Healthy nails are in this summer

Healthy nailsFor many of us, this is the time of year we begin paying more attention to our nails. Warm weather means mani-pedi season is upon us.

So how do you get ready for summer? It starts with getting rid of “fugly” (fungal, ugly) toenails. For anybody who has fungus on their toenails or discoloration of nails, there are topical whitening and antifungal agents you can try.

The least expensive approach to discoloration would be a whitening toothpaste. Simply apply the tooth paste with a toothbrush and leave on for 15 minutes one time weekly. While this does not kill fungus… does make those French manicures appear whiter. Oral antifungals are also available but they take awhile to work and can in some cases cause liver impairment. Talk to your doctor about whether or not you might be a good candidate for oral antifungal medications. It’s also important when getting your pedicure to cut your toe nails straight across to prevent ingrown nails.

To cut down on germs, make sure the manicurist cleans out the whirlpool with bleach. Bring your own instruments if you can and never let anyone use razor blades on your feet. As for polish, go with beiges and lighter-color polishes that don’t stain nails such as light pink. The good news is that pink is one of the trendy colors this year.

It’s also important to think about sun damage while at the nail salon. Many salons use UV dryers to dry gel polish or even regular polishes. While these polishes tend to stay on longer and be eye catching you need to limit your UV exposure in these types of lights to prevent wrinkles and sun-related cancers on your hands. I like to wear gloves with the finger tips cut off the ends during my mani-pedi’s to minimize UV exposure. 

Whatever your skin routine or ritual it’s important to think about your inner beauty as well. A warm smile will cover a multitude of sins. So go for it! Primp, puff, tan and tone your body the best way you can but don’t forget about your biggest asset……your personality. Confidence in one’s self is definitely sexy for summer.

About Heidi LaForge, DO

I am a family medicine physician with Via Christi Medical Associates on West 21st Street in Wichita, Kan.
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