails as a tool: Many of us abuse our nails by using it as a tool to pick up or pull out things.  A habit of using nails as a tool will toil the nails. 
  • Not To Grow Your Nail Too LongDo not grow your nails too long: If you have long nails, more are the chances for accumulation of bacteria and dirt under it.  When we use hands to eat it is easy to transfer these impurities and micro organisms directly to mouth.  Ultimately this may lead to serious infections.  So always keep your nails short and clean. 
  • Do not use hot water for soaking hands and feet: Use only lukewarm water while undergoing manicure and pedicure. 
  • Stop the habit of biting nails: By biting your nails, you are directly transferring bacteria to your mouth.  Further, too much biting of nails will expose the tender skin under nail areas and this may lead to infections to this area.
  • Use only standard manicure and pedicure tools to clean your nails: Using substandard objects to clean nails will have an adverse effect on it. 
  • Do not use heating pads on your feet
  • Never use undersized shoes: Use of undersized shoes can lead to a number of nagging nail disorders
  • Do not dig the sides of your nails while cleaning it: To keep your nails healthy and beautiful, you should develop a habit of doing certain things without fail.   Develop as a habit to do the following things to make your nails healthy and attractive. 
  • Regular cleaning of nails: Do not forget to give special attention to your nails while washing your hands for its easy to accumulate bacteria under nail areas.  If possible always use lukewarm water to wash your hands and nails. 
  • Routine manicure And PedicureUse nail brush to clean your nails: A plain regular washing of hands cannot remove dirt from the nails.  Use a nail brush for this purpose.
  • Routine manicure and pedicure: To keep one’s finger and toe nails healthy and shiny, develop a habit of undergoing manicure and pedicure on a regular basis.  Doing so at least once in two weeks definitely will improve quality of your nail.
  • Healthy diet: It is a must to follow a healthy, protein rich diet to maintain healthy and beautiful nails.  Include fresh fruits, raw vegetables, milk, fish and other foods enriched with vitamin A, B5 and B12 also. 
  • Apply moisturizers on your nails regularly: Nail absorbs moisture faster than skin and will lose the same faster than skin does.  So always remember to apply more moisturizing creams and lotions around the nails.  Apply petroleum jelly on your nails before you go to bed.   
  • Consult a medical practitioner when nails show discoloration, crack, redness or swelling:  Nails colour is a pointer to your general health.  The discoloration of nails may be an indication of serious diseases.  So consult a doctor in case of discoloration of nails. 
  • Neatly trim your toe nails: Comparing to finger nails toe nails are more exposed to dirt and pollutants.  Long grown toe nails will collect more dirt in it.  Ultimately this may lead to infections and even falling off of nails. 
  • Wear only soft socks: Take care of wearing good quality soft socks only.  Cottons should be preferred over nylons as cotton socks allow your feet to breathe. 

Tips for beautiful nails 

Beautiful Nails TipsGood looking, shiny nails are a dream for every one.  A nail in good shape with a good colour nail polish by itself is an accessory that complements one’s elegance.  Apart from this your nail is a clue to your general health.  A nail which looks strong and shiny indicates that you are a healthy person.  To make ones nail beautiful and good looking, regular maintenance is a must.   
Here are some tips for maintaining beautiful nails: 

  • The most important thing about the proper care of ones hand is the shape of his/her nails and condition of hands.  Manicure is the best treatment for keeping one’s finger nails beautiful.  Coming to feet and toe nails, the best method is to undergo a pedicure treatment.  For these procedures, you don’t have to visit your beautician every now and then.  One can do manicure and pedicure easily at home without much effort.  At least once in 15 days one has to under go these beauty treatments. 
  • For softening nails, apply hand cream on the nails and hands after cleaning them with a clean cloth.  You can apply petroleum jelly on your nails to give it a shiny look. 
  • While applying nail polish, start by using a clean towel to remove excess oil or cream from your hands. Shape your nails then.  Apply at least two coats of nail polish on the nails to get it an even look.   If the shade of your nail polish is very light, then apply three coats.  Apply the nail polish first in the center of the nail – from root to the end of the nail – and then sideways.  Allow the nail polish to dry completely. You are ready with your pretty looking hands and beautiful nails. 

Some other tips for beautiful looking nails

  • Beautiful Looking NailsAllow the nails breathe by not wearing nail polish for three to four days or if possible for one week every month. 
  • Caster, coconut and almond oils are good for keeping nails shiny and beautiful.  While at home, apply any one of the above oils on the nails and massage gently. After some time remove the excess oil using a soft towel. Do not wash away excess oil.
  • To clean dirt from the side of your nails use diluted hydrogen peroxide instead of digging it out.  Apply diluted hydrogen peroxide to the sides of your nail and wait for some time. The dirt will get loosened and will come up so that it can be easily removed by washing in lukewarm water.
  • Lemon juice is good for stain removing. If your nails happened to get stained with some colour or dye, the same can be easily removed by applying lime juice on the nails and wiping it off after some time using a soft towel or tissue paper
  • Whitening tooth paste can be used to enhance the colour of your nails. Apply small quantity of quality whitening tooth paste on you nails using a soft unused brush and wipe it off after some time. A good whitening tooth paste can act as a whitening agent to your nails also.

Beauty tips for toe nails

You can adopt the same steps of manicure for maintaining your toe nails also.  While doing pedicure you should give extra attention to remove dirt from the corners of the toe nail.  For that you can use a pin nails scrubber.    
Nail Art 

Nail art, the most modern fashion in the nail beautification can perhaps be termed as the most fascinating part of nail care.  Our hands and nails will be exposed to others more frequently than we imagine when we interact with them. It is therefore very important to maintain your finger nails and toe nails clean and beautiful. 

Decorating nails using objects like tattoos, stones or even by piercing them for wearing small jewels have become a trend today both in the east and west.  For nail art you can use both artificial and original nails.  Artificial nails are comparatively stronger and more flexible to adapt all types of nail designs.  If you are intending to make a hole on your nail to wear rings or anything ornamental on your nail, it is more advisable to use artificial nails for the purpose.  This is because your natural nails may not be able to withstand activities like nail piercing.  Further it may even invite the risk of serious infections to your nails and the areas surrounding it.  Another advantage of artificial nails is that the colour painted on artificial nails tends to last longer when compared to original nails.  

French Manicure NailsA nail beautified by French manicure is more adaptable to nail art.  In French manicure nails are maintained long and square shaped.  It is easy to paint any design on these nails.    

Designing nails require a lot of skill.  Nail technicians specialized in this area are available in the fashion world.  Simple designs like sticking tattoos or ornamental stickers or even small stones can be done even at home.  But if you are looking for an abstract painting to give you an exclusive look suitable for a special occasion it is better to seek the assistance of a nail technician.

Your nail is like canvas for a nail technician.  They use objects like gems, glitters, beads made of glass etc. to create art on nails.  Even dried flowers and diamonds are used for beautifying nails as the occasion demands.  Techniques to be used to paint nails depend upon the design you choose.  The tools include nail pencils and air gun brushes.  Nail art is more effective on long nails.  If you do not have long nails or suffer from nail brittle problem you can go for nail art using artificial nails. 

Nail ArtNail technicians usually use brushes with sharp edges to make hand paints on nails.  They even use sharp edged objects like toothpicks to make the lines and spots perfect.

   
Small hearts and stones in different shapes are available in the market to give a final touch to nail art.  You can even go for glitters to give your nail a more glamorous look.  This glittering shiny look is more suitable for party wears. 

Bridal nail art is a specialized branch of nail art.  Compared to ordinary ones, bridal nail art is complicated and expensive.  Normally stones and diamonds are used in bridal nail art. Brides usually choose delicate designs.   
Though not a must, it is advisable to undergo a manicure programme, to give your nails a special effect before you perform nail art on your nails. Piercing nail to wear small rings is yet another trend now prevailing in nail art.  Though trendy, it is almost impossible to do this on natural nails.  Piercing natural nails may cause chipping of nails and infection to nails. For nail piercing it is better to use artificial nails.

