Cristale Adams is an online author and publisher. Her articles vary in topics and focus on life situations. She enjoys learning new things.
The Structure of Nails
The appearance of a person's fingernails and toenails are one way of the body physically telling a person what is lacking in their diet and what should be increased. When fingernails and toenails are healthy and strong, that means that a person is getting all of the vitamins and nutrients they require daily. Paying more attention to the appearances of fingernails and toenails can be beneficial to the overall health of a person, along with the health of the nails. Having healthy fingernails and toenails is also great for having a healthier self. Healthy fingernails and toenails are always more attractive to look at, especially during the summer months when people are wearing flip flops and sandals more often.
Fingernails and toenails are a part of every human's anatomy and even most mammal anatomy. Fingernails and toenails are made of a tough protein called keratin, which protects the fingertip and the tip of the toe, along with the surrounding soft tissue, from injuries. There are no nerve endings located within the fingernails and the toenails, and they act as a counterforce when the fingertip or tip of the toe touches an object or any surface. The diagram below illustrates what the fingernail is made up of.
A Look Inside
Healthy Nails are Important
Having healthy fingernails and toenails should be just as important to a person as having healthy teeth and healthy hair are. Healthy fingernails and toenails increase overall health, but also always make hands and feet more attractive and nice to admire. This is especially true for women but is also true for men. Dirty, long, and unkempt fingernails and toenails are very unattractive and unhealthy. Since a person's appearance is important to how other people perceive them, a person's nails are important for a first impression, such as during a handshake or even during a high five.
Healthy fingernails and toenails do require regular care and maintenance for healthiness and strength. No matter what the current condition is, fingernails and toenails can become healthy and strong with certain methods are followed combined with certain products. Healthy fingernails and toenails are necessary for everyone to have, but the time must be taken for them to remain that way. Fingernails and toenails must be consistently and routinely cared for or damage will start to occur. Once a consistent routine of caring for fingernails and toenails has been accomplished, a noticeable difference will be apparent to nails and to health, but also to the nail's appearance.
7 Best Nail Care Facts
There are many different myths and methods to care for and to manage fingernails and toenails. Some of the information that people may follow regarding fingernail and toenail care may be false and just old wive's tales, while some of the information about nail care is true and beneficial for everyone to utilize. This hub will now document a list of the 7 best facts ever about nail care. Since the reasons why nail care is important have already been explained, the methods and products will now be discussed, with details and illustrations. These nail care facts are important, necessary, and useful for anyone wanting to have healthy,stronger fingernails and toenails. These 7 nail care facts are true and should be incorporated into fingernail and toenail care that is performed routinely for maximum results.
1. Healthy Nails Start From the Inside Out.
This is the foundation for having healthy, stronger fingernails and toenails. Consuming adequate amounts of water throughout the day increases hydration, but the types of food consumed daily also need to be taken into consideration. A healthy daily diet consisting of lots of water, protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and even gelatin is a great way to increase fingernail and toenail health, strength, and length. The fingernail's and/or toenail's plate appearance can tell a person what they are lacking in their daily diets, which can increase awareness. Consuming the necessary nutrients, vitamins, and minerals daily is the fastest, easiest, and healthiest way to healthy and stronger nails. Drink and eat your way to healthy nails with proper daily nutrition.
2. Manicure and Pedicure Nails Often.
Weekly nail maintenance is the best and necessary for fingernails and for toenails to keep nails healthy and beautiful. This includes trimming, filing, and maybe applying nail treatments. Weekly manicures and pedicures can be performed at a nail salon or even in the comfort of home. Professionals and individuals can use tools that can enhance nail health but must be sterilized after each and every use to prevent infections from occurring. Maintaining nails at least once per week does not require much time to be invested and is inexpensive, but should be done routinely and regularly in order to notice adequate results. Nails will become noticeably healthier and stronger within the first month.
