Health Topics

Healthy Living

November 2011
Keep your Fingernails Healthy and Strong
Shahnaz Husain
Healthy beautiful nails are part of good grooming. The nails come in contact with soaps and detergents daily, which make them rough, dry and brittle. Dietary deficiencies also lead to brittle nails that contribute to their breaking more easily. It is therefore very essential to protect the nails and give them regular care.

Some typical ways for nail care include wearing rubber gloves for doing household chores such as washing clothes, utensils, etc. Also, remember to massage a cream afterwards on the nails and the skin around them. 

Trick for an even nail coat
  • After cleaning the nails and nail bed, apply nail varnish, using three long, smooth strokes, from the base of the nails to the tip.
  • Two coats of colour will be needed for an even finish.
Why do nails turn yellow?
Sometimes, the nails acquire a yellowish tinge, due to wearing nail polish constantly. Leave them unpolished sometimes. Sun-exposure and some pastel colours can also leave a yellowish tinge.
  • For protection, use a clear, transparent nail polish as a top coat.
  • UV resistant top coats are also available.
  • To protect the nails, apply a transparent base coat first, and then apply the colour of your choice.
How to get rid of yellow nails
  • Scrape the surface of the nail with the finest-grain side of an emery board, so that the nail is not damaged.
  • Then apply UV resistant or clear polish for protection.
  • The nails can also be “buffed” or rubbed with a piece of chamois leather.
Manicure for healthy and clean nails
A weekly manicure keeps the nails in good condition.
  • For a home manicure, first remove old nail varnish.
  • To cut nails, use a nail clipper.
  • Then shape them with an emery board.
  • File in one direction only.
  • Soak the hands in warm water for five minutes after adding a few drops of shampoo. Use a soft brush to clean the nails.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Then apply cream and massage the nails and skin around it.
  • Push the cuticles back gently using a cotton bud. Keep them soft and smooth; otherwise, they stick to the nail and get dragged as the nail grows.
  • Avoid cutting the cuticles or cleaning the nails with sharp instruments.
  • Use a cotton bud to clean under the nails.

Nail colours for winter
  • Metallic colours are the 'in' thing.
  • Sparkle for the night.
  • Dark colours continue to be “in vogue” – maroon, dark plum, navy blue, dark grey, even going close to black.
  • Blue or green can be experimented with this winter.
  • Warm colours are great for winter like coral, wine, plum, or burgundy.
  • A dark pink or rose-red or the bold brick-red also look great in winter.
  • The information on this site does not constitute medical advice and is not intended to be a substitute for medical care provided by a physician.
  • See additional information.