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Health records at your fingertips

Did you know that your nails record your health? On average, nails grow at a rate of 1 cm every 3 months. Fingernails grow faster than toenails. The condition of your nails can show recent illness, nutritional deficiencies, drug side-effects, infection and injury through signs, such as discoloration, thickness, brittleness, splitting and groves. Nails can be damaged by nail-biting, scratching the nail folds, inappropriate manicuring techniques, or trauma (i.e., slamming your finger in a car door). Damaged nails can appear ridged or cracked. Generally, wait about a year for your nail to heal. If by that time the normal appearance is not restored, then the damage is irreversible and the nail matrix (the base or root of the nail, from which the nail grows) has sustained a permanent injury. Hands and nails tend to get dried out from soaps and cleansers. Try to keep your hands and cuticles well lubricated with a moisturizing lotion thatís packed with nourishing vitamins.

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