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Nailed It! A Brief Guide to Taking Care of Your Fingernails
Nailed It! A Brief Guide to Taking Care of Your Fingernails

Nailed It! A Brief Guide to Taking Care of Your Fingernails

Tuesday, April 18, 2023


Some people see caring for their fingernails as an important part of looking and feeling their best. Others see their nails as their go-to tool when they find themselves in a pinch. Whether you see your nails as something beautiful, something functional or a little bit of both, you use your fingernails every day – usually without even thinking about it. Here are some tips for keeping your nails in tip-top shape this season. 

Start a regular nailcare routine 

A little bit of effort goes a long way to keep your nails strong and healthy. 

  • Trim your nails often. Using a sharp pair of nail scissors, cut straight across your nail. If you choose to shape your nails, file them in one direction instead of going back and forth. 
  • Avoid cutting your cuticle, the clear skin at the base of your nail. The cuticle acts as a barrier to germs and bacteria. 
  • Keep your nails moisturized. When applying lotion to your hands, make sure to give your nails some attention, too. 

Avoid using your nails as tools 

We know, you use your nails to rip open packages, scrape price stickers off new purchases and more. All that use can put them at risk of damage. Try to remember to give your nails a break and grab a letter opener or pair of scissors instead.  

Stop biting your nails 

It’s time to resist the temptation to bite off that hangnail. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), biting your nails can contribute to the spread of germs and infection. Next time you get one of those pesky hangnails, use some nail clippers or nail scissors to remove it safely.  

Do you chew your nails out of stress? Grab a stress ball or fidget toy to keep your hands engaged without hurting your nails. Or, check out these tips on managing your stress to get to the source of your habit. 

Keep your nail tools clean 

When’s the last time you cleaned your nail clippers or scissors? If you had to pause to remember, it’s time to sanitize your nail tools. Wash your tools with soap and warm water. The American Academy of Dermatology Association recommends disinfecting your tools each month. First, scrub your nail tools with a brush soaked in 70 to 90% isopropyl alcohol. Then, rinse your tools in hot water, dry them completely and put them away for next time. 



Genesis HealthCare System’s Health and Wellness content conveniently provides accurate and helpful information. Your health history and current health may impact suggestions provided through our Health and Wellness content. Although we hope this information is helpful, it is not a substitute for your doctor's medical advice. Before making any significant changes, please consult your doctor.