Your nails are important to your health and the beauty of your hands and feet. Don’t let some common misconceptions prevent you from asking your dermatologist to help with your nail care. Let’s shed some light on a few common nail care beliefs that we regularly hear in the exam room. Taking proper care of your nails is particularly important, as your hands are visible year-round and your feet like to show off in the summer!

Nail Myth #1 – Those little white lines on my nails must mean I have a deficiency.

The myth continues, but those white marks on your nails are not a sign of a vitamin or nutritional deficiency. Rather, they are related to nail trauma. A scuff here and there or having professional nail care can do it. You do not have to worry that it is a sign of something going on within, but you may want to take some extra tender loving care of your nails on the outside. Be sure to avoid irritants to the skin around your nails and moisturize the area regularly.

Nail Myth #2 – Trimming my cuticles is harmless.

Be careful! The cuticle is nature’s barrier from allowing water, yeast and other environmental exposures from entering the delicate area where the nail is produced. Disrupting this barrier can allow entry that can cause inflammation called paronychia potentially along with bacterial and fungal infections. If repeatedly damaged, the cuticle may not be able to grow intact again, and it can become a chronic ongoing issue. Be gentle with your cuticle care. If you are struggling with such an issue, let us help!

Nail Myth #3 – There is nothing I can do about my nail fungus.

First, don’t assume that you have a fungal infection, there are other conditions that can mimic fungus in the nail. We can often determine this by examining the nails or by some simple in-office testing. Nail fungus is a difficult condition to treat, but there are more treatment options today than in past decades. The first step is to get the right diagnosis and then it is knowing which one of the newest treatments will work best for your nail condition. Let one of our dermatologists help you determine what is right for your nails.

If you have other beliefs about nail care, share them with us, and we will help you nail the facts down!

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