How to get healthy nails (and keep them healthy)

One of the questions that I’m often asked by readers of this blog  who contact me directly is “How do I make my nails healthier?”, or “How do I keep my nails healthy?”.

When it comes to nail health, there are a range of tips that you should follow and products that you should use if you’d like to improve the look of your nails. The best part is that most of these are very cheap and simple, and they make use of everyday products that you may already have in your home.

1. Trimming your nails regularly and correctly

One of the most important aspects of keeping your nails healthy is to trim them regularly – it’s an important aspect of personal maintenance and hygiene. But, as important as it is to trim your nails regularly, it’s even more important that you trim them correctly – otherwise you can risk doing more damage than good, such as by causing an ingrown toenail.

As Dr John P. Fritz advises in the video above, these are the things to remember when it comes to cutting your toenails:

  • The best time to cut your toenails is immediately after a bath or shower, when your nails are soft and supple.

  • You should use a proper toenail clipper to cut your nails, and the nails should be cut straight across.

  • You should aim to leave approximately 1mm of nail showing, similar to what you’d expect from a French manicure.

  • Avoid cutting into the sides of your nail, because this can leave to an ingrown toenail.

  • Don’t push your cuticles back or cut the cuticles. They are there to prevent infections from getting into your nail matrix, which is where your nail grows from.

  • A light emery board also works well, to smooth the nails and prevent jagged edges that may catch on your socks.

  • If you’re an athlete (jogger, basketballer, netballer, tennis player, etc), then you should consider cutting your nails more frequently as repetitive trauma at the tip of the shoe can lead to an black toenail or infected, ingrown toenail.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to clean any tools that you use when trimming your toenails with 70% isopropyl alcohol after use, to prevent them from storing bacterial or fungal infections.

2. Be sure to moisturize regularly

Your feet are such an important part of your body, and one that is often overlooked in terms of care. Moisturizing them regularly, such as nightly before bed, helps to replenish the moisture in your skin and nails, and prevent infections getting in through cracked/broken skin.

3. Bathe them regularly in olive oil

Much like the previous tip of using moisturizer on a daily basis, you should consider bathing your toes/feet in olive oil about once a week, for approximately 2-3 minutes. It’s important not to leave them in there for too long, as it can damage them.

4. For the ladies, avoid wearing nail polish

Wait… What? Nail polish is supposed to make your nails look better, right? That might be the case, but there’s a dark side to nail polish – it suffocates your nail and doesn’t allow it to breathe. It’s much like putting a thick layer of paint on one of the windows on your house – the light can’t get through. Therefore, your nail is trapped in a dark environment, which is the perfect breeding ground for fungus.

5. Stay out of shoes and socks when possible

Much the same reason as above – you don’t want to leave your toes in a dark, moist environment, because that is where you’re likely to grow bacteria and fungus that can infect your toenails and cause other unsightly problems like athlete’s foot.

However, it’s important to not go barefoot if you’re outside of your home – places like swimming pools and locker rooms are the perfect breeding ground for fungi and virus, and a common place for people with these types of infections to spread them to you.

6. Drink plenty of water

It’s a pretty simple one – if you keep your body hydrated, then it’s more likely to perform at its peak, which includes fighting off infections, and maintaining healthy skins and nails.

Taking good care of your nails is important for your overall health

On average, nails will grow approximately 0.125″ per month. However, there are a few things that can help promote nail growth. This includes hormones (this is why a woman who is pregnant will normally notice that her nails grow a lot quicker) and warmer temperatures (this is why you’ll notice they grow quicker in summer than in winter).

Most doctors and experts all agree that there is no single type of food or supplement that you can take to help speed up your nail growth. However, it’s widely accepted in the medical community that a number of factors like poor diet and malnutrition, infections, as well as the aging process can all slow down the growth rate of your nails.

If you get a fungal nail infection, get on top of it quickly

The longer that you leave it untreated, the deeper it will get embedded in your toes and the harder it will be to get rid of it. This means that at the first sign of a fungal nail infection, you need to buy a product like ClearNail Pro+ to treat and clean up your nails.

If you’ve got a fungal infection, don’t leave it or risk making it worse by using an unproven home remedy that you found online. Get on top of it early with ClearNail Pro+. Click here to go to ClearNail Pro+ on Amazon and order the best fungal nail treatment.

One Comment

  1. Stephen Adams
    October 13, 2015 at 2:27 am Reply

    Thanks for the read. I’ve struggled with ingrown nails. I will change how I clip my nails now. I thought you were supposed to cut the side before reading this article. Thanks again.

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