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Keeping Nails Trimmed for Your Health

By Chris Brown

The nation is full of salons where you can get beautified, bedazzled nails, if that's your sort of thing. If not, and you're like many of us, you're donning slightly dirty nails that are a bit longer than they should be. The one thing these two nails types have in common is that they are most likely home to a plethora of microscopic creatures. Trimming your nails to the perfect short length can keep you well and worry-free. After learning the truth about long nails, you may consider ditching your fancy salon talons for a shorter look.

Why a Short Nail Is a Healthy Nail

Picture everything your fingers touch daily and you can start to understand the potential for bacteria spread from dirty, long nails. Long nails give bacteria and fungus a place to settle and grow which can multiply your odds for getting sick. It may be gross to think about, but bacteria under your nails (hundreds of thousands per fingertip) can easily transfer into your body when you touch your eyes, nose, mouth, or even the food you eat. Since toes are typically covered by socks and shoes, they are even more habitable for bacteria growth. Keeping nails short minimizes potential for bacterial spread and presents an image of hygiene to others.

Nails Too Long or Too Short Are Prone to Damage

If left to grow, long nails can also be susceptible to injury or breaking if impacted. Similarly, both long and overly short nails can result in ingrown nails. Ingrown nails divert off of their natural growth course and start painfully entering the skin.

The Perfect Nail

The ideal nail trim keeps a sliver of nail running along the shape of the cuticle. The edges of the cuticles should be trimmed of any hang nails and the hands should be clean without dirt.

Too Much of a Cut Thing

So, you've decided to keep your nails short. But can they be trimmed too often? The answer is, unfortunately, yes. Daily trimming or nail shaping can stress nails and lead to abnormal nail growth which causes ingrown nails, spoon-shaped nails (nails with an inverted scoop shape), or pincer nails (overly curved nails). Ideally, one should be taking the trimmer to the nail once every six to eight weeks.

In the end, it is healthiest to keep those nails trimmed, but not too trimmed, for hygienic hands.

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hiram, Ga.

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