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Healthy Tips

Nail Your Nail Problem

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Your fingernails are on public display, visible as you talk, eat and work. If you are a “nail biter”, your obsessive compulsive habit advertises to the world your stressful lifestyle. And bad nails do not sit well with designer clothes.
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Nail biting (medical term, onychophagia) is a common habit. It helps relieve stress and cope with excitement and boredom. It is a habit learnt by observation and runs in families. About half of all children aged 10-18 bite their nails. A small number (three per cent), of which more are males, continue this habit into adult life. Nails become disfigured and the nail beds get damaged. This can result in infection. The habit has to be consciously stopped. Difficult? Try painting the nails with a bitter nail polish.

Nails are very strong and are composed of three multicellular layers of tissue sealed together. They can be cut across but not lengthwise. Since they grow daily — about a millimetre a week — most diseases affecting an individual are reflected in visible changes in the nails. Heavy metals and toxins become deposited in the nails and remain there till the nails grow out. Poisoning with lead, thallium and arsenic can be diagnosed this way.

Healthy nails are normally slightly curved upward. The shape changes and nails become spoon shaped in case of iron deficiency anaemia. With the correction of the deficiency, the nails become normal.

Twenty per cent of women suffer from a condition called brittle nails — when the nail plate is dry, delaminates (that is, splits into thin layers) and cracks easily. This occurs with iron deficiency anaemia and is aggravated if the hands are frequently immersed in water for prolonged periods. It can be corrected by taking iron supplements and moisturising the nail several times a day. Proprietary moisturisers — many of which are overpriced — are available in the market. A homemade preparation of 50 per cent jojoba oil and 50 per cent aloe vera or a mixture of 500ml coconut oil, 500ml sesame oil and 100ml olive oil can be used. They work just as well.

An exaggeration of the normal nail curvature is called clubbing. It makes the nails resemble a parrot’s curved beak. This is found in people who have emphysema, chronic lung diseases and heart disease. The nails may also be blue because of inadequate oxygenation of the blood.

Fingernails are normally smooth and shiny. They can develop multiple small dents or pits if there is a disease like psoriasis. As the disease is brought under control, the pits disappear.

Yellow nails can be because of diabetes. It can be normal in women who wear dark coloured nail polish for long periods of time. White nails occur in case of liver and kidney disease.

White lines or dots can appear on the nails of otherwise healthy individuals. Usually it is harmless. The dots may have been caused by injury to the nail bed. Since it is visible only after the nail grows out, the injury may have been forgotten and the patch may be a cause of concern. Dots can also appear in people with eczema or in nutritional zinc deficiency. Zinc is present in fish, chicken and whole grains. The daily requirement is 10-15mg. Supplements are freely available in vitamin and mineral capsules. A white line or a dark coloured line can occur as a result of injury to the growing cells in the nail bed. This marks the date of an illness or a course of antibiotics.

Fungal infections can occur in the nail. Then the nail becomes separated from the underlying skin, starts to lift up and a crumbly white substance is seen underneath. Bacterial infections cause the nail to appear green. Diabetes also can cause either of these.

Cutting the nail too close to the skin can introduce infection. Salons offering manicures or pedicures sometimes do not sterilise their instruments properly. Small cuts and nicks during the procedure can introduce infections. Infections can be aggravated by immersion in water. A doctor should be consulted if there is sudden swelling or pain in the nails a day or two after a manicure.

Nails will reflect the underlying illness and this sometimes cannot be camouflaged even with nail polish. To strengthen normal nails, avoid infections and improve their appearance:

• Use rubber gloves when immersing the hands in water.

• Avoid nail biting or picking.

• Apply moisturiser to your nails and cuticles every day.

• File your nails in one direction and round the tip slightly, rather than filing to a point.

• Don’t remove the cuticles or clean too deeply under your nails.

• Don’t dig out ingrown toenails at home using unsterile blades and knives.

• Avoid nail polish removers that contain acetone or formaldehyde.

• Take your own instruments for manicures and pedicures.

• Eat a balanced diet with sufficient protein and vitamins.

Source:The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)

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Ailmemts & Remedies

Split Fingernails (Onychoschizia )

Definition:
Onychoschizia or splitting of the fingernails is one of the most common problems that the dermatologist sees. The term onychoschizia includes splitting, frail, soft or thin nails and nails with ridges. Onychoschizia is more common in women.

You may click to see  pictures of different nail

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Causes:
*Split fingernails are typically a result of repetitive or prolonged contact with water — think dishwashing and tub baths, for example.

*Repetitive and prolonged wetting and drying of the fingernails is the single most common cause of splitting and ridging of the nails.

*Splitting of the nails is rarely caused by internal disease or vitamin deficiency.

*Nail polish remover causes onychoschizia.

*Trauma to the fingers contributes to onychoschizia.

