‘Nail it’ this summer!

Summer season can be damaging to your skin and hair, but how about your fingernails? Sun, heat, and water can all cause damage to your digits.
27 May, 2015

Summer season can be damaging to your skin and hair, but how about your fingernails? Sun, heat, and water can all cause damage to your digits.
Many women pay attention to only hair and skin to protect them from the damaging summer weather and neglect their nails. Summer is the season for exposed flip-flops and sandals; you would want to pay close attention to your nails to make sure they look beautiful and presentable.
Sunburn and skin damage does not only affect the skin cells and hair but also the skin underneath the nails. Even though nails offer some protection, prolonged exposure could potentially cause skin cancer. Beauticians recommend applying any kind of cream with SPF.
It is very important to use a base coat every single time you want to apply nail polish. “When you don’t use a base, you will later notice that your nails have turned yellow. This is caused by sun exposure and heat,” said Jane, nail artist at Jamal beauty salon. “This doesn’t cause damage to the nails but for sure no one wants the look of yellow nails. This is why you need to use a base coat to prevent the nails from breaking,” she added.
Chlorine and other chemicals in the swimming pool water can dry out the skin and cause the nails to become stiff. “You will need to take vitamin supplements as soon as you see your nails get cracked or brittle. Ask your doctor, but you will be needing to take fish oil, magnesium and vitamin E to help salvage your nails,” said the nails technician. If you don’t want to use oral vitamins or medication, you should look for moisturizing products that contain keratin and mineral oil to strengthen your nails and prevent drying out. And also apply creams and oils such as coconut oil to help build skin and nail strength,” she added.
When at the beach, try as much as you can to prevent your toenails from stacking up some sand in them. “Sand under toenails means fungal infection. You might need to wear closed sandals and shoes or even socks when you walk around the beach and take them off when you lay down on the towel,” said Jane. “To avoid nasty fungus, wear sandals when at the pool and in the shower to dramatically decrease your chances of getting nails and foot fungus,” she added.
Jane also recommends getting the nails done and cleaned at the salon at least once a week during the summer to make sure they are clear of all fungus and sands under the toenails. “Summertime brings on hot, sweaty feet, which provides an ideal environment for fungus. It is very important for the nail technician to be aware that there is an increased incidence of fungal infections during the summer, and you may be the first one to notice this issue,” she said. “Once you start noticing the problem, you must immediately refer to a dermatologist for diagnosis and treatment,” she added.
One big issue with nails during the summer time is dehydration or over-hydration. This can cause the nail to soften up or make them stiff. “Brittle nail syndrome is a condition in which the nails are very fragile, break easily, peel, crack, and have increased splitting and ridging and usually happen to people living in non-humid cities,” said the nail technician. “Nevertheless, an exaggerated over-hydration of the nails may occur, causing the nails to become unusually soft and bendable. This can be just as unpleasant as brittle nails,” she added.
Over-hydration could cause onycholysis (separation of the nail plate from the nail bed or lifting of the nail). This is due to excessive moisture that the nail is exposed to during high humidity. “When onycholysis occurs, it may increase the possibility of a fungal infection as well, particularly the yeast fungus, which thrives on moisture and finds the lifted nail, with its moist environment, a pleasant place to survive,” said Jane. “My advice is to protect the nails from the sun, keep them as dry as possible and avoid excess trauma. This will keep nails in tiptop shape during this warm time of the year when increased susceptibility to fungal infection is a reality,” she added.

link from arabnews.com