Digital nail art

With the introduction of digital nail art, nail art, the latest trend in nail beautification, has become more popular and high tech in nature. The most attractive part of digital nail art is its speed in application. 

In normal course nail art is expensive and it also requires a lot of time. Though it can be performed even at home, the assistance of an expert is a must to create complicated and abstract designs on nails. 

Considering the cost involved in it, seeking the assistance of an expert nail technician is not always possible. And mainly for this reason, though we like to see our nails get painted beautifully always, we limit it to special occasions. Digital nail art is cheaper compared to manual nail art. The limitation however is the limitation in creativity.

Another advantage of digital nail art is that all nails of your hand can be painted at the same time. You do not have to wait for long to finish work on all the nails.

Procedure for application of digital nail art 

Digital Nail ArtThough not a must, it is better to apply digital nail art on the nails after undergoing a basic manicure routine to give your hands a fine look to compliment your beautiful nails. Even if you are not intending to under go a complete professional manicure, clean your nails by removing dirt from under the nails and also by clearing away the thickened cuticles. 

To begin with, it is also advisable to paint the nails by applying a thick white base coat to enhance the effect of the colors used to paint the nails 
But if your intention is to give a natural background to the nails do not go for a white base coat. An activation coat is still needed to ensure the quick drying of the design applied. You can choose a design from the variety of designs available in the machine. And you can also go for a design made by you as it can be scanned in to the machine 

Now you can place your hands in the machine to get your nails painted. There is a special cradle in the machine to place your hand and you do not have to worry about any injury as the printings heads are not going to touch your hand at all. What they are actually doing is to simply spray paint on to your nails. A slight move of your nails will stop the machine to ensure safety of the person using the machine. 

While hand painting on nails takes hours to complete the process, digital nail art usually takes about 15 minutes to complete the entire process of digital nail art. 

Life of digital nail art is same as that of an ordinary nail art. Depending upon the care you give to your painted nail, it may even last for more than two weeks. To increase the life of nail paint, it is advisable to apply one or two coats of thin colorless nail varnish on the painted nail. 

A digital nail art can be applied both on hands and nails and no doubt you can even experiment a French manicure on this machine. Digital nail art is now available in almost all nail salons. Before you start doing this type of nail art make sure that the person operating the machine has expertise in operating it. 

Wedding nail art 

Wedding NailThe fashion world is witnessing tremendous changes in nail beautification.  Unlike the olden days where we paid no or not little attention to our nails, these days we try to attract the attention of the whole world to our nails  decorated in catchy designs by using vibrant colours and other nail beautification materials. 

Till recently nails were not been given much importance in bridal make up.  At the most they were kept painted in a single colour matching the wedding costume. But today brides prefer to be unique and trendy in appearance.  Today’s brides are bold enough to go after the latest trends in fashion world.   

Many pay special attention to nail make up these days and the most important trend in nail care is nail art.  In the place of old single toned nail colour you can have unique designs perfectly matching your wedding theme done by a nail technician.  Now we have specialists in nail art.   
Always remember that along with your costume and jewelry, nails also are going to be the centre of attraction on your wedding day.   A beautifully painted nail will create a positive impression about the bride among the guests.   

If you are thinking of doing nail art on your natural nail, take extra care to keep it unbroken till the day of wedding.  Otherwise you will have to drop the idea of painting your nails. Also choose the right design that would suit your costume well in advance to your marriage. 

Artificial Nail For WeddingMany prefer artificial nails over natural nails to paint them. The main reason for this is that they are stronger comparing to natural nails and the possibility of breaking is comparatively nil. If you prefer artificial nails for you wedding, fix them at least two weeks prior to your wedding day so that you will get used to it.  

A wide range of designs suitable for brides are available in the market. Whatever be the design you choose it should synchronize with your wedding theme.  A bride in white gown wearing splashy design on nails will create only an awkward appearance. Avoid such situations. 

Wedding day is your day that often happens once in life.  If you are ready to spend more to make it more attractive or impressive you can even go for precious stones like diamonds to be fixed on your nail.   No doubt that it will be noticed by every one attending your marriage. 

Another latest trend in bridal nail art is nail piercing.  Artificial nails are more suitable for nail piercing.  Making holes on natural nails to wear jewels on nails may invite infections or other serious injuries to your nails.   Piercing tools are available in the market and it is better to apply a few coats of nail polish before you start making a hole on your nail.  Even a sharp needle heated can be used for piercing. 

Every one prefers to see brides in traditional ethnic wears.  In fact most of us prefer traditional dresses and jewellery on our wedding day.  Those who choose this type of costume should go for classic designs on their nails.  These designs will help them to complete the dressing. 

Bride maids can also go for nail art.  But it should not be as catchy as that of the brides. 

Nail Salon 

A nail salon, a specialized branch of beauty salons, is meant to provide exclusively care for nails.  The service provided by nail salons includes manicure, pedicure, nail art, fixing of artificial nails etc.  The workers at a nail salon are known as nail technicians. 

Nail SalonsIt is the introduction of nail art that made nail salons more popular.  In the modern world people do not seem to be satisfied with the traditional beauty salons for their nail care.  Many love to paint their nails with complicated designs for which the service of an expert nail technician is essential. 
Apart from this, nail salons being the specialists in nail care are always able to provide special care to nails.  Nails require special attention as they always act as an indicator to one’s general health condition.  It is a fact that lack of proper care of nails may lead to serious infections that may become a threat to health in future.  Taking in to consideration this fact, giving special care to nails with help of an expert specialized in scientific nail caring will definitely be good for the over all health of a person. 

These days’ women seem to be more aware of the effect of nails.  And this awareness prompts them to go to a specialist to give their nails a unique appearance to attract the attention of others.  They believe that ordinary beauty salons are not for nails and seek the assistance of nail technicians to care their nails. 

This changing attitude of women resulted in the establishment of a number of nail salons all over the world.  No doubt that nail salons are a lot more expensive when compared to our traditional nail salons.  However those who like to give their nails a professional touch do not seem to be bothered about the cost involved in this expertise version of nail care. 

Unlike the beauticians who work in ordinary beauty salons, the nail technicians who work in a nail salon approach nails with a different attitude.  For them nails are a canvas and they can convert them in to attractive paintings capable enough to set a new trend? 

Apart from nail painting, nail salons normally provide all other routine services in connection with nail beautification.  For them manicure and pedicure do not mean a simple cleaning up of hands and feet.  At nail salons you will be introduced to the most modern techniques in nail care including digital nail art.  The modern trend in nail care is the French manicure with square tipped nails coated in white nail paint or painted with abstract designs.  Some times it also results in sticking expensive gems and diamonds on the nails.

Choosing Nail SalonA potential customer of a nail salon should be careful while choosing a nail salon.  Ensure that the nail salon you choose strictly follows hygienic routines in their salon.  Apart from the over all cleanliness of the salon, make sure that your technician observes proper sanitation practices.   
Before the technician begins his job, ensure that his hands are clean and the towel to be used to wipe your hands and feet is clean and properly disinfected. Do not hesitate to ask them whether the regular tools that they use are properly disinfected by sterilization or not.

Many nail salons are providing a complete package for nail care. If it is not a package that your nail salon offers, it is better to ask them what all services are included in the prize quoted by them to avoid extra expenses.

In case you wish to use artificial nails for beautification, it is the responsibly of your nail technician to make you understand about all the side effects associated with the use of artificial nails.  If he is not doing so, feel free to ask your doubts and apprehensions and the details about the procedure, including the tips to maintain these nails at home.  Always remember that artificial nails are not meant for all.  In some persons it may create allergic reactions. 

