Although the world is slowly recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, one must not lower down their guards and still maintain hand hygiene to curb the spread of the virus. But are we paying sufficient attention to nail hygiene?
“Our nails are the index of wellbeing for our entire body. The manifestations of several critical diseases first detected within the dirty nails. The ignorance towards our nails becomes the breeding ground of harmful bacteria. These germs enter can our body through our hands. Therefore, nail hygiene is crucial and without it hand hygiene is incomplete,” said Rajesh U. Pandya, managing director, Kai India.
He added that practicing good nail hygiene involves following a systematic process to ensure longevity of nail health. It includes ensuring “food particles, dirt, dust are not sticking to our nails and there is no build up of nail bacteria.”
“Thankfully, contrary to popular belief, it is not that difficult to maintaining good nail hygiene. A little diligence, awareness and attention is sufficient to keep our nails healthy,” he said.
Avoiding nail hygiene makes you prone to viral infections
Due to constant negligence towards nail cleanliness, many serious issues like bacterial and viral infections arise. Often these lead to serious health problems. Our hand hygiene is not perfect till the time we clean the undersides of our nails besides wash hands regularly. “Most people don’t mind sharing nail clippers with others. This is however an extremely unhygienic practice. When we don’t share any of our personal hygiene products then why do we share our nail clippers? Nails harbour abundant germs, bacteria and viruses and sharing nail clippers is equivalent to exchanging those microorganisms,” he shared.
Keep fingernails dry and clean
It prevents bacterial and fungal infections from growing under our nails. It has been observed that prolonged exposure to water can break nails. It is always recommended to wear cotton-lined rubber gloves when washing dishes, cleaning or using harsh chemicals. In order to follow good nail hygiene, we have to be careful about our nail care products. “Use a sharp stainless-steel nail clipper with a grime remover , that can remove the hidden germs and grime below the nails. Trim nails straight, then round the tips into a gentle curve. Always wash hands and under nails with soap and water after a nail clipping session,” he suggested.
Keep hands and nails moisturised to avoid the cuticles from overgrowing. Frequent use of nail paint remover, hand sanitisers and harsh soaps can result in the dryness of cuticles along with nails. Keep nails short, trim them regularly and washing hands for at least 20 seconds and then moisturising it, will make the chance of diseases slimmer and can prevent from any kind of viruses.
Here are some of the more ways through which we can keep our nail hygiene intact:
*Stay away from chewing fingernails: It has the potential of damaging the nail bed as a minor cut can cause infection. Moreover, when we bite our nails, germs enter our mouth directly.
*Be gentle towards hangnails: Never pull off your hangnails. Rather, be gentle towards them and carefully clip them off. Stop using products which are harsh on nails. Always go for acetone-free products.
*Go for regular nail checkup: If you have a persistent nail problem, consult doctor or dermatologist for an evaluation.
*Do not share : Try not to share your nail clipper, as they contain germs. Wash nail clipper with lukewarm water and wipe with a soft cloth.