8 Tips for Keeping Your Nails and Cuticles Healthy and Healthy-Looking
By Carey Corbin
You’ve probably heard that there are several “softer” colors for your nail polish—and we’re not talking about the boxy colours that are meant to sting and stain your hands when you touch them. The newest nail colors that you’ll have to test them on your cuticles and nails are formulated to help eliminate the itch. We talked to three dermatologists to find out how to keep your nails and cuticles healthy-looking.
How do you keep your cuticles from becoming red?
“If your cuticles are all over the place and red, you’re not having a strong barrier to prevent the growth of fungus like round-mouth culture,” said Dr. Laura Johnson, a dermatologist at Cleveland Clinic. “In a nutshell, you have to wash your hands. If your cuticles are moist and are drying out, they don’t last as long, so you need to keep your cuticles moist to keep them healthy and repair them.”
See below for how to wash your hands (without using detergent) to keep your cuticles healthy and vibrant.
“It is really about avoiding soap, soap and talcum powder and washing with shampoo,” said Dr. Alan Gold, a dermatologist at Union Square Laser Dermatology in New York City. “Washing with a soap does not wash away [the oils] of your skin and skin cells, so a lot of things in your hand germs can have a life if not dealt with properly. It should be washed with a cleanser [rather than a scrub]. I use a white vinegar-based cleanser, which really kills any bacteria present.”
“Another thing is to avoid drying [your hands] to begin with,” said Dr. Sarah Simmons, a dermatologist at Harvard Medical School. “Wash them between washing your face, take some olive oil off the cuticles, and that will eliminate any oiliness of the cuticles.”
Do you want to see how different types of cuticles look?
The three doctors also put together a video showing all the different kinds of cuticles, and the difference between healthy cuticles and dead cuticles. See below for that.
How to take care of ingrown toenails
In just about any issue, it’s best to jump in with both feet. “If you have ingrown toenails, this is when the nail grows back to the bare skin of the toe or foot,” said Dr. Simha Patel, a dermatologist at Norristown Health and Specialty Hospital in Norristown, PA. “In the video [above], what you’re doing is going to the skin of the toes and that is going to get rid of any dead skin and then you [are going to] start using an antimicrobial agent to clean out any bacteria. The home remedy is to use witch hazel and then apply some salicylic acid or stanozolol to that to repair the skin. Any dead skin tissue can be peeled back.”
In my particular case, I was warned that cuticles, especially the white ones, did not heal well. I was saddened to find that a pain I endured for months is so common and can be brought on by anything, from getting a little too close to people and dirt to rough sports and a bad haircut. I’ll have a bunious process to get rid of that pesky doctor’s office bunion.
Another area we should keep an eye on is ingrown nails that really are full of discomfort when you are using your toes. Dr. Simmons said, “Ingrown toenails also affect orthotics as they can become tighter and pull on the orthotics.” Bunion pain, for instance, can drag down your foot and affect orthotics. So, don’t be hesitant to take care of your feet!
Other beauty steps to keep healthy:
Whether you wash your hands or not, Dr. Gold said to dry your hands first, with warm water. To that end, Surgicorvette products can gently remove or clean the oils from your hands, with a heavy body wash and in between times, a moisturizing hand cream to soothe and firm. To look less rough and more feminine, Dr. Gold advised lacing your nails, especially if you have short nails.
If you don’t want to wash your hands at all, try Always Gentle Glacial Body Cleansing Wash with lukewarm water to clean your hands. According to Fit Fabulous, this wash is the go-to for moisturizing and moisturizing feet for day-to-day life. Be sure to rinse your hands, and keep a lubricant (like Essie Sol