Fingernail Health

Fingernail Health | Fort Worth TX | Keller TXFingernail health can provide important information about general health. Your dermatologist should evaluate changes in nail condition, growth and appearance.

Fingernail Health and Growth

Fingernails are made of keratin, the same protein found in hair and skin. Nails grow from a nail root located under the cuticle that is nourished by a group of tiny blood vessels.

Nails grow at different rates and fingernails typically grow faster than toenails. Other interesting nail growth facts:

  • Nails on your dominant hand grow faster than those on the opposite hand
  • Women’s nails usually grow faster than men’s
  • Nail growth accelerates in the warm summer months
  • A growth period of from 3 to 6 months is required to completely replace a nail

Common Nail Problems

The condition of your nails can provide hints as the your general health, but sometimes harmless nail flaws occur due to injury or advancing age. Common nail conditions include:

Vertical ridges – often caused by aging, injury or dryness but may also occur in response to certain drugs or disease states

White spots – caused by injury to the nail

Infectionsfungal infections are very common in nails and are linked to about 50 percent of all nail problems. They occur most often on toenails due to warmth and moisture.  Those with diabetes or poor circulation are more likely to develop fungal infections. Bacterial nail infections are less common and are usually the result of trauma, poor hygiene, nail biting or sucking, or moisture. Diabetes is also linked to a higher incidence of bacterial nail infections

Ingrown nails – improper nail trimming, tight shoes and digestive problems can cause nails to become ingrown

Nail thickening – thick nails can be caused by skin conditions such as eczema or psoriasis. Diabetes and poor circulation can also lead to thickening

Nail thinning – splitting, brittle or thinning is common and could be caused by either moisture or a dry, low humidity environment

Nail Care

Changes in nails should be evaluated by a dermatologist, especially if you notice bleeding or swelling around the nail.

To keep nails healthy:

  • Cut nails straight across, slightly rounding the center of the nail
  • Keep nails clean to prevent bacteria from gathering underneath
  • Check shoes for proper fit and avoid wearing the same shoes two days in a row
  • Don’t bite or pick nails
  • Apply a good moisturizer daily
  • Soak thick nails in warm salt water for up to 10 minutes before trimming
  • Avoid artificial nails if you are prone to fungal infections
  • Check nail salon for cleanliness
  • Bring your own manicure tools to the salon

 

 

 

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