As I have mentioned in many other nail posts in the past, the most requested manicure is artificial nails. For most of us, our nails play an important role to our health. Your nails protect tissues, scratch your itches away and act as windows to our overall well-being. They also offer warning signs of malnutrition, infection and serious diseases.
Nails are layers of keratin,
a protein that's also found in our skin and hair
and are made up of six parts.
Nail Plates is the hard, protective piece and the most visible part.
Nail Folds are the skin around the nail plate.
Nail Bed is the skin underneath the nail plate.
The whitish crescent moon at the nail base, under the nail plate is called the Lunula.
The tissue overlapping the nail at the base is the Cuticle.
Your nails grow from the matrix (the area under the protective cuticle at the base of the nail bed). Everyone's fingernails grow 2 to 3 millimeters every month and toenails about 1 millimeter, but growth is faster in the summer months and on your dominant hands according to the American Academy of Dermatology.
If you're a nail biter, you're not alone. It's a hard habit to quit.
Nail biting is a nervous habit, like fidgeting and thumb sucking. Most people do it when they're stressed or bored. Mild nail biting won't cause permanent damage, but it does leave your hands looking unkept and bloody (depends on how far back you bite), and could leave you susceptible to infection in your fingers and your mouth.
Accidents happen - who hasn't unintentionally caught a finger in a door or dropped something heavy on their toe? Mild trauma to the nail bed might cause a small, white spot in the nail plate, which are harmless - they grow out as the nail grows and eventually you'll clip off the damaged part of the nail. A more severe injury to the nail bed may be a dark spot or streaks on or under the nail bed.
Nail injuries can also happen during manicures or pedicures. Nail polish and remover are drying and cause brittleness.
You've heard that saying "you are what you eat"? Beauty on the inside will reflect beauty on the outside. Healthy nutritional choices include lean protein, iron and omega-3 fatty acids, tp help support healthy hair, skin and nails.
Painful, red and itchy skin around your nails is a pretty big clue that something's not right. Remember that your fingernails and toenails are prone to infection just like the rest of your body. Fungus is the most common perpetrator, infecting about 12 percent of Americans according to the American Academy of Dermatology. It can cause the nail to become thick and crumbly and change color. Unfortunately, this is also difficult to treat so if you believe you have a fungus infection, seek a doctor asap. You will only see results after your nails have gone through a complete growth cycle, which is usually a few months.
Unkempt artificial nails, unsanitary manicure equipment and vigorous manicuring can all increase the chances of infection. This is why it is so important that you insist your nail technician uses brand new out of the package equipment with every customer. Always be sure to properly - and gently - clean your nails: fingernails, toenails and artificial nails.
See you next time,