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Tips for Healthy Nails: Do’s and Don’ts

Tips for Healthy Nails: Do’s and Don’ts

Jul. 19th, 2023

Here are some nail care tips:

  • Practice good nail hygiene. Regularly trim your nails and clean them each day to keep your nails healthy.
  • Keep your nails dry. Regularly cleaning your nails will prevent bacteria from growing under them. Your fingernails could potentially split if they are left wet as well.
  • Trim your nails straight across. Regularly trimming your nails straight across will keep them healthy and help you avoid ingrown nails.
  • Use moisturizer. To prevent your nails from drying out, add moisturizer to your nail care routine. Make sure to use it on both the nails and cuticles.
  • Use nail oil. You can add nail oil to your nail bed to moisturize your nails and keep them strong.
  • Give your nails a break from nail polish. If you frequently wear nail polish, give your nails a break between polishes. Some chemicals in nail polish such as toluene, formaldehyde and DBP are known to weaken your nail.1
  • Add protection. You can protect your nails with a nail hardener or clear nail polish.
  • Wear shoes that properly fit. This will prevent you from damaging your nails inside of the shoes.
  • Wear sandals or flip flops at the pool or public showers. There’s lots of bacteria at a public pool or shower – protect your nails from it by wearing shoes in these areas.
  • Eat a healthy diet. Eating a diet with proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, iron, biotin, and B-vitamins can give your nails the nutrients they need to stay strong and healthy.2
  • Wear gloves in the winter. The cold air can dry out your nails, causing them to become hard and brittle. Wear gloves to protect your nails from the cold temperatures.
  • Get manicures safely. If you enjoy getting manicures, make sure you go to an establishment that regularly sanitizes the tools and foot baths.

Do not:

  • Bite your nails or remove the cuticles. These actions can damage the nails. A small cut can allow bacteria to get in and cause damage to your nail.
  • Use your nails as a tool. Another one of our tips for nails is to avoid using them as a tool. This can damage your nail or nail bed, such as splitting them unintentionally.
  • Handle liquids without gloves. If you’re dealing with chemicals or liquids, wear gloves to protect your nails from coming in contact with them.
  • Expose nails to water for long periods of time. Water can cause your nails to become weak and brittle. Try to avoid soaking your hands in water for long periods to keep them from becoming damaged.
  • Put hand sanitizer on nails. The alcohol in hand sanitizer can break down your nails and make them weaker. Keep hand sanitizer on your skin and minimize contact with your nails.
  • Pull off hangnails. If you notice that you have a hangnail, avoid ripping it off. Instead, opt to safely clip it off.
  • Use harsh nail products. Some products, such as acetone, can be hard on your nails and even damage them. Try to avoid using products that will harm your nails.
  • Ignore problems. If you notice that your nails change in color or texture, do not ignore it. You should schedule a visit with your dermatologist to assess what might be wrong with them.

What Do Healthy Nails Look Like?

Healthy nails look like:

  • A pinkish-white color
  • Smooth
  • Free of spots or discoloration

Unhealthy nails will have:3

  • Discoloration
  • Dark streaks
  • Change to nail shape, such as curves
  • Bleeding around the nails
  • Swelling/pain around nails
  • Thin/thickened nails
  • Separation from the skin

About Saber Healthcare Group

Saber Healthcare is an organization that provides services to more than 115 buildings across the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Indiana, and Delaware. To learn more about our company and services, click here.

Saber Healthcare is an organization dedicated to providing consultant services to long-term care providers. This article is for informational purposes and is not meant to be seen as professional advice. Please consult with a medical expert before relying on the information provided.


  1. “Every Sign Your Nails Need a Break Between Manicures.” Sunday Riley, Sunday Edit. Accessed 3 July 2023. Link:,or%20stains%20on%20your%20nails.
  2. Goodson, Amy. “Top 8 Vitamins and Nutrients for Healthy, Strong Nails.” Red Ventures, Healthline Media. Accessed 3 July 2023. Link:
  3. “Fingernails: Do's and don'ts for healthy nails.” Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). Accessed 3 July 2023. Link:,become%20more%20prominent%20with%20age.