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Nail injuries

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Preventing nail injuries

If your fingernails are brittle, wear gloves in cold weather and when you garden. If your hands are over-exposed to water, soap or chemicals, apply a hand lotion periodically throughout the day, massaging it into the cuticles, and wear cotton-lined rubber or disposable plastic gloves to protect your hands from these elements.

Keep your nails short to prevent them catching on things and breaking. Trim fingernails once a week and toenails monthly. The best time to trim nails is after a bath, when they are softer. People with diabetes should see their doctor for special advice on manicuring toenails.

Sometimes a nail becomes loose from too much manicuring and using a sharp object to clean under a nail. Do not use anything harsher than a soft nailbrush to clean your nails.

A nail separating from a nail bed can occur with even minor trauma if it is repetitive, such as when typing with long fingernails or exposure to too much moisture. Follow the same advice for brittle nails to protect the nails.

Artificial nails can weaken natural nails, so don't wear them for more than three months at a time, and have a break of a month afterwards.

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WebMD Medical Reference

Medically Reviewed by Dr Rob Hicks on March 03, 2017

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