Making of artificial nails usually produce strong smell.  It is quite natural.  But if you feel that the odour is unbearable, it can be an indication of improper ventilation. Ensure that the smell does not affect your respiratory system. 

Finally make sure that the nail salon that you propose to visit is a licensed one and that the technicians there are trained in this art.  

Acrylic nails

Acrylic nails can be termed as the most modern trend in nail grooming. These are artificial nails made of chemicals and liquids. Cost of the acrylic nails depend on the chemicals used in it. According to scientists, Ethyl methacrylate is the safest chemical to be used in making the acrylic nail combination. But the problem with using this chemical is that it is a bit more expensive when compared to other chemicals that are used to make acrylic nails. 

Acrylic NailsMethyl methacrylate is a cheaper and affordable component of acrylic nail. However it has serious side effects like nail deformities and serious infections that affect the natural growth of the skin. So always be careful while you go for an acrylic nail and choose only those which have safe chemicals as its ingredients. Other wise you will have to sacrifice you health for saving a little money while beautifying your nails.

Many use acrylic nails for making nail art more effective. When it is impossible to accommodate a desired nail art on your short nail you can seek the help of an acrylic nail. Acrylic nails act as a good substitute for original nails in nail art. Try it as a temporary arrangement to make your dressing complete for a special occasion. You may use it as a permanent arrangement if you have serious nail growing problems.

On the surface acrylic nails may appear to be a blessing for those who suffer from nail growth problems and extremely brittle nails. But the fact is that it requires extra care and extreme caution while wearing it. Damage caused to acrylic nails may lead one to serious nail infections that may adversely affect the growth of original nails.

With regard to the application and removal of acrylic nails what is recommendable is to   leave it to a technician who is skilled and specialized in acrylic nail art as it demands utmost care and attention

Method of application

First clean up your nails and remove cuticles from the side of your nails.  You have to remove nail polish from your nails by using a nail polish remover. Put some nail glue on your nails and fix the tip of acrylic nails on your nails.  Ensure that the tips of acrylic nails are closely adhered to your original nail.  You have to make all adjustments before the glue dries up completely or otherwise you will have to repeat the complete process after removing the existing acrylic nail.

Now you can trim these nails according to your desire.

Method of removal

Removal of acrylic nails requires a little effort and patience. It is always better to seek the help of a nail technician who is specialized in this field. If not possible you can even do it at home by following the process mentioned below: 

Removing Acrylic NailsThings required for removing acrylic nails at home are acetone and Vaseline.  Lavishly apply Vaseline on and around the nails. Take acetone in a bowl. You can make it more effective by warming it a little. Adopt double boiling method only to heat acetone. Remember using microwave to heat acetone may invite danger as this chemical is highly inflammable in nature.

Warm acetone requires only the half time to remove acrylic nails when compared to normal acetone. If it is warm keep your fingers in acetone bowl for fifteen minutes. Once the water becomes gummy you can remove hands from acetone and wipe off the remaining acrylic using a cotton ball soaked in acetone solution.

Acetone has a dehydrating effect on skin and nail. So you should not forget to apply a good moisturizing cream or Vaseline after removing acrylic nails at home. 

Artificial nails 

Artificial nails are also known as fake nails.   As the very term indicates it is hundred percent artificial in nature.   These nails are usually glued to original nails.  What makes it a trend in nail fashion world is that it is attractive in looking and one can even go for nail piercing to wear modern nail jewels without bothering about infections and other health problems. 

Fake NailsApart from this artificial nails seem to be a blessing for those who suffer from brittle nail and nail growing problems.   A person who cannot grow their nails long cannot even think of nail art.  Artificial nails are good substitutes for this problem.  Another advantage of artificial nails is that the nail colours usually last long on artificial nails when compared to natural nails and the chance of breaking also is very remote.   
Following are the different types of artificial nails available in the nail world:     

  • Acrylic nails

Acrylic nails are the strongest among artificial nails.  You can have these nails with any colour and length.  You can use these nails to make complicated nail art as well as for piercing them.   
They are made of polymer, powdered acrylic and liquid acrylic.  It can be applied on nails by using a brush.  It has to be filled up as your nails grow up; most probably once in three weeks.    These nails can be also be used to get rid of the ugly, unhealthy habit of nail biting. 

  • Sculptured nails

In order to make sculpture nails, acrylic, fiber glass or gel is applied initially to the nails.  The whole material is then sculpted over metal or metallic foil to create desired designs.

  • Gel nails

Gel nails are stuck to your original nails and made to set using ultraviolet rays.  Fixation of gel nails often requires professional assistance. 

  • Fiber, linen and silks covering over nails

In order to add glamour to nails, it is a trend now to paste attractive pieces of various fabric materials like linen and silk on original nails.  In addition to the fact that it adds beauty to your nails, the process will also help in strengthening your nails tips.  Use of silk over nails may be more attractive. However it is linen that is strong and that stays for a long time.

Fiber,Linen,Silk Over NailsEven though artificial nails may make you glamorous, it is not advisable for long use as the chemicals used for bonding and making these nails are likely to cause serious infections and other adverse effects on the natural nails. Further, regular maintenance is required for a person who has opted for artificial nails.  Their nail beds are more susceptible to fungal infections.  Therefore while fixing artificial nails, always seek quality professional assistance and never attempt to do it by yourself unless you are an expert in this field.

Different nail diseases

The main function of the nail is to protect tissues of the fingers and toes.  Apart from that it works as a tool to pick things. The over all health and strength of one’s nail reflects his personal hygiene and health.   
Nail diseases are clinically known as Onychosis. As the problems of nails reflect other medical problems like vitamin deficiency and disorder of inner organs, they require serious attention.   These cannot be treated by a beautician.  If you’re suffering from any nail problems or nail diseases, it is better to consult a medical practitioner. 

Different types of nail diseases

  1. Onychia – Inflammation of matrix (the surrounding tissue of a nail) is the symptom called Onychia.  Formation of pus in the affected area some times leads to shedding of the nail. 
  2. Onychocryptosis – This is commonly known as ingrown nails.  Here the nails cut into the sides of the nail bed.  In some cases the nail cuts into one side only.  In some others both sides may be affected.  This situation can be effectively treated by cutting nails properly. 
  3. OnychodystrophyOnychodystrophy – This is the most serious nail disorder.  Deformation of nails is the main symptom of Onychodystrophy.  It may some times be the result of cancer.  So discoloration and deformation of any nail demands serious attention.   Consult a medical practitioner to rule out the possibilities of cancer.
  4. Onychgryposis – thickening nail is the symptom of Onychgryposis.  It may be a result of an injury to the surrounding tissue.  Extra ordinary curvature of the nail also comes under this category. Some times it can be a hereditary one.  Total neglect of the nail can also be a cause for this. The situation can often be avoided by giving proper care and attention to your nails. 
  5. Onycholysis – Loosening of the nail from the nail beds indicates Onycholysis.  Reason can be fungal infections or use of cheap nail enhancement products or it can even be the side effect of a drug.  Effective treatment plan can be suggested by a doctor upon diagnosing the basic cause for the disease.
  6. Onychomadesis – Falling of nail is called Onychomadesis.  Reason can be the injury to matrix bed.  Treating the injury to the matrix bed can often solve the problem
  7. OnychomycosisOnychomycosis – Discoloration, thickening, chalkiness and crumbling of nails come under this category of   disease.  Application of tea tree oil is said to be very effective to Onychomycosis. 
  8. Onychoptosis – Shedding of nails is a result of Onychoptosis.  The cause may be diseases like syphilis, fever, and trauma or drug reaction.  Correct diagnosis and treatment of the root cause can often prevent Onychoptosis.
  9. Paronychia – Bacterial or fungal infection in the areas where skin and nail meets is the reason for Paronychia.  Anti fungal/ bacteria medicines are effective cure to this disease.
  10. Koilonychia – Upward curve of the skin may be due to iron deficiency.  This disease can be treated by intake of iron supplements under medical guidance.
  11. Subungnanhematoma – Clotting of blood under the nail leads to Subungnanhematoma.  Reasons may be undersized shoe, minor trauma or acute injury. 

