Home > Foot, Hand & Nail Hygiene > Nail Care and Hygiene

Nail Care and Hygiene

By: Jo Johnson - Updated: 12 Sep 2016 | comments*Discuss
Nails; Cuticles; Ridges; Splits;

Nails are made up of layers of protein called keratin and can be indicative of our general health. They grow on average 1mm per week, unless there are dietary issues or medical conditions that prevent this.

The purpose of nails is to protect the ends of our fingers and toes from trauma and to help pick things up.Taking good care of your nails and maintaining their cleanliness is very important. As many people talk with their hands they are often seen by many and can represent to others an overall picture of our personal hygiene.

General Cleansing of Nails

Nails can be kept clean by using a simple mild soap, warm water and a nail brush. The use of a specialised moisturiser, or hand and nail product may be useful in keeping skin and nails hydrated and healthy.

Nail Conditions

There are many conditions that can affect the health of our nails some requiring specific treatments:

Brittle Nails
The cause of dry or brittle nails can be due to genetics or from exposure to chemicals. Nails that are brittle are often easily snapped, peel between layers, look dull and can chip.

To avoid brittle nails wear gloves when washing up or being in contact with other chemicals. White spirit is very drying to the nails so never rinse paint brushes without wearing gloves.

Fungal Infections
Fungi are anaerobic organisms meaning that they thrive in areas where oxygen is limited. The crevices and layers of the nails are the perfect environment for them to breed. Nails may look discoloured and thickened when a fungal infection is present. Seek advice from the pharmacist or GP to determine whether an anti-fungal treatment is needed.

Loose Skin
Loose skin down the sides or nails or at the base of the cuticle should be trimmed away using clean sharp scissors that are specifically dedicated to nails.

White Spots
Many people used to believe that white spots on the nails were the result of a dietary deficiency; experts now suggest that these are due to either trauma to the nails, for example banging it, or from tiny air bubbles trapped between the layers of the nail. They will not cause harm and are best left to grow out.

Splits or Ridges
Nails that seem split or have noticeable ridges running through them are often caused by over-exposure to water or from prolonged use of nail varnish. Always wear gloves when washing up, and if a fan of nail polish, leave a few days between applications to let the nail recover. The massaging in of jojoba oil can help to treat this problem.

Manicures are an excellent way of improving the overall health of your nails, provided that acrylic substances are not used; these types of nails may look glamorous but they are not particularly good for the health of your real nails.Cutting and manicuring of nails is best done after bathing or showering as the nails are clean and more pliable.Some experts recommend pushing the cuticles back, whilst others suggest this habit may increase the risk of infection and is best avoided.

Always remember to keep your nail instruments clean to avoid the spread of infection.

Nail hygiene is essential to prevent the development and spread of infection. They are also displayed in public at all times so can be representative of our overall health, well-being and personal hygiene methods.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Katy
    Re: Hand Washing
    I am a community nurse supporting an individual with a learning disability. Your resources are excellent and I wondered if you have any information…
    18 October 2017
  • job
    Re: Scalp Care for Bald Heads
    Hi exfoliate with a luffa sponge fist. use electric massager to stimulate. now use 50% coconut oil and caster oil before bed leave…
    14 October 2017
  • la frosh
    Re: Personal Hygiene and Food Preparation
    plz I need to know the important of personal hygiene and appearance in the food service operation and also describe…
    12 October 2017
  • Tanuj
    Re: What is Personal Hygiene?
    Thankyou for this . It helped me in my brother homework
    1 October 2017
  • CFhusband
    Re: Wound Care
    Do you have any data on showering and the importance of maintaining personal hygiene while accessed to a MediPort or PICC line dressing? My wife has had…
    23 September 2017
  • Eva
    Re: Personal Hygiene and Food Preparation
    Please I want the principles and practices of personal hygiene And personal hygiene factors
    21 September 2017
  • Mandro
    Re: Maintaining Genital Hygiene
    The information is so helpful to me. i'm going to use that knowledge to help my class.
    16 September 2017
  • Baz
    Re: How to Treat Folliculitis
    After 18 months of a everyday nightmare with a spotty bumpy itchy sore head and trying all the fancy shampoos and antibiotics ive…
    8 September 2017
  • HygieneExpert
    Re: How to Prevent Salmonella
    - - Your Question:I have a property in France and my neighbours, who have a huge garden, choose to place their compost bin right next…
    29 August 2017
  • Jess
    Re: Caring for Baby Dry Scalp
    @America Quiroz - You should really visit your GP, if this does not clear up in a day or so!
    3 August 2017
Further Reading...
Our Most Popular...
Add to my Yahoo!
Add to Google
Stumble this
Add to Twitter
Add To Facebook
RSS feed
You should seek independent professional advice before acting upon any information on the HygieneExpert website. Please read our Disclaimer.