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Your nail health might serve as a primary indicator of your overall health. Your nails need proper care to remain strong and healthy. If you notice dents or ridges on them, then it might indicate an underlying medical condition, which would require prompt medical attention. Healthy finger nails are supposed to be smooth and uniform in color with no spots or discoloration. Sometimes, there can be development of harmful vertical ridges from the tip of your nail till the cuticle, which can become more prominent as you grow older.
There are many ways to keep your nails clean and healthy:
- Good nail hygiene: You should always use good quality sharp clippers or manicure scissors. The proper way to cut your nails is to trim the nails straight across and then round the tips in a gentle curve.
- Keep fingernails dry and clean: You can prevent the growth of bacteria under your fingernails if you keep them clean. Wear a pair of cotton lined rubber gloves while performing activities, such as using harsh chemicals or washing dishes.
- Biotin supplements: Biotin supplements can increase the thickness of your nails and also prevent splitting and breaking. Biotin is a member of the vitamin B family and helps the body to convert food into energy.
- Don’t go for professional manicures: Going for professional pedicure or manicure on a regular basis can make your nails dry and brittle. Another way to remedy the problem is to take your own tool to the manicure salon, which reduces the chance of infection. Regular professional manicure can make you suffer from nail bed infections, which can be chronic in nature.
- Avoid acetone: Using acetone based polish removers, will strip your nail of the essential nutrients in due course of time thus, making them brittle.
- Don’t bite: Avoid biting your fingernails as this can damage the nail bed. Bacteria or fungi can enter through a small cut along the fingernail, which can cause an infection.
- Do not ignore minor problems of the nail: If you have some infection in your nails which doesn’t seem to go away, then there are chances of the infection being a result of some other underlying health condition. You should immediately get the problem evaluated by a doctor or a dermatologist.
Actinic keratosis is a medical condition in which there is a formation of rough scaly patch on your skin due to excess and prolonged exposure to the sun's rays. It is also known as solar keratosis and is commonly found in the areas of ears, lips, forearms, scalp and neck. They take years to develop and a small percentage of cases can even develop into skin cancer. Read on more to find out all about the different causes and symptoms of actinic keratosis.
Causes: The primary cause for actinic keratosis is due to frequent or intense exposure to the UV rays either from the sun or from tanning beds. It has been seen that although people of all ages can be affected by actinic keratosis, people who are above the age of 40, people who live in sunny climates, people who have a history of frequent or intense exposure to the sun or sunburn, people with a history of actinic keratosis and people with a weak immune system are more prone to be affected by actinic keratosis.
Symptoms: Actinic keratosis has distinct features and if you have developed such symptoms, then you are more than likely to be suffering from actinic keratosis.
- Existence of rough, scaly or dry patches of skin concentrated in certain parts of the body. These patches are usually less than 1 inch in diameter.
- They are usually flat and in some cases can be slightly raised in the form of a bump on the top most layer of the skin.
- In some instances, however, they can have the form of a hard wart like surface.
- These bumps or lesions can be pink, red, brown or flesh colored.
- Intense itching and burning can occur in the affected area.
- Actinic keratosis occurs primarily in the areas of the body, which have been exposed to the sun's rays the most. These include the face, ears, lips, back of the hands, forearms, scalp and neck.
As it is very difficult to differentiate between cancerous and noncancerous spots, it is recommended to consult a doctor and opt for treatment.
Warts refer to a type of a deformity in the skin, which refers to the formation of a small, hard, benign growth on the surface of the skin. It is generally caused by a viral infection and results in a feeling of discomfort or pain. Additionally, laser surgery is a technique, which uses a sharp and strong beam of light to destroy the wart tissue from the skin. The surgical process is usually performed at a doctor's clinic or chamber, under proper medical supervision.
When should you consider laser surgery?
Ideally a laser surgery should be your last resort to remove a wart when all the other means of removing a wart have failed. You should opt for a laser surgery only under the following circumstances:
Medicines have not been able to remove the wart
Warts are large and widespread
Appearance of warts during pregnancy (only after consulting your doctor)
What should you keep in mind? Before opting for surgery:
A laser surgery is a quite complicated process, but its effects are rapid and effective. Some of the things to be kept in mind before you actually opt for a laser treatment are as follows:
Laser technology does not lead to scarring on the skin
The surgery requires a local anesthetic, which is used for making the affected body part numb
Laser treatments should not be used as an initial treatment
It is a sure shot way to remove warts
After a laser surgery the wound is generally painful depending upon the intensity, location and number of warts that are removed. Some of the probable outcomes of a laser surgery are as follows:
Bleeding of warts lasting upto 1 week
Mild to severe pain
Short lived fever
Yellowish discharge, which is to be cleaned
If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a dermatologist and ask a free question.