Apart from these scientifically named nail diseases, in day to day life we face some other problems which we can effectively treat our selves without much effort. 

  • White spots – It is a commonly seen problem of nail.  Minor trauma or knock against some hard object can be the reason for this.  Some times it may be hereditary also.   Those who work regularly with hands also are seemed to be affected by white spots.  

This needs no special treatment. It will grow out with nails.

  • Pitting - Some times this is hereditary.  In other cases it can be result of trauma certain illnesses like psoriasis, eczema.

Treating the cause may help.

  • Nail ThicknessNail thickness – Diseases like fungal infection and psoriasis are the main cause behind nail thickness.  Apart from this, ageing process and trauma can also be cited as reasons for nail thickness. 

It can be cured by treating the cause disease. 

  • Vertical splitting – those who are constantly in contact with water are seemed to be affected by vertical splitting. 

Zinc and iron intake is recommended for vertical splitting.  Massaging using almond oil is also suggested to be an effective remedy for vertical splitting.

  • Separation of nails from nail bed – Over exposure to detergents and over time typing or catching the nail on something could be the reasons for separation of nails. 

Using rubber gloves while using detergents, cutting nails according to size and filing it and also intake of iron and zinc helps in curing this type of nail problem.

Other nail problems:

  • Black nail – Acute trauma, jamming finger or nails in a door are cited as causes behind black nail.  In this case nail may some times fall off.
  • Fungal NailHang nail - This is usually a self inflicted problem.  Biting and picking at the nails and aggressive self manicuring are usually the causes behind hang nail. 
  • Fungal nail – Discoloration of the nail is the symptom of fungal infection.  It can be yellow, black or green in colour.  Diabetes or constant contact with water can be the causes. 
  • Brittle nail – Organic silica is said to be effective for increasing growth of nail. Intake of essential fatty acid’s vitamins B 12 and B5 will help to remedy brittle nail.  

ONCHOGRYPHOSIS 

OnchogryphosisOnchogryphosis or claw nail is a condition which results in severe deformity of nails due to reasons like trauma or permanent shoe pressure. Toe nails are commonly seen to be more affected by this nail disorder. The nails affected by the disease onchogryphosis usually appear to be thickened, curved and claw or hook like in shape. 

The nails affected by this nail disorder will show the tendency to grow long in a shapeless manner. Normally shaping, trimming and filing of these nails are not easy due to their unusual thickness and hook like shape. This abnormal shape and condition of the nails affected by Onchogryphosis will also make it a home for bacteria and fungus to grow. 

Causes for Onchogryphosis 

The primary cause for Onchogryphosis is the damage caused to the cells constituting matrix that makes the nails grow. It is this damaged cells of matrix that cause the nails to grow in abnormal shapes and thickness. 
The damage caused to nails by heavy impact against hard surfaces or due to fall of heavy objects on nail results in injury and damage to nail matrix which in turn may prompt Onchogryphosis. 

Causes Of Onchogryphosis Sports persons, persons who wear tight shoes etc are also prone to Onchogryphosis. Constant pressure exerted by under sized shoes on toe nails may damage the nail matrix which in turn may precipitate Onchogryphosis. 
Poor blood circulation to toe tips especially due to diabetes and nutritional deficiency can also lead to this nail disorder. 

Chances are there for the symptoms of Onchogryphosis to be misunderstood as that of a fungal infection. This may result in wrong treatment and unnecessary waste of money. Care should therefore be taken to consult a seasoned medical practitioner for proper diagnosis and treatment of Onchogryphosis. 

Symptoms 

Symptom Of Onchogryphosis Discomfort to nails while wearing shoes is the most commonly seen symptom of Onchogryphosis. Gradually the person suffering from Onchogryphosis will start showing signs of intolerance towards even a minor shock on the nails. In fact it is not the nail but the nail bed that is injured and the causes the discomfort.  In some other cases the nails grow like a hook may even cause damage to the adjoining nails and there by cause damage and infection to them also.

Treatment 

The general idea behind any treatment plan for Onchogryphosis is to reduce the abnormal thickness of the nails. Exact treatment plan will however depend upon the gravity of the disease.

Treatment Of Onchogryphosis The basic treatment to Onchogryphosis involves cutting, filing and trimming of nails to bring it back to a manageable state. It is always advisable to seek the assistance of a qualified doctor or nurse to avoid complications. Some times this process requires special tools due to the extreme thickness of the nails affected by Onchogryphosis.

In extreme situations doctor may advice the patient to remove the nails through a minor surgery. Along with nails, the nail root matrix will also be removed to avoid further production of thick nails by the damaged cells of nail matrix. 

Neighboring nails can be prevented from being infected with Onchogryphosis by preventing contact of neighboring nails with infected nails. This can be achieved by keeping a roll of clean cloth or wool between the toes.

ONYCHOLYSIS 

Loosening or separation of finger nails or toe nails from its bed is clinically known as Onycholysis. Unlike fungal infection, Onycholysis does not cause pain. Usually Onycholysis starts affecting the nail tips first and will gradually spread to the bottom of the nail.

OnycholysisTrauma, even minor ones, caused by regular stroke on computer key boards with nails grown long can cause Onycholysis. Aggressive manicure and pedicure, digging the sides of the nails for removing dirt can also be cited as other common causes behind Onycholysis. Prolonged exposure to water and over use of cosmetics like nail polish for long are also considered to be the causes for the above disease. 

Apart from this, diseases like psoriasis, thyroid infections, chemical reactions, reactions to certain medicines can also cause Onycholysis. 
Onycholysis is primarily considered as a disease affecting adults. This is however not a general rule. Women, especially those who grow their nails long, seem to be more affected by this disease rather than men.

Appearance Of A GapAppearance of a gap between the pink portion of the nail and the white outer edge will be the first sign of Onycholysis. Nails usually become transparent when infected by this disease and it may even cause discolouration to nails to green or yellow colours. 

Discolouration to nails can also be an indication of a secondary infection. Skin under the nail may start thickening there after, depending on the cause behind the infection.

Normally the process of loosening nails from nail bed due to Onycholysis will not be painful as it is not a disease that affects the matrix.

Usually what makes this disease complicated is the possible accumulation of bacteria and other micro organisms under the bulged part of the nail. If unattended this further infection may lead to permanent deformity of the nails. 

The change of the nail colour to green indicates the beginning of bacterial infection and white yeast. 

The treatment to be given for Onycholysis is totally dependent on the cause behind the disease. To rule out the possibility of fungal or yeast infection, doctors usually scrap a small portion of debris from the under part of the nail. 

Treatment Of OnycholysisReattaching the loosened portion of the nail to nail bed is practically impossible. The infected portion will normally grow out with the growth of the nail and can be safely cut off then. This nail disorder has a tendency to leave a permanent mark on nail by changing its appearance. 

Following these tips would be helpful in avoiding further deterioration and recurrence of the disease:

  1. Affected areas of the nails should be kept shortly trimmed and clipped to avoid spreading of infection.
  2. Stop using nail polish and nail polish removers once you get infected by Onycholysis to avoid irritation.
  3. Prevent contact with detergents and other irritating chemicals to avoid complications. It s advisable to use gloves when you us things like that.

