9. Avoid Hiding “Ugly” Nails with Polish
A discolored, thickened, cracked or crumbling nail is an indication of a nail fungus. Applying colored nail polish to such nails will only make the problem worse. In fact, when having these signs, you should see a doctor. However, you may use antifungal nail lacquer or simply colorless nail polish as they contain growth-inhibiting and antifungal chemicals.
Also, in general, you should not apply nail polish often. It can lead to nail discoloration. From time to time, take a break from polish so that your nails can breathe.
Try to stay away from acrylic nails. The chemicals used to apply acrylic nails are very unhealthy, and prolonged use can result in complete nail loss by destruction of the nail matrix. In fact, some of the chemicals like resins and formaldehyde are known to cause cancer.
Along with acrylic nails, it is important to say no to acetone-based polish removers. This type of nail polish remover can strip the nails, causing them to become brittle. Instead, opt for oil-based nail polish removers. They are less harmful to your nails.
10. Examine Your Nails Regularly
Backention is always better than the cure, and this is applicable to your nail health, too.
Properly examine your toenails and fingernails at least once a week while taking a bath or shower. Any kind of nail discoloration could indicate a nail fungus.
While drying off your feet, take a good look at the soles for signs of scaling or peeling skin in between the toe areas. These are also early signs of a nail infection.
Those who are diabetic should inspect their feet every few days, since diabetes leads to higher risk of foot sores and infections.
If you notice any abnormality in the nails or the skin around the nails, such as pain, redness, swelling, or discoloration that persists, consult a doctor.
- Keep your nail care items – nail clippers, home pedicure tools, etc. – hygienic and disinfected.
- Nail trauma can lead to the development of an infection, so be careful when going in a crowded place.
- A weakened immune system makes you more susceptible to fungal infections. Hence, make sure to eat healthy to keep your immune system strong.
- Spray your shoes with an antibacterial spray, especially if you’ve worn them without socks.
- Wash socks in hot water with bleach to kill any fungi and other pathogens.
- Always wear your own footwear and avoid sharing with others to reduce the chances of infection.
- Do not use nail extensions, as they are bad for nails. Nail extensions can lead to fungal or even bacterial infections and sometimes to permanent damage.
- If you suspect a nail infection, see a podiatrist.
- To treat a nail fungus, you can use tree tea oil or apple cider vinegar as effective home remedies. Another option is to use antifungal creams.
- Once you have successfully rid yourself of the fungal infection, it is important to take precautions to prevent a recurrence.