Time for a Nail Detox?

New Year, New You. Right? This time of year is full of resolutions some of which will be forgotten by March. A resolution we think you should commit to is keeping your nails healthy (of course, we’re going to say that, we’re Pedicure.com!) Many people regard nails as a purely aesthetic feature, however, they are a lot more important than just a place to show off your nail art skills. Health experts describe fingernails as the window into your body’s health, because they are linked to so many bodily functions and internal organs. So if there’s one resolution to stick to in 2017, make it your nails!

While it’s all well and good to talk about unhealthy nails, we should really start off by explaining what healthy nails look like and how they grow. Let’s look at the following:

Color: they should be pink/red with no black, brown or white spots

Shape: ideally, they should be naturally rounded and covering the fingertip with no gap between the nail and the skin (both at the cuticle and underneath the tip of the nail)

Hardness:  they should look firm, not too thin and not too thick (think Goldilocks)

Growth: your nails should grow evenly and gradually, requiring clipping about every 7-10 days

Unhealthy nails can be caused by a number of reasons, even an unbalanced diet can have an effect on your nails! The main symptoms of bad nail health are:

Yellow nails: these can be caused by an overuse of nail polish or acrylic nails staining the nail bed. Age can also have an impact. Less commonly, yellow staining can be caused by some thyroid diseases, diabetes, and respiratory diseases.

Splitting and cracking: these are mostly caused by lifestyle factors like having your nails in or around water a lot (when swimming or washing dishes), over using nail polish remover, using cleaning chemicals or even living in an area with low humidity! In rare cases splitting and cracking can be caused by thyroid issues, fungal infections or a vitamin A or B deficiency.

White marks:  these are most likely caused by an old nail trauma at the base of the nail bed and will grow out on their own. Sometimes these can be caused by fungal infections. There is an old wive’s tale that white marks are caused by calcium deficiency; however, this is a complete myth!

So if your nails are exhibiting these symptoms, you many need to give yourself a ‘nail detox’. Like any good detox sometimes you just need a break from overindulging! A few simple changes to the way you treat your nails can help get them back in tip-top shape! Start by eating a balanced diet and giving your body the adequate vitamins and minerals it needs, you are fixing your nails from the inside out. Just increasing the amount of food in your diet containing biotin, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Zinc and Protein can do wonders for your nails and overall health. Wearing gloves while doing the dishes and cleaning reduces exposure to water and chemicals, helping them to split and crack less. Basic hygiene and maintenance also has a huge impact on your nails. By cleaning them and moisturizing your cuticles you are ensuring that no outside germs can get in and cause havoc. It also reduces the chance of getting painful infections.

Finally, if you notice any issues or symptoms with your nails that don’t seem to go away, don’t cover them with a manicure or artificial nails, instead, visit your doctor to make sure that something deeper isn’t causing the issue.

Is it pretty easy right? Are you going to be sticking to your resolutions this year? Or do you already do all these things for your nails? Let us know by commenting below.



Mette Jorgensen

Our Editor Mette is a fan of a glitter manicure, she can often be found pleading with her manicurist for just one more coat to achieve the ultimate sparkle. She's Australian so forgive her for occasionally writing in British English.

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