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Nails protect both the fingertips and toes, are extremely helpful when peeling off price tags, and are often considered a sign of beauty. They can even provide clues about your overall health and any underlying diseases. Good nutrition is the key to nail vitality.
Toenails often serve as barometers of our health; they are diagnostic tools providing the initial signal of the presence or onset of systemic diseases. For example, the pitting of nails and increased nail thickness can be manifestations of psoriasis. Concavityâ€”nails that are rounded inward instead of outwardâ€”can foretell iron deficiency anemia. Some nail problems can be conservatively treated with topical or oral medications while others require partial or total removal of the nail. Any discoloration or infection on or about the nail should be evaluated by a podiatric physician.
Dry, brittle nails that split and grow slowly could be caused by nutritional deficiencies.
Thick, yellowed nails (often the toenails) may be harboring a fungus. Debris collecting under the nail may cause it to peel away from the nail bed below.
Changes in nail color, shape, or texture may indicate an underlying illness.
What It Is
Composed mainly of a fibrous protein called keratin, nails are one of the body’s strongest tissues. But they can grow slower than normal, become weakened, or break for a number of reasons. One of the most common problems is a fungal infection: As many as one in 25 people has this ornery, unsightly nail disorder.
When to Call Your Doctor
Nail irregularities may signal a more serious medical disorder. For example, white streaks running the length of the nail may indicate heart disease, a bluish tint under the nails (rather than a healthy pink) could be a sign of asthma or emphysema. Yelloish nail is a sign of Joundice.Whitish nail is the sign of anemia.
Reminder: If you have a medical condition, talk to your doctor before taking supplements.
People with diabetes, peripheral vascular disease, or other circulatory disorders must avoid any form of self treatment and seek podiatric medical care as soon as possible.
What Causes It
Nutrition plays a key role in nail growth and appearance. An insufficient intake of the B vitamins, for example, can produce ridges in the nail, and a lack of calcium can cause dryness and brittleness. And too little vitamin C or folic acid may be partially responsible for the development of hangnails. In addition, nails can change color when the blood doesn’t get enough oxygen because of an underlying illness (such as asthma). Also,exposure to chemicals can dry them out, making them weak and brittle.
How Supplements Can Help
Various supplements can be used as general nail strengtheners. About eight weeks of therapy may be required to notice results. Biotin and other B vitamins, taken together with an amino acid complex and vitamins C and E, have a synergistic effect that helps the body build keratin and other proteins that it needs to make nails strong. A mixed amino acid complex also contains sulfur, which is necessary for nail growth.
What Else You Can Do to keep you nail healthy.
1.Don’t trim cuticles. They protect nails from fungi and bacteria.
2.Wear gloves if you’re doing household chores or if you’re using any type of chemical. Apply petroleum jelly to nails after your hands have been in water.
3.Keep nails short. Long nails break easily. Soak nails before trimming to prevent splitting and peeling.
4.A daily cup of tea made from oat straw, horsetail, or nettle may improve nail health. These herbs are rich
5.If you suspect an infection due to an ingrown toenail, immerse the foot in a warm salt water soak, or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and bandage the area.
6.Prevention for toe nail infection which is very common.
7.Proper hygiene and regular inspection of the feet and toes are the first lines of defense against fungal nails.
8.Clean and dry feet resist disease.
9.Washing the feet with soap and water, remembering to dry thoroughly, is the best way to prevent an infection.
10.Shower shoes should be worn when possible in public areas.
11.Shoes, socks, or hosiery should be changed more than once daily.
12.Toenails should be clipped straight across so that the nail does not extend beyond the tip of the toe.
13Wear shoes that fit well and are made of materials that breathe.
14.Avoid wearing excessively tight hosiery, which promote moisture.
15.Socks made of synthetic fiber tend to “wick” away moisture faster than cotton or wool socks.
16.Disinfect instruments used to cut nails.
17.Disinfect home pedicure tools.
18.Don’t apply polish to nails suspected of infectionâ€”those that are red, discolored, or swollen, for example.
19.If you suspect an infection on any nail, immerse the your finger or foot in a warm salt water soak, or a basin of soapy water, then apply an antiseptic and bandage the area.
HOME REMEDY: Apply pure mastered oil on toe nails and bally button daily 30 minutes before bath and get rid of any kind of nail infection.
Help taken from:Your Guide to Vitamins, Minerals, and Herbs and www.apma.org