3. Nail Growth Starts in the Cuticle.
The fingernail and toenail cuticle is located along the bottom of the nail and is what produces new nail growth and also provides nail health. In order to have healthy, stronger nails, the cuticles must be healthy first and foremost. This will increase healthy nail growth and will also improve the current state of nails. When the cuticles are neglected, peeling can occur which may become painful. The cuticle of fingernails and toenails is a very important part of healthy nails and is often neglected. The fingernail and toenail cuticles need a thick oil or cream based substance that is applied directly onto the cuticle, then rubbed in for maximum moisture and re hydration for increased natural nail health. Healthy fingernail and toenail cuticles that are moisturized will also heighten the attractiveness and the appearance of hands and feet.
The Best Cuticle Repair Cream
4. File Nails Only As Needed.
There are different grits, or roughness, of nail files to choose from:
- Fine - to eliminate ridges in the nail bed
- Extra Fine - to smooth the nail bed
- Medium - to remove the top layer of the nail bed and to shape the nail edges
- Coarse - to shape and shorten the nail edges
- Extra Coarse - to shape and shorten the nail edges (never for use on the nail bed)
Ragged nails and nails with sharp edges may be hazardous, allowing scratches and injuries to self and to others. This concept is true for newborns and for children, but also for adults. Filing just the tip of the nail allows for a smoother edge with no sharp spots. This also creates a fingernail or toenail tip with a certain shape, like square or circle. Filing the edges of fingernails and toenails also shortens the nails. Filing may also be needed on the nail bed to soften the ridges and to create a smoother nail bed. File nails only as needed, in moderation, and in one direction only because too much filing will cause nails to become too short in length, too thin, and or breaking, cracking, and possibly peeling. Filing nails is a great way to avoid over trimming the nail length and removing unwanted cuticles along nail bed as well, but always only as needed for extra strength and increased healthy growth.
There are Different Tips to Choose From
5. Do Not Bite Nails.
Biting fingernails and toenails can reduce nail growth, strength, and beauty. The edges of the nails become ragged and sharp over time, while reducing the length of the nail dramatically. Nail biting is a nasty habit that usually occurs generally when people get nervous, stop smoking, or become anxious. There are ways to discourage nail biting, such as applying nail products to nails that taste gross when put into the mouth. Nail biting is a habit that can be broken over time and with some patience. The results are healthier, stronger, and longer nails that will last for a long time.
6. Artificial Nails are Harmful to Natural Nails.
Fingernails and toenails that are acrylic, gel, or unnatural are harmful to natural nails upon removal. Applying artificial nails to fingernails and toenails may seem to help improve the growth, but it very damaging to natural nails when removed. Natural fingernails and toenails will be thin, which may be accompanied with peeling, cracking, and or breaking. Natural fingernails and toenails are in worse condition than before and will need much time and maintenance to recover. Prolonged use of artificial nails may increase bacteria and fungus to grow and increase between the artificial nail and the natural nail.
Nail Damage That Can Occur
7. Constant Nail Cosmetics Can Be Damaging to Natural Nails.
Using nail polish and or having nail art applied to nails does not enhance the health or strength of nails. Actually, having nails covered up much of the time may stain the nail bed which then requires filing to remove that top first layer of the nail bed, making for thinner and more brittle nails that are more prone to peeling and cracking. Although using nail polish and nail art does make the nails more attractive, moderation should always be used and should be optional. Many people apply nail polish, nail art, and artificial nails for special occasions only which keeps nails naturally healthy and strong. Using a nail polish that is clear is great for men and women to wear daily, as there is no color to stain nails and creates a well groomed appearance. Artificial nails may increase the fingernail's and or toenail's appearance, but decreases the nail's health and natural strength much more. Natural fingernails and toenails will grow underneath the artificial nail but will be thin, dry, and brittle upon removal. The prolonged use of artificial fingernails and toenails can cause infections, fungus, and bacteria to form between the artificial nail and the natural nail.
Start a Weekly Routine
© 2012 Cristale Adams
Cristale Adams (author) from Florida on September 04, 2012:
Thank you so much for the read!
penlady from Sacramento, CA on September 04, 2012:
The first picture of nails are very nice. Nothing looks better than a well manicured hand. And the feet should be properly cared for as well.
Good hub. Voted up.