Nails are an essential part of our body, and we use them every day for a variety of purposes, such as gripping, scratching, and picking things up. However, there are many myths surrounding nails, including the idea that they need to "breathe." In this blog post, we'll explore whether or not nails need to breathe and what actually damages them.
Do nails need to breathe?
The short answer is no, nails do not need to breathe. Nails are made up of dead cells that do not require oxygen to survive. The living cells responsible for producing the nail plate are located under the skin at the base of the nail, where they receive all the nutrients they need from the blood supply.
However, some people believe that nails need to breathe to stay healthy. This misconception stems from the fact that nails can become discolored or damaged when they're covered for long periods. For example, if you wear nail polish for weeks on end, your nails may become