Are nail extensions harmful for your nail health and how to take care

Health, according to the World Health Organization, is “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmity”.[1] A variety of definitions have been used for different purposes over time. Health can be promoted by encouraging healthful activities, such as regular physical exercise and adequate sleep,[2] and by reducing or avoiding unhealthful activities or situations, such as smoking or excessive stress. Some factors affecting health are due to individual choices, such as whether to engage in a high-risk behavior, while others are due to structural causes, such as whether the society is arranged in a way that makes it easier or harder for people to get necessary healthcare services. Still other factors are beyond both individual and group choices, such as genetic disorders.

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With the wedding season on, stylish nail extensions are in vogue. But did you know they could damage your nails? An expert tells you all!

Flaunting beautiful and stylish nails are all the rage these days, and why not? Artificial nails are not just more long-lasting, but also add much-needed glamour to your look! But did you know? Your real nails are getting damaged under all that glue. Yes, nail extensions could even impact the growth of your nails.

When you use artificial nails, your natural nail plate is trimmed and filed, and glue is applied, which causes long-term damage.

Dr Gunjan Verma, Consultant – Dermatology, HCMCT Manipal Hospital, Dwarka, New Delhi, tells HealthShots, ”After putting artificial nails, our actual nails may become brittle. That means they soften and break easily. Our nails are made of keratin, which is a natural protein, and artificial nails may leave it damaged.”

Your nails need more TLC

Did you know our nails need extra care? Even while filing our nails at home, we must pay attention to our cuticles, as any damage may cause a fungal infection.
Cuticles are an integral part of our nails, as it protects our nail bed and structure.
Furthermore, it also acts as a barrier against infections.

“Long-term damage to cuticles invites bacterial and fungal infections. Hence, you should find natural ways to grow and strengthen your nails,” says Verma.

nail extension
There are many things you can do to ensure healthy and gorgeous nails. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

She recommends a few ways that can help you protect your nails from long-term

  1. Always moisturize your nails. Applying moisturizer and petroleum jelly can
    strengthen your nails. As per a study, your nails grow faster when moisturized properly and filed regularly.
  2. Don’t remove the cuticle, since it helps to fight infections.
  3. Consume foods that are rich in vitamins and protein. Biotin is usually required for nail growth. It is a B complex vitamin that promotes healthy cell growth
    and aids in the metabolising protein-building amino acids that are essential for nail growth.
  4. Give your nails some time to breathe after applying a nail paint or putting
    artificial nails. Nails take time to regain their strength after artificial
  5. Reserve nail extensions and artificial nails for special occasions, even if you really want to use them.
  6. Visit a dermatologist in case of nail infections.

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