Those Pretty Nails

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healthy groomed nails are pretty
by Honchar Roman curtesy Shutterstock

Some may chose to go have their nails done. Others paint their own. But in order to have pretty nails, we need to have healthy nails and skin. We need to take care of ourselves inside and out. And groom those nails.

For me, sometimes having pretty nails has been a challenge. I have worked many years in retail or a warehouse. Stocking items required opening boxes. For some reason my natural nails would get caught and tear on things. Trying to make them look decent I would try to trim off the tear. Then this would look like a piece of pie taken out. Wearing polish does provide some protection from this.

Our Nails Role

The nails are mostly Keratin. They are an extension of our hard epidermis layer.

The nail begins to grow during the third month of fetal development.

They provide protection for our fingers and toes. They are kinda like a bumper in front of the sensitive tips that contain the bone and blood vessels.

The nail is a tool for scratching. It is useful in picking up small objects. Also tying shoe laces and other clothing. But we really don’t want to take this to extremes where we can damage the nail.

The nail can hold clues of our health. Normal pink healthy nails need a good blood supply. The pink color comes from a plentiful number of blood vessels from the dermis.

Patients are asked to remove polish before a surgery. The nail can reveal oxygen supply. It should not become pale or turn blue.

Nails and Our Health

An illness can cause nails to grow slowly. Unhealthy nails are deformed or discolored. This can be unusual thickening, different shape or color other than pink.

Arteriosclerosis can cause the whole nail to thicken. Shoes that don’t fit can also cause thickening. This is because of the constant pressure against your nail.

Psoriasis can cause pits and ridges. The nail can also be loosened at the nail bed.

Psoriasis, lichen planus and chronic paronychia can cause the nail end to separate from its’ underlying skin. Once a bacterium enters the nail may turn a blackish-green.

Thyroid disease can make nails yellow.

Iron deficiency anemia may cause a spooning shaped nail. The color can appear pale.

Clubbing or knobby ends can be due to congenital heart disorders and lung cancer.

Those with chronic hepatic disease can have a white nail bed.

Vitamin or mineral deficiencies can also affect the nails appearance. One or more white patches may develop.

We need to be careful with cutting our nails too short. This can cause ingrown nails. This results in them curving under and digging into the skin.

Staying current with your treatment for any of the above will help your nails and skin look good.


Damage to the nail root can result in losing that nail.  This often happens with an injury. A damaged nail from injury can take about 9 months to grow back or grow out again.

Manicure & Pedicure

There are many benefits to having our nails done. Not only do they look good but it maintains the health of our nails. This includes preventing hangnails from developing and catching a fungal growth on toenails.

This service done at your spa/salon also can relieve stress by pampering and making our nails look better so we feel better about ourselves.

And the massage helps with blood circulation to our finger tips and toes.

Painting our nails and using products to remove this can make nails brittle. So try not to over-do.

We have to provide our natural nails a chance to breath. Take a break in between painting nails and make them happy.

On a budget: this service can be provided by a school, check it out. (Facial for Healthy Skin).

Self-Hand Massage

Someday I would like to show you how to do a self-hand massage. (Stay on track) Our hands hold a lot of tension. We use them for everything. (Think about it).

But for now I will just tell you. (I am still working on selfies and designing this blog. I take very tiny baby steps. I really appreciate your patience).

You will need to apply some lotion or massaging oil to your hands first. This will help with sliding fingers along and not pulling or jumping the skin.

This can be done to relieve tension, stress and encourage blood flow.

First-Stroke the top of your hand; firmly pushing toward your wrist, then gently back to your fingertips. 4-6 times.

Second-Turn your hand over; palm facing up. Support the back with your fingers (other hand). With circular movements and pressure from your thumb. Work all over palm from wrist to base of fingers. With big sweeps you can also circle along your wrist. 4-6 times.

Third-Grasp other hand finger, in between first and second finger; at its base and pull gently to stretch while sliding your grip up the finger and off the tip. Do this for each finger and the thumb. (You will feel a slight pull) your joints may also “pop”, (tension released).

Fourth- You can hold each finger (don’t forget thumbs) and rotate circles left, and then right. (You’ve probably done this with arms, etc. during aerobic exercises). I’d say a couple times would do.

Fifth-Take each finger and slightly bend back, away from you (this may also cause a “pop”).

Sixth-With finger-tips together, plant elbows on knees/legs for support; rock /bend hands to left then right. 4-6 times.

Seventh-To finish; palm down gently brush top of hand; wrist to fingertip. 4-6 times. (Feel good?)

You can also rotate your wrist left, and then right. 4-6 times. Depending on your time, Steps 3-6 can be improvised. Go with what feels good!

Banyan Botanical has videos available for self-massages. If you care to get a visual.

A hand massage could be included with a facial. Ask the esthetician. (Facial for Healthy Skin).

Disclaimer: No endorsements for pay or otherwise are included in this blog. This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis.

If you have a health condition or concern, please consult your doctor.

Can you recommend a Manicurist?

Other sites: accessed 02/02/2020 accessed 02/02/2020

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