One can prevent this disease by taking care of the following things:

  • Keep your fingers dry, clean and healthy
  • Avoid too much contact with water and other chemicals
  • Always keep your nails neatly trimmed

KoilonychiaKOILONYCHIA 

Koilonychia, is a commonly found nail disorder. One of the basic causes for this nail disorder is stated to be anemia. In this type of nail disorder the finger nails become thin and abnormal in shape. This nail disorder will make the nails to look strange and awkward by causing an upward growth of nails and thus causing concavities with raised edges to the nails which often resemble a spoon. This type nail disorder is therefore commonly known as spoon nails. Nails in this case will become flattened also. 

The nails affected by koilonychia usually appear to be thin and brittle in nature. Once affected with this disease, the nails usually take a long period to return to its original form. 

Nails Affected By KoilonychiaApart from anemia, koilonychia can also be inherited as an autosomal dominant trait. Further it can even be seen associated with the disorders like thyroid dysfunction, musculoskeletal problems, systemic lupus erythematosus, renal disease, nail patella syndrome etc. Excessive use of soap and detergents can also cause this disease. Direct trauma on nails may also be a factor that can ultimately lead to koilonychia.

Along with the reasons mentioned above, the habit of nail biting, picking and rubbing of nails can also be termed as the factors that cause koilonychia. 

Koilonychia being a pointer to various complications relating to anemia, the disease demands immediate attention and treatment. Even if the cause behind this nail disorder is a stroke or a trauma, beware that excessive use of cosmetics like nail enamels or nail polish removers can always aggravate the problem. 

Whatever be the reason behind koilonychia, do not attempt to treat it yourself. It is always advisable to consult a qualified medial practitioner to avoid complications.

Shape Of Affected NailThe shape of the affected nail will look exactly like a spoon due to its upward growth. In some cases where the nails are not seriously affected by the disease, it may create only a soft wave on nails. Severely affected nails may tend to turn brittle and start to break inside the concavity. The skin surrounding the affected area will usually be dry and cracked. 

If the cause koilonychias is trauma, usually a full cycle of nail growth will be needed to get the affected part corrected. 

If koilonychia is an out come of anemia only proper diet intended to male up the deficiency of iron in your body and intake of medicines can help you to get rid of it. You will have to consult a doctor soon after you detect the symptoms of this nail disorder. In such cases you will be advised by physician to improve the quality of your regular diet by adding adequate nutrients helpful to increase your hemoglobin count.

Never go for self treatment in such cases as over intake of iron can create serious health problems. Follow the treatment plan and dosage of medicine as prescribed by your doctor to avoid complications. Include plenty of vitamin rich food in your regular diet. Vitamin C will help your body to accelerate iron absorption.  
 
MELANONYCHIA 

MelanonychiaOften melanonychia is a symptom rather than a disease.  It is a condition where brown lines appear on nails.  The lines often appear on nails in a length wise direction. As the name denotes, melanonychia is a condition resultant of hyper pigmentation. 

As far as persons with black coloured skin are concerned, melanonychia may not be a disease. This is because the level of colouring pigment melanin is found to be more in persons with this skin type.  However this is not the case with white skinned persons.  As far as these persons are concerned, presence of melanonychia may be a symptom of a form of cancer by name subungual melanoma.  Persons with this skin type therefore have to be very cautious in case of detection of melanonychia on their nails.  They should immediately seek medical advice to rule out the possibility of malignancy.

Melanin In The Nail PlateScientifically melanonychia can be stated to be caused by deposition of a pigment called melanin in the nail plate.  In fact melanin is the pigment that determines the colour of your skin.  Depending on the presence of melanin in your skin, the colour of your skin varies from black to white.  Persons with more melanin pigment in their skin are black in colour.  Now you may also know the reason as to why your hair is black in colour! 

Melanonychia may occur due to various reasons.  It can be due to the intake of various antibiotic medicines or undergoing a chemotherapy treatment.  Drugs prescribed for onychomycosis can also cause melanonychia.   

Causes Of MelanonychiaApart from various forms of allopathic treatment, infections caused by various microorganisms and various skin diseases can also precipitate melanonychia.

 
The most commonly found symptoms of melanonychia are the following:

  • Discoloration of nails: The most commonly found in symptom of melanonychia is the discoloration of nails due to hyper pigmentation.  Brown lines appear on nails.  The general colour of the nails may turn yellow. 
  • This condition may cause pain in the nails and finger tips.
  • Melanonychia often adversely affects the general health condition of the nails which results in its crumbling. 
  • In some patients melanonychia may cause thickening of nails.
  • Apart from the nails, symptoms of melanonychia may appear in other parts of the body also.  Abnormalities to one’s eyes can often be associated with melanonychia.  Accordingly disorders to cornea and cataract are often seen in patients with melanonychia.
  • Deformities of fingers and astigmatism are often found in patients with melanonychia. 
Under developed shoulder blades and abnormal neck bones are also seen in patients with melanonychia.

Treatment for melanonychia 

Treatment Of MelanonychiaMelanonychia caused due to intake of antibiotic medicines or other allopathic treatments like chemotherapy can be cured completely.  Drugs like doxorubicin, cyclophosphamide and hydroxyurea are stated to be excellent in the treatment of melanonychia.  In case of appearance of melanonychia, care should be taken to undergo proper medical check up by visiting your doctor to rule out the possibility of subungual melanoma.  Malignancy if not treated timely can be life threatening.  

YELLOW NAIL SYNDROME

Yellow Nail SyndromeYellow nail syndrome is a very rare disorder affecting nails. As the name itself indicates discoloration of nails to yellow is the primary indication of yellow nail syndrome. This discoloration will usually be followed by swelling in different parts of the body, a condition medically known as lymphoedema. This swelling may some times lead to the blockage of one’s lymphatic system. 

In some patients it has been reported that yellow nail syndrome even cause collection of fluid in the space around the lungs and in some others bronchiectasis may also appear along with yellow nail syndrome.   
Generally men at their middle ages are seen affected by yellow nail syndrome. However in rare occasions, young children are also seen found to be affected by this disease.

The nail growth of a person affected by yellow nail syndrome slows down significantly when compared to other healthy persons.  In some cases the nail does not grow at all.  The growth rate becomes nil. 

Nail Plate Of PatientsThe nail plate of patients affected by yellow nail syndrome gets thickened and the colour of the nail may turn yellow varying from pale yellow to greenish yellow.  The edges of the nail plate may even turn dark.

In this kind of disease, the nails tend to remain smooth.  However it may have a wavy character with the nail surface remaining uneven. 

In acute cases of yellow nail syndrome, the nails may get detached from the nail bed due to the loss of cuticles which hold the nail to the body.

Majority of patients suffering from yellow nail syndrome complain about swelling in their legs.  The primary symptom of yellow nail syndrome is the discoloration of the nail rather than the swelling.  In some cases swelling may appear even on the hands, face and genitals.

In about 36% of the patients, a condition called pleural effusions occurs.  Pleural effusion may appear as a primary symptom of yellow nail syndrome.  Respiratory disorders associated with yellow nail syndrome are often found in patients with along history of Bronchitis, acute sinusitis and pneumonia. 

Cause Of Yellow Nail SyndromeThe exact cause for yellow nail syndrome is still unknown to the medical world.  However the most commonly affected persons are those with a recurrent history of various respiratory complications like chronic bronchiectasis or sinusitis. Persons suffering from internal malignancies, immuno-deficiency syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis are also prone to yellow nail syndrome. 

Treatment for yellow nail syndrome 

Yellow nail syndrome requires proper medical attention.  Never try to treat the disease by yourself.  Proper care and treatment should be given to the respiratory disorders occurring in association with yellow nail syndrome. 

Treatment Of Yellow Nail SyndromeDisfiguration caused to the nails due to yellow nail syndrome is often irreversible.  In rare cases reversion of nails to normal stage has been reported to be medically possible.  The treatment plan includes application of vitamin E solution on the affected area and intake of itraconazone.  Intake of vitamin E supplement is also seen recommended by doctors for treating the disease.  Zinc supplements are also prescribed to patients suffering from yellow nail syndrome. 

