Fingernail Dos and Donts

Friday, October 20, 2017

Nothing says, ‘Well groomed,’ quite like beautifully maintained fingernails. Thankfully, taking care of your nails doesn’t have to cost a fortune, doesn’t take a lot of time, and is pretty easy. All you really need to do is keep them clean and dry, trimmed, and polished. Here are a few Do’s and Don’ts from the experts the help you maintain lovely, healthy nails without a lot of muss and fuss.


  1. Practice routine hygiene. Keep your fingernails clean to prevent bacteria and fungus from finding a foothold under your nails, and dry to reduce splitting that can result from too much contact with water Cotton-lined rubber gloves can help protect your nails and hands from harsh chemicals while doing the dishes or household cleaning.
  2. Use moisturizer. It’s not just for your skin. When you apply a moisturizing lotion, rub it into your fingernails and cuticles, too. Your cuticles serve as a protective barrier against those nasty bacteria and fungi that would love to make their home in your nail bed. And moisturizing helps prevent cracking and peeling.
  3. Keep your nails trimmed, shaped and coated with a protective layer. Trimmed and shaped nails are less likely to catch on your clothing resulting in costly snags, or worse ripping the nail down into the quick. A protective clear coat or nail polish can help prevent cracks and splits…and it looks pretty!
  4. Keep your manicure tools fresh and sterile. Never share your manicure tool; it’s a common way to share bacteria and fungi.


  1. Don’t bite your nails. It’s unattractive to watch, and it can seriously damage your nails.
  2. Don’t ignore persistent nail problems. Fungal nail infections can be notoriously difficult to treat with over the counter medications, and ingrown nails will only get worse if left to themselves. Other nail problem could be an indication of a more serious systemic condition. When in doubt, contact your health care provider.
  3. Limit your use of nail polish remover, and avoid nail care products that contain harsh ingredients. Stick to acetone-fresh nail polish removers to keep from softening the nails. 
  4. Don’t use your fingernails to pry, scrape or grasp. As tempting as it may be to use your thumbnail to scrape off that last bit of burnt on cake batter from the pan, do yourself a favor and reach for a plastic scraper instead. Using your nails as tools can result damage to the nails, cuts to the cuticles and even pull the nail away from the nail bed, allowing bacteria and fungi to penetrate.