Contrary to popular belief, nail trimming or grooming is not a style statement but an essential part of hygiene and self-care routines. Clean and trimmed nails promote wellbeing by harbouring fewer germs and dirt. Regular manicures don’t just keep the nails in proper shape but also strengthen your nails and cuticles (skin at the base of nails). However, it is important to know basic nail care techniques so as to avoid any unnecessary injuries or infections. Nail clipping mistakes can cause problems like onycholysis, hangnails, ingrown nails (mostly in toes) etc. Here are some common mistakes that you should try to avoid:
1. Cutting nails when they are dry
Dry nails are harder and clipping them can be tougher. You cut deep or the cutting may not be smooth or shaped well if they are dry. Instead, soak your nails in warm water for a few minutes to soften your nails before clipping them.
2. Cutting nails in odd shapes
Trimming or filing the nails into pointy, almond, square or other shapes can weaken the nails. Weak nails increase the risk of breaking or chipping and may even hurt you. So, trim the nails straight across from one end to the other, file the corners a little bit rounder.
3. Cutting the cuticle
Cuticles are the thin strip of tissue present at the base of the nail bed. They protect the nail roots and prevent any germs from getting inside the nail. Never cut them with a nail clipper as that may cause hangnails or infections. Instead, use a cuticle pusher to push them back and you can scrape the dead skin around them. If you get a hangnail, you can cut it; however, never snag or tear it. You can also use cuticle oil to keep them hydrated.
4. Cutting nails too short
Cutting the nails too short can expose the nail bed. This can be very painful and it may even cause bleeding. A break in the skin of your hand brings with it the risk of infections. So, it is recommended that you trim the nails short but never cut them deep enough to expose the nail bed. You can also just file the nails if your nails are too short to be cut.
5. Filing nails back and forth
Nails are fibrous tissues that may acquire cracks while clipping. These cracks weaken the nails and cause nail chipping. That is why nail filing is an important step that makes the edges even and smooth. However, filing back and forth can cause micro-cracks in the nails that lead to them breaking easily. So, always remember to file your nails in one direction to maintain their strength.
6. Using common nail cutting tools
It is best not to share your nail care tools but if you are using common ones, then you must disinfect the tools before and after using them. This will help reduce your chances of getting an infection. You can clean them with an alcoholic sanitizing solution and scrub the tools using a brush soaked in sanitizer. Let them dry before using.
7. Neglecting to moisturise nails
Trimming or filing nails can make the nails lose moisture, making them dehydrated. This can worsen with age and the nails may become hard and lose their smooth texture. To protect your nails from drying, always apply a hand moisturizer after cutting your nails and gently massage it into your nails and cuticles.
For more information, read our article on Nail Care Tips.
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