LEUCONYCHIA 

Leuconychia, a totally harmless nail disease, popularly known as white nails is a condition where abnormal white colour appears on nails. This white colour can be total or partial. In some other cases it may even appear in straight lines. The cause for Leuconychia may be hereditary or acquired.

LeoconychiaLeuconychia occurs very rarely on toe nails. When compared toe nails Leuconychia finger nails are more susceptible to Leuconychia. Symptoms of congenial or hereditary Leuconychia can be seen on the nails from child hood it self.

The white spots or lines that appear on nails need not be in a uniform shape or in the same place on all nails.

Tiny bubbles of air trapped under the nails can sometimes lead to this nail disorder. But it need not be as simple as this in all cases. In some cases Leuconychia seems to be associated with liver diseases. It can also be appear due to fungal infection, lymphoma and renal failure. 

Patients affected with Hypoalbuminemia are also seen affected by Leuconychia in many cases. Apart from these, psychogenic stresses are also considered to be as a factor that prompts this nail disorder.

Factors For LeoconychiaOther factors that may lead to this type of nail abnormality include leprosy, exposure to extreme cold, hepatic cirrhosis, anemia, hypoproeinemia, onychophagia and occupational trauma.

Many think Leuconychia as a sign of calcium and vitamin deficiency. In fact it has nothing to do with calcium or vitamins and so the intake or vitamins or calcium will not be helpful in curing this nail disorder.

Leuconychia does not require any treatment as such. Normally the white colour that appears on nail would disappear naturally as the nail grows. Applying nail polish can temporarily hide this disease. However wearing nail polish is not a cure to this disease. Further continuous application of nail polish is not advisable as they may trigger various unforeseen allergic reactions to the skin around the nails. It is not good for the health of the nail also.

Deficiency of zinc in the body may cause appearance of white spots on nails. Adding green leafy vegetables, nuts and whole grains in your regular diet is good to avoid zinc deficiency. Intake of Zinc supplements is also found to be effective in such cases. 

NAIL PATELLA SYNDROME 

Nail Patella SyndromeNail patella syndrome is a rarely seen genetic disorder. Clinically the disease is known as hereditary osteo – onychodysplasia. Only one in fifty thousand persons is seen affected by nail patella syndrome.  In patients affected by nail patella syndrome the knee caps are often absent or underdeveloped.  Their nails are also not properly developed and they suffer from a disability to straighten their elbows completely.   Acuteness and complexity of nail patella syndrome varies from person to person
Nail patella syndrome patients are also seen suffering from various other types of orthopedic disorders.  These may be in the form of dislocated elbows, club foot or abnormal growth of bones. 

These patients are more prone to kidney disorders.  The most commonly seen kidney disorder in nail patella syndrome is the leakage of protein through urine.  In rare cases total kidney failure has also occurred.  It is therefore very important for a nail patella syndrome patient to undergo a routine medical check up for early detection of probable kidney failure.  The necessary clinical tests should be conducted strictly at least once in a year.   

GlaucomaPatients with nail patella syndrome are more likely to develop glaucoma, an eye disorder, at an early stage.  Therefore care should be taken by these persons to check for glaucoma through regular checkups.   
Other common complications found in association with nail patella syndrome are irritable bowels syndrome, constipation and poor blood circulation to the hands and feet.

As stated in the beginning, nail patella syndrome is a genetical disorder and is hereditary in nature.  It is caused by disorder to a gene called LMXIB which is found in chromosome 9.  Nail patella syndrome can have no adverse effect on the intelligence of a person.  It can however have a bearing on his free mobility.  The most commonly seen symptoms of nail patella syndrome are orthopedic disorders and vision complains.  Patients suffering from nail patella syndrome often complain about partial or complete lose of side vision.  They often have to change their spectacles due to glaring variations in vision.  They find it difficult to adjust to sudden light variations.  Difficulties in vision often cause severe headaches.   Their eyes often appear to be sore or red in colour.

Treatment for nail patella syndrome

Treatment For Nail Patella SyndromeThe treatment plan for nail patella syndrome varies from person to person depending up on the seriousness of the disease.  Vision disorders found in association with nail patella syndrome are treated with the help of eye drops and pills.  In appropriate cases rectification is made through surgery and lacer treatment.  In case of orthopedic disorders surgery is the most commonly suggested treatment plan. Being a hereditary disease, there is no complete cure for the disease as such.  However the complications associated with the disease can be controlled efficiently, if not cured.   
 
BEAU’s LINES

The linear depressions that usually appear across the finger nails are clinically known as Beau’s lines.

Causes for Beau’s lines: 

  1. Injury or damage to nail can lead to Beau’s lines. Injuries to a nail includes crushing of the nail or the nail bed or both, excessive picking or  rubbing of the skin under the nail, problems arising out of the long term use of acetone based nail removing lotion and  nail colours.
  2. Causes Of Beau's LinesProlonged diseases like pneumonia, syphilis, heart attack, coronary occlusion and hypocalcaemia can also be the reasons behind this nail disorder. This disease has also been detected in cancer patients who have undergone chemotherapy as part of their treatment.
  3. The symptoms of Beau’s lines are also found in patients suffering from peripheral vascular diseases and uncontrolled diabetes.
  4. The symptoms of Beau’s lines have been diagnosed in new born babies and normally these signs on infants will disappear after the expiry of first month of their birth.
  5. Some times Beau’s lines may appear on nail as a temporary cessation in the growth of nail due to loss of immunity as a result of prolonged diseases especially the diseases that is followed by severe fever. The beau’s lines on adult man’s nail usually disappear with the normal growth of his nail.
  6. Beau’s lines may also appear on nails as a result of malnutrition. Deficiency of zinc and other essential vitamins can cause this type of nail disorder. One has to improve his regular diet to avoid further formation of Beau’s lines on nails.
  7. A severe stroke that affects the growth of the nail area under the cuticle may create a temporary formation of Beau’s lines on nails.

Treatment for Beau’s lines

Treatment Of Beau's LinesNo specific treatment is available to treat Beau’s lines.  Still total neglect of the Beau’s may add to one’s problems. It is better to treat the cause rather than the disease.  It is therefore advisable to seek the assistance of a medical practitioner to find out the actual cause behind the problem. If it s due to malnutrition, one has to take enough care to follow a diet as suggested by the doctor to avoid the occurrence of Beau’s lines in future.   
Applying antifungal lotions or creams on the affected area will be helpful to avoid the problem. If you are ready take a little care about your nails it is easy to prevent your nails from getting infected by this disease and to overcome this condition.

Precautions against Beau’s lines

  1. Keep your nails trimmed always to avoid accumulation of dust under nails. 
  2. To retain the lost moisture, apply a quality moisturizer on your hands and nails after every wash.
  3. Applying moisturizer on your hands before you go to bed is good to keep your hand healthy and beautiful.
  4. Stop using acetone based nail polish.
  5. Formation of Beau’s line may go unnoticed if you are in a habit of wearing of nail polish always. Leave your nails free in its original state at least for ten days every month

NAIL FUNGAL INFECTION

Nail Fungal InfectionAs the very term indicates fungi causes fungal infections on nails. If left unattended fungal infections get aggravated and can result in acute pain. Appearance of small spots, white or yellow in colour, is the first symptom of a fungal infection. With the spread of fungus into the deeper parts of your nail bed, nail will start to thicken. Discolouration and crumbling of nail are some other common symptoms of nail fungal infections 

Wearing sweat shoes continuously for long hours and too much exposure of nails to moisture can be cited as the primary causes for nail fungal infections. 

