Your nails may not be the first thing that people notice about you. However, they are still an essential aspect of personal grooming that ought not to be overlooked. Our nails will change as we age and you might have noticed that they have become dull, hard, and thick. Your nails might also have gone from translucent and shiny to yellowish and opaque.
Many people are not aware that our nails reflect the overall condition of our health. Do you know that brittle nails, nail deformity, and nail discoloration are just some of the red flags for underlying medical conditions that you and your family members should be worried about? Make nail care a priority today! Here are some essential nail care tips for seniors.
Trim Nails Regularly
The easiest way to take care of your nails is to trim them regularly. This is the most effective method for getting rid of the dirt, germs, dead skin cells, and other debris that accumulate under the nails. Older adults may find it challenging to cut their nails for various reasons including poor and failing eyesight, diminished flexibility, or arthritis. If you are going to help trim your loved ones’ nails, this is how you can do so with minimal damage:
- Cut their nails when it is softened after a shower.
- Use sanitized nail clippers.
- Wash your hands before and after cutting their nails.
- Make a trim straight across the nail without curving down at the sides.
- Use a file nail to shape the nails and prevent chipping.
- Do not cut calluses on their feet or nail beds without professional help.
- During the trimming process, you should also check for indications of an ingrown nail, hangnail, or fungal infection.
Visit a Podiatrist
If you or your loved one is having trouble with your nails, you should visit a certified podiatrist. A common problem that older family members face is ingrown toenails, which is usually caused by improper nail-cutting techniques. When we help our loved ones trim their toenails out of convenience or necessity, we may unintentionally cause an ingrown nail. By visiting a podiatrist regularly, you can get an assessment of your nail and foot health, and learn the right toenail trimming techniques.
Pamper Your Nails
Visit a beauty salon and pamper your nails. Allow the nail stylist to give you or your loved one a foot soak and scrub – you’ll be prioritizing your nail health while getting in some personal relaxation time! Additionally, you should apply nail oil regularly. Keeping your nail beds moisturized will prevent the emergence of peeling cuticles and hangnails that can cause immense discomfort.
Eat Healthy Foods
To grow strong, healthy nails, you and your loved ones should eat healthy, nutritional foods. Dry and brittle nails may be a sign that your diet is lacking certain essential nutrients. Some foods that can significantly boost your nail health include fruits, greens, lean meats, legumes and nuts, and whole grains. You should also take sufficient calcium and vitamins A, B, and C for healthy nails.