Stay away from direct sunlight. Exposure to too much sunlight can be harmful to the skin. You probably already know that it can cause skin cancer, but did you know that it can exacerbate acne.
For 5-10 minutes, dip your toe nails in a warm salt water solution if they have become too difficult or thick to cut.
4-5 hours prior to washing your hair, apply almond, castor, olive, coconut and lavender oil in a mixed proportion which will provide moisture to your hair.
Sunscreen is the real fountain of youth. Get into the habit of applying sunscreen or a lotion with minimum spf 15 to 30 protection daily. Remember that the sun's rays can still be damaging in winter months as it reflects off snow.
Dip your gentle Nails into warm Olive oil every once in a while for 15-20 minutes to make them hard.
Make sure that you apply a sunscreen lotion with spf 15-30 before stepping out in the sun, other it can lead to damages like sunburn, tanning, sun spots, skin cancer etc.
Consuming black tea and green tea which contain protective compounds like egcg and theaflavins can greatly benefit your skin and prevent your from skin cancers. They also prevent the breakdown of collagen, the cause of wrinkles.
Smoking is the second leading cause of premature wrinkles. It upsets the body's mechanism for breaking down old skin and renewing it.
If you have an oily skin, use a gentle non-foaming cleanser and warm water to wash your face twice a day. It will keep the dirk away from the skin.
It is a well-documented fact in medical science that the ultraviolet rays and radiation have been considered as too carcinogenic for humans. This is a fact that has been endorsed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). These rays can causes a number of skin problems ranging from premature aging to skin cancer in case a person is exposed to the sun for prolonged periods of time. Read this article to know how sun exposure can put your aging process on the fast track.
- All about UV Radiation: UV or ultraviolet radiation is found in the sunlight which travels to the Earth in the form of electromagnetic waves. This radiation passes through the ozone layers with the sunlight and gets absorbed as waves of energy that one cannot physically see or feel. So, if we were to avoid wearing protective clothing, hats and sunscreen, then we would be exposed to these harmful rays. Aging is the number one form of damage that can be caused due to these UV rays which are also classified as UVA or UVB. These rays are the number one cause of premature aging, while smoking comes in a close second.
- Skin Cells: The UV rays basically have an adverse effect on the skin cells which can also spread to the DNA in our skin. This can have a negative effect on the protective functions of our skin which in turn, affects the way our dead skin cells get replenished. It can also affect the production of collagen which is the chemical that keeps our skin supple and young looking. It also has a bearing on how many other chemicals are produced in our body. Over production of certain chemicals can also spell doom and lead to premature aging and pigmentation. Melanin is one such chemical which can cause deep tanning and pigmentation if it is present in large quantities - a problem faced mainly due to sun exposure.
- Photoaging: When the sun damages our skin due to prolonged exposure, this can be termed as photoaging in medical terms. This also signifies the loss of the skin's ability to repair itself due to repeated episodes of being in the sun without ample protection, which can impair the collagen production as mentioned above. This will result in a loss of skin elasticity which in turn, will lead to sagging skin.
- Skin Changes: The changes in the skin will get tattooed onto the skin's memory which will retain its leathery texture that would be a result of too much sun exposure over time. This can also lead to premature aging.
Always step out with plenty of protection and do not stay in the Sun for too long in order to avoid this condition. If you wish to discuss about any specific skin problem, you can consult a specilized dermatologist and ask a free question.
Pay attention to your hair routine, especially if your skin is oily. How you treat your hair can have a big impact on acne, especially around your forehead. Your scalp releases natural oils to keep your hair lustrous. But too much oil in and around your scalp, while healthy for your hair, can be dangerous for your skin.
Dry Skin: Rinse with warm water and pat your skin dry. Use toner to help with that tight and flaky feeling of dehydration. Avoid toners and makeup that contain alcohol as alcohol-based products have a drying effect on skin. Use a cream-based lotion to hydrate your skin and keep it rejuvenated.
Applying protein nail hardeners or products which contain nylon will seal moisture and provide hard surface over the nails.