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Winter manicure

18 Jan 2021

It might be interesting to note that it’s not just your skin that dries out during the winter. Your nails dry out too. Many people experience dry, cracked, splitting fingernails during the winter months and have tried several  If yes, then you might have tried several methods to fix them, with little success.

Here are a few nail care routines to help you take care of your nails during the winter:

Moisturise your nails

It is important, that after washing your hands, you apply lotions and oils that contain ingredients which include natural oils such as jojoba oil, avocado oil, shea butter, etc. This helps to lock up moisture in your nails and preserve the cuticle seal and strengthen the nail itself.

Don’t clip/file dry nails

Clipping dry nails can cause them to split and fracture the layered protein structure of brittle nails? Before performing any nail procedures, wet your nails to soften and make it pliable. Clipping and filing nails when they are wet can remove any rough edges.

Coddle your cuticles

Nail health largely depends on cuticle health. Therefore, rough cuticles seem to hurt easily as well as look unattractive. Manicure experts say, maintaining cuticle health is critical since these thin layers of skin actually work to shield and protect nails as they grow. They also block bacteria that invade the nail bed. One can condition cuticles and fortify nails by simply rubbing down mild natural oils.

Keep the nails short

Long nails tend to snag, crack and break easily during the winter months. So, it is a good practice in winter to trim them regularly and apply a coat of protective polish to prevent damage like splitting.

Don’t use aggressive chemicals

For effective winter nail care, avoid overexposure to harsh chemical agents such as soaps, dish detergent, etc. While you can’t completely get away from the usage of these products, you can wear gloves to keep your nails safe from hot water and harsh detergents.

 

Nail infections

Nail fungus is a common condition that begins as a white or yellow spot under the tip of the fingernail or toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause the nail to discolour, thicken and crumble at the edge. It can affect several nails at a time.

Fungal nail infections can be difficult to treat. Besides, microorganisms such as yeast and bacteria also can infect nails. Hence, knowing the cause of your infection helps determine the best course of treatment which depends on the severity of your condition and the type of fungus causing it.

Treatment options include oral anti-fungal drugs or anti-fungal creams that your doctor might prescribe to take orally or apply on the nail. In some situations, it helps to combine oral and topical anti-fungal therapies. However, oral anti-fungal drugs may have side effects and are not suitable for all patients.

Your doctor may also prescribe an anti-fungal nail polish called ciclopirox (Penlac). You paint it on your infected nails and surrounding skin once a day. After seven days, you wipe the piled-on layers clean with alcohol and begin fresh applications. One might need to use this type of nail polish daily for almost a year.

Medicated anti-fungal creams, too, when rubbed into infected nails work better if you first thin the nails. This helps the medication get through the hard nail surface to the underlying fungus.

(source: Mayo Clinic)

 

Nailcare secrets

Nails reflect our overall health, which is why proper nail care is so important. The American Academy of Dermatology recommends the following tips for keeping your nails healthy:

  • Keep nails clean and dry.
  • Cut nails straight across. Use sharp nail scissors or clippers. Round the nails slightly at the tips for maximum strength.
  • Keep nails shaped and free of snags by filing with an emery board.
  • Do not bite fingernails or remove the cuticle. Doing so can damage the nail.
  • Do not use your nails as a tool, such as opening pop cans.
  • Trim toenails regularly. Keeping them short will minimise the risk of trauma and injury.
  • When toenails are thick and difficult to cut, soak your feet in warm salt water before cutting.
  • Avoid digging out ingrown toenails, especially if they are infected and sore.
  • Wear shoes that fit properly. Wear flip-flops at the pool or public showers. 

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