Day-to-Day Care


Personal Hygiene:  Caring for Nails


A normal healthy nail is transparent, smooth, and convex with pink nail beds and translucent white tips.  However, for people with dark skin, a brown or black pigmentation is normally present between the nail and nail base.


Tips on Caring for Nails


Nails should be trimmed weekly.


Use a sharp manicure scissors or clippers and an emery board to smooth nail edges.


Scrub under the nail as this is  a common area for bacteria to collect.


Dry hands and feet thoroughly after bathing to prevent fungal infections.


Do not round toenail at the corner by following the shape of the toe.  Always cut straight across.  Nails, which are too short and have rounded edges, can encourage ingrown toenails.


Treat weak or unhealthy nails with specially formulated nail lotions and creams, which add extra nutrients to the nail bed.  These are most commonly sold as hand creams or brush-on nail applications.


Nails are softer and easier to trim after a bath.  For thick toenails, soak them for 10 minutes in warm water before trimming.


If the person's nails are extremely hard to manage, engage a podiatrist.  The podiatrist is trained in the treatment of nail and foot problems.




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