Nailing The Prob­lem

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Nails are lit­tle win­dows to your health. Im­per­fec­tions like cracks, splits, rip­ples and bumps can be warn­ing signs… ex­plains Seema Sud

Aarushi is the envy of all her col­lege friends. She has a nat­u­ral glow on her face, her hair is long and silken and her clothes are in step with the trends of the sea­son. But there is one se­cret that the 19-year-old tries des­per­ately to hide---her nails which are peren­ni­ally cracked and split. Nails are lit­tle win­dows to your health. While smooth and shiny nails usu­ally mean sound health, im­per­fec­tions like cracks, splits, rip­ples and bumps can be warn­ing signs be­sides be­ing an eye­sore. With the ex­cep­tion of a few con­di­tions which re­quire you to see a skin spe­cial­ist, flawed nails can be re­stored back to health eas­ily. Here are some prob­lems that you must know how to rec­tify.

Cracked & Split Nails

This is a com­mon con­di­tion and ba­si­cally in­di­cates dry­ness. This can be the re­sult of wash­ing hands with hard wa­ter or with bad qual­ity soap. It can also be the re­sult of ap­ply­ing nail pol­ish re­mover fre­quently. The rem­edy is sim­ple. Ap­ply a good qual­ity moisturiser ev­ery time you wash your hands. But make sure to rub the moisturiser on your nails as well.

Nail Fun­gal In­fec­tion

Over half of the nail prob­lems arise from fun­gal in­fec­tions. Peo­ple who sweat a lot can get this prob­lem. Those who work in damp and moist con­di­tions can also suf­fer from it. Other rea­sons could in­clude tight footwear and shoes and socks that pre­vent ven­ti­la­tion. You would need med­i­cal in­ter­ven­tion that would in­clude oral drugs and oint­ments.

Skin Rashes Around Nails

This con­di­tion usu­ally does not re­quire a visit to a doc­tor’s clinic. It can be treated at home. Mix salt and wa­ter to the pro­por­tion of a tea­spoon of salt to four cups of warm wa­ter and dip the in­fected nails into it for a few min­utes morn­ing and night. Then pat dry with towel and ap­ply any over-the­counter an­tibi­otic cream. The prob­lem will go away in a few days.

Beau Lines Across Nails

Th­ese are de­pressed white lines that run across the nails from one side to the other. Usu­ally the re­sult of an ill­ness, in­jury or even a trauma Beau Lines can also ap­pear on the nails of pa­tients un­der­go­ing chemo­ther­apy. They do not re­quire much treat­ment and usu­ally phase out with the growth of the nail. If they don’t then a visit to the doc­tor may be re­quired.

Yel­low Nail Syn­drome

This prob­lem will surely re­quire an ap­point­ment with a nail spe­cial­ist. In this con­di­tion nails be­come thick and green­ish yel­low. They are loose and can even be detached. They are usu­ally seen in peo­ple suf­fer­ing from chronic bron­chi­tis, si­nusi­tis or rheuma­toid arthri­tis. Though com­plete cure is elu­sive, mod­ern medicine has ther­a­pies to im­prove the con­di­tion.


How­ever, a lit­tle preven­tion may keep most nail prob­lems at bay. For one, learn to keep nails short as long nails tend to break eas­ily. This will keep the grime away and the nails will be easy to keep clean. Beau­ti­cians rec­om­mend soak­ing the nails ev­ery week in warm wa­ter and then do­ing a man­i­cure, pedi­cure and ap­ply­ing a mois­tur­izer on the nails. For ladies a coat of good qual­ity nail pol­ish is a great pro­tec­tion for the nails as they block out the chem­i­cals from soaps and de­ter­gents.

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