The fungi that create infections to nails are clinically known as dermatophytes. Apart from dermatophytes, yeasts and molds can also cause infections to nails.

These types of fungi live in warm moist conditions and easily get into your skin through minor cuts between your nail and nail bed while in such an environment. Swimming pools and showers are the places where you can see them commonly. 

Finger Nails Of Fungal InfectionsCompared to finger nails, toe nails are more prone to fungal infections as the feet often remain in moist conditions as a result of wearing sweaty socks or closed foot wears for long.  It is in these conditions that the fungi like to live. Therefore, one should take utmost care to wear cottons socks during summer season thus allowing the feet to breath by wearing sandal or remaining bare footed while at home. 

The recurring nature of fungal infections on nails makes it difficult to treat effectively. Medicines are available and effective if detected early.

What makes this disease more complicated is the permanent damage caused to nail and acute pain. Total negligence of this disease may ultimately lead to spreading the infection to other parts of the body.
Diabetes patients are advised to take extra care of nail fungal infection as it may lead to more serious complications than an ordinary person.

Symptoms Of Fungal InfectionIt is advisable to consult a medical practitioner as soon as you detect symptoms of fungal infection on your nail.

Usually doctors adopt the method of scraping debris from under the skin of the patients nail and send it for clinical examination for diagnosing the true cause of infection.

To treat the infection, doctors usually prescribe medicines that help to grow new nails without infection. Antifungal lacquer is available to treat nail fungal infection. This medicine is more like a nail polish and is only for external application. This will be effective only at the beginning of the infection.

Extreme Stages Of Fungal InfectionExtreme stages of fungal infection may require removal of nails. Even if the infected nail is removed, it will grow again. It is however a slow process and utmost care should be taken to see that the new nail does not get infected again. It takes almost a year for the toe nail to grow back to its original stage. Finger nails however grow faster when compared to toe nails.

By take the following precautions you can prevent your self from fungal infections:

  • Avoid walking bare footed in public places.
  • Keep your nails clean and tidy always
  • Use gloves to avoid over exposure to water
  • Never bite your nails. If you have such a habit, drop it immediately.
  • Choose right sized shoes and wear only cotton socks during summer season
  • Avoid wearing artificial nails and nail polish for a long time.
  • Make it a habit to sprinkle anti fungal powder into your shoes before you wear them.
  • Avoid too much trimming of nails and cuticles.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after touching an infected area.

Role of Hydrogen peroxide in treatment of fungal infection

Hydrogen peroxide has long been used as an excellent cleaning agent. It has been usually used in cleaning wounds by physicians and as an anti septic and anti bacterial agent. 

Role Of Hydrogen PeroxideHydrogen peroxide can be used at home as a good house hold disinfectant and to clean objects like cutting boards and other kitchen utensils. 
It is a proved fact that hydrogen peroxide is good in disinfecting the nails affected by fungus. 
Nail fungal infection can be detected from the tendency of nails to separate from the nail bed. The nail which is infected by fungi or yeast usually appears in white or yellowish in colour. Regular cleaning up of the skin using hydrogen peroxide will be helpful to cure this nail disease. Treatment of nail fungus using hydrogen peroxide is known as oxidative therapy. 
Diluted hydrogen peroxide can also be used to remove dirt from the sides of the nails instead of hurting it by digging.

BACTERIAL INFECTIONS 


Bacterial InfectionBacterial infections to the nails, a very common cause to nail deformity, can be identified by swelling, pain, discoloration of nails, appearance of pus under nails and deformation of nails. Nails may appear red in colour while infected by bacteria. 

These symptoms occur when bacteria enter in to the skin that surrounds the nail. Nails are so designed by Mother Nature so as to resist any probable invasion of bacteria under normal circumstances. However cracks and other injuries to cuticles or to the skin under the nails may open a gate way to bacteria to infect the nails and the protected areas under it.

Common causes for bacterial infections

  • Aggressive filing of nails using sharp metallic objects while under going manicure or pedicure. Rude file of nails cause damage to the nail bed and tips thereby creating cracks which would enable the bacteria to attack.
  • Digging of the sides of the nail using sharp tools to remove dirt from the sides and under side of the nails. This can open up small cracks on the sides and underside of the nails which can result in bacterial infections and once they enter the skin it will start attacking the healthy tissues and there by causing acute pain and discomfort in the affected areas.
  • External shocks and injuries resulting in cracks and breaks on the nails allows the entry of bacteria into the body thus causing infections.

Bacterial ParonychiaBacterial infections that affect the nail folds are clinically known as bacterial paronychia. This may cause acute pain in the affected area. Swelling, erythema and discomfort in and around the nails are the most commonly seen symptoms of bacterial paronychia.  Presence of pus in the affected area is another common symptom of the disease. It is not safe to treat this condition without consulting a doctor. Bacterial paronychia some times requires drainage of the pus accumulated in the affected area. 
Chronic paronychia and some other types of nail bacterial infections normally appear as   a result of recurring nail-fold inflammation. Allergic reaction to the skin around the nails caused by the use of some cosmetics products, excessive dryness caused to the skin around the nails by frequent use of acetone based nail polish removers and following unscientific methods for manicure and pedicure can be cited as the most common causes that lead to chronic paronychia. 

CHEMOTHERAPY AND YOUR NAIL 

Nails and hair are of the same nature. Chemotherapy that usually results in falling of hair affects the nails also. Extra care for nails is a must for the patients undergoing chemotherapy. 

ChemotherapyChemotherapy may cause appearance of lines on the nails of the patients. Appearance of line always relates to the cycle of chemotherapy. These lines will disappear along with the natural growth of the nail. In some patients multiple lines can be seen as an after effect of chemotherapy. 

Chemotherapy may even cause pigmentation on nail.  Discolouration of nails also is a side effect of chemotherapy. Nails may even show a tendency to brittle and the growth of nails may not be the same as in a normal person. 

Take extra care of the areas around the nails and cuticles. The areas around the nails may become extremely dry and the cuticles in a loosened state. Never attempt to pull out the cuticle as it may result in serious complications. To remove the loosened parts of cuticles use a sharp, clean nail scissor. 

Shortly Trimmed NailsAs a result of chemotherapy, your nails may sometimes completely come out of the nail bed. Like hair, nails also will grow back in due course of time. Till your nails grow back, you will have to take extra care of the exposed part of the nail tips as these areas are highly vulnerable to infections. You have to keep this area clean to avoid infections. Keeping nails short and neatly trimmed will help you to avoid the chances for infections. Shortly trimmed nails are less prone to infections 

While you clean your nails and hands, if possible, use cuticle removal creams or lotions to remove cuticles. After applying these creams you can gently push off the cuticles with the help of an orange wood stick. 
You have to drop the habit of nail biting especially while undergoing chemotherapy. To avoid unconscious attempt to do so keep your nails wrapped under a piece of clean cotton cloth.

Massaging your hands and nails using a moisturizer will help you to avoid the irritation that may cause due to dryness arising out of chemotherapy.

Nail MoisturizersWear gloves while doing house hold works especially while using detergents or doing activities like dish washing as excessive contact with water may invite bacterial infections. While undergoing chemotherapy, your nails may not be able to withstand a bacterial infection. 

Nail moisturizers are good to keep your nails without too much drying. You can use nail polish to protect your nails. Take care to avoid acetone based nail polish removers to avoid further drying up of the skin around the nail.
It is not safe to use artificial nails while you are under going chemotherapy. Acrylic and other artificial nails may aid in accumulation of infectious bacteria under nail.

Bring your own tools while you are approaching a beautician for manicure to avoid the complications of infections, how ever clean your beauty salon is. 

Finally, never fail to see your doctor soon after you detect any sign of inflammation or infection on your nails. Failing to do this may lead you to incurable complications as the body will be weak with poor immunity after chemotherapy.

Preventive measures against nail problems 

Prevention Against Nail Measures      As the inflection to nails may lead to serious problems like nail falling, thickening of nails etc, it is better to avoid these by taking a little care of your finger and toe nails on a regular basis. 
Following are some tips to prevent nail disorders that may occur due to are our negligent attitude towards nails:

  • Undergo routine nail treatment

If you want to keep your finger and toe nails healthy and disinfected, you have to undergo a routine nail treatment without any fail.  It simply requires a few minutes to give your hands, feet, finger and toe nails a special care and attention through a wash using mild soap and lukewarm water.

Routine Nail TreatmentWhile doing so take care to clean areas under nails especially during rainy season.  Use a soft brush to remove dirt particles from the areas around the nails. The soft bristles of the brush will provide a massaging effect to your nails.  This will help to increase blood circulation in this area. 

  • Check for swelling, discoloration, cracks, cuts and redness of nails

Never take a negligent attitude towards any disorders like swelling, discoloration, cracks cuts or redness of nails.  These could be indications of trouble to your internal organs.  Discoloration of nails can be a symptom of diseases like diabetes, liver or kidney failures or it can even be a symptom of heart problem.  So whenever there is an unusual colour change on your nails provide immediate attention to it.  Diabetes patients should take utmost care of the wounds, cuts, and cracks that may appear on nails to avoid complications. 

  • Keep your nails neatly trimmed always

A neatly trimmed nail will rule out the possibility of bacterial infection under the nails and there by transferring directly them to one’s mouth.  If you can make this a habit you can save your self from many diseases. 

  • Avoid cutting down to the corners of the nail

While you are shaping nails take care of not to cut down to the corners of nails.  There is a chance for getting infected. 

  • Avoid digging the sides of nails

You do not have to dig the sides of nails to remove dirt from there.  You can safely remove dirt from this area by applying diluted Hydrogen peroxide. 

  • Corners of nails should not be filed

Filing of corners of nails may weaken the nails

  • Drop the habit of nail biting

Habit Of Nail BitingThe habit of nail biting will transfer bacteria to mouth and weaken the nails as well.  Nails are meant to protect finger tips.  Excessive biting may expose finger tips.  The main cause behind hang nail is nail biting.  You can avoid this by dropping this habit. 

  • Apply sun block cream on your nails whenever you go out

Too much exposure to sun light or ultra violet rays is damaging to nails also.  Like skin, nails also demand protection from harsh sunrays by application of sun block creams.

  • Massage your nails

Not only the skin but also the nails require some massaging to improve its texture by increasing the level of blood circulation.  Give an occasional massage to your nail by rubbing it. 

  • Drink plenty of water

Plenty of water intakes is essential for the health of skin as well as nails.  Drink at least eight glasses of water every day.  This will prevent your nails and skin from becoming dry. 

  • Take care of the size of your shoes

Commonly men who are wearing tight, undersized shoes in hot and humid weather conditions are seen to be affected by ‘athlete’s foot’ disorder.  You can prevent this problem easily by avoiding undersized shoes and by changing socks when ever you feel that they are wet.  Change to cotton socks.  If possible walk bare-footed at home.  Always keep your feet dry.  

  • Avoid Constant Touch Of WaterAvoid constant contact of nails with water

In the situation where you have to soak your fingers in water for a long time, protect your nails by wearing gloves.  If you are engaged in dish washing you can prevent the detergent from getting under the nails vertical splitting of nails b using rubber gloves. 

  • Follow a healthy diet

Including protein rich food in your regular diet will improve health of your nails.  Vegetables like broccoli, carats, spinach etc. will help you to improve your over all health condition.  Food enriched with vitamins like B12 and B5 will help you to prevent nail from brittling.  Milk is essential to provide enough calcium to strengthen your nails, teeth and bones. 

  • Nail is not a tool

Do not use your nails as a tool.  Jamming of nails in doors and things like that is a common problem arising out of using nail as a tool.  It may ultimately lead to black nail and falling off of nails. 

  • Never walk bare footed in public places

Those who are walking in public places without wearing shoes will be affected by Onychomycosis.

  • Do not use manicure or pedicure equipments used by others

Using manicure and pedicure tools used by others without sterilizing them may lead to serious health problems.  Avoid the situation by ensuring that the equipments are sterilized when you visit a beauty saloon.

Tips to grow healthy nails

Tips To Grow Healthy NailApart from beauty, regular maintenance of nails is essential for retaining our general health condition.   Compared to men, women are more concerned about maintenance of their nails.  However the fact remains that both men and women should take equal care about regular maintenance of their nails.

Ideal, healthy nails would be transparent and pink in colour.  In fact increased blood circulation gives pinkish appearance to the nails.  So the basic attempt of any person should be to maintain their nails pinkish and transparent in nature.  Equal importance should be given to finger nails and toe nails. 

Here are a few tips to grow and maintain healthy nails:

  • Healthy Beautiful NailsClean, healthy and protein rich diet has a direct impact on the general health condition of one’s nails.  Food enriched with vitamins especially vitamin B 12 and B 5, Potassium, Calcium, Zinc and Iron will help you to maintain healthy beautiful nails.  Try to include Almonds, Spinach, Celery, Yogurt, Broccoli, Fish, Onion, Whole Grains and the Eggs in your regular diet.   Apart from this, regular intake of lots of fruits, raw vegetables and other fiber rich foods will help one to maintain healthy beautiful nails.  
  • Like skin, plenty of water intakes are essential for making one’s nails strong and healthy.
  • If you have brittle nail problem it is better to avoid using alcohol based nail polish. 
  • Vitamin A rich food is ideal for curing nail brittleness.
  • It is a proved fact that proteins, folic acid and vitamin C are helpful in treating hang nail problem.
  • To avoid problems of dryness and darkening of nails, Vitamin B 12 is very helpful.  If you are suffering from darkening and dryness of nails take Vitamin B 12 supplement.
  • A white spot on nails is a common problem.   In take of Zinc is a remedy for that.
  • Persons suffering from cracks on nails are recommended to take plenty of liquid food including fresh juice and water.  Fresh carrot juice enriched with calcium and phosphorous is helpful in treating this problem. 
  • Red skin around cuticles is a problem that is caused due to poor metabolism.  To increase one’s metabolism, include lot of pulses in your regular food. 
  • Apart from minerals, vitamins etc. essential fatty acids also play an important role in making one’s nails healthy and strong. 
  • One should avoid excessive use of nail removers as it causes dryness to nails.  
  • Dryness In NailsConstant contact with water may adversely affect the growth and strength of nails.  When you are engaged in washing dishes always remember to a use rubber gloves. 
  • Nails should be allowed to breath. So avoid wearing nail polish continuously.
  • Never try to pick nail polish.
  • Cutting of cuticles may invite bacterial infections.
  • Corners of nail should not be filed.
  • Whenever you go out, make it a habit to wear sun block creams on your nails also. 
  • Make it a habit to clean your hands and nails thoroughly every day. For washing hands use warm water.  It would be more effective if you can find a few minuets to soak your hand as well as feet in lukewarm water every day.  You may add a few drops of lemon juice in this water.  Use mild soaps and soft brushes to clean finger and toe nails.  Cuticles are to be massaged using a moisturizing cream. 
Hence, nails are major protective layer of our body and have to be taken great care in looking after it. Spending little time on your nails once a week, can give you beautiful and healthy nails in a few months time. Be practical and continue the process for ever. Protect your nails from being brittle as the chances for it to break are increased. The nails of a person can talk a lot about the attitude and cleanliness of the person. This is especially true in case of toe nails. Therefore it is very important to keep our nails clean and dirt free as the nails also serve to transmit various diseases. Educating yourself about the importance of nails and also the role played by it can make you more aware of these features thus enhancing pretty and healthy nails forever!

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