*Split fingernails usually aren’t a sign of vitamin, mineral or other nutritional deficiencies.

Some expart says that Main causes of finger nails to crack peel and break is due to the deficiency of calcium and the content of floride intake. The floride will enter into the body due to unsafe,unsanitized water.and lack of vitamin deficiency is also one reason.

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Diseases that show up in your fingernails

Fingernails sometimes soft and split.

Nail Diseases & Disorders

Spliting fingernails & osteoporoses

Treatment:
*To prevent split fingernails, treat your nails gently.

*The best treatment is to avoid repeated wetting and drying of the nails. Try to wear cotton lined rubber gloves when performing household chores that involve getting the hands wet.

*Rub lotions containing alpha-hydroxy acids such as Neostrata or lanolin containing lotions such as Elon into the nails both before and after getting the hands wet.

*Watch people who have beautiful nails. Notice how they use their hands or finger pads to do simple chores rather than use their nails.

*Never dial a phone with the nail tips; use a pencil. Nails should never be used as tools.

*Get in the habit of using your fingers as if they have wet polish on them.

*If you can’t avoid trauma to the nail tips, keep the nails cut short.

*Wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when using soap and water for prolonged periods or when using harsh chemicals.

*Avoid long soaks in the tub.

*Always wear gloves during cold weather and when you do chores which may traumatize the nail tips.

*Never peel or scrape off nail polish.

*Repair fingernail splits or tears with nail glue or clear polish.

*Shape and file the nails with a very fine file and round the tips in a gentle curve. Daily filing of snags or irregularities helps to prevent further breakage or splitting. Never use metal instruments on the nail surface to push back the cuticle because this scrapes away the microscopic protective cells of the nail surface.

*When (and if) the nails are “buffed,” do this in the same direction as the nail grows and not in a “back and forth” motion because this can cause nail splitting.

*Nail polish can protect the nail surface. The almost daily application of a “top coat” will keep the nail tips protected.

*Nail polishes with nylon fibers in them may add strength and protection to fragile nails. Use nail polish remover as infrequently as possible because it dries out the nails.

*Limit manicures.

*Use nail polish remover no more than twice a month. If you polish your nails, touch up the polish in the meantime. When you do use nail polish remover, avoid those that contain acetone.

*Rub moisturizing lotion into your fingernails after washing your hands and after removing nail polish.

*Keep your fingernails neatly trimmed. Round the tips in a gentle curve.

*One study has shown that biotin (a vitamin) 2.5 mg a day taken by mouth is beneficial. Do not do this if you are pregnant.

*Some patients are convinced that one pack of Knox Gelatin mixed with orange juice and taken by mouth each day will restore nails to a youthful state. There is no scientific data that supports the use of unflavored gelatin to strengthen nails.

*Taking colloidal minerals and a multivitamin each day has been shown to increase the speed of nail growth which in turn leads to healthier nails.

Some more recommendations for preventing and treating split nails:
*Short nails are less likely to suffer damage than long nails.
*Wear gloves when performing tasks that may damage the nails.
*Wear nail polish, including nail polish with fibers that strengthen the nails.
*Use wooden instruments, rather than metal, to push back the cuticle.
*Keep nail tips rounded to a smooth curve.
*Some supplements, including gelatin, certain vitamins and minerals may help nails grow faster and stronger.

*Stop Nail Biting….

You may click to see:->

What Your Nails Reveal About Your Health

Split Fingernails and Omega 3 Deficiency

How to keep your fingernails healthy and strong

Disclaimer: This information is not meant to be a substitute for professional medical advise or help. It is always best to consult with a Physician about serious health concerns. This information is in no way intended to diagnose or prescribe remedies.This is purely for educational purpose

Resources:
http://health.msn.com/health-topics/articlepage.aspx?cp-documentid=100211991

Onychoschizia is Splitting of the Fingernails


http://split-nails.com/
http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_causes_finger_nails_to_crack_peel_and_break

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WHY CORNER

Why do White Spots Appear on our Nails?

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Small semi-circular white spots may be found on the fingernails or toenails.

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These spots — called “leukonychia” — are a common occurrence, especially in children. More often than not, they simply are a sign of mild trauma to the nail. They may result from some past injury — like getting banged, stuck in a door or exercising in poorly fitting shoes — to the matrix (base) of the nail. The matrix is the part under the visi ble nail where the nail cells and the nail itself are produced. By the time the spots show up (about six weeks after the injury), you would have probably forgotten all about it.

According to some doctors, the appearance of the spots could also mean you have zinc deficiency. Others believe they are an indicator of calcium deficiency.

The spots can also be a sign of an allergic reaction to nail polish or nail hardeners and, sometimes, are a symptom of a mild infection.

Whatever the cause, they are temporary and will grow out as your nails grow. Never try to buff them off as this can lead to brittle nails. There’s no way to erase the spots.

Sources: The Telegraph (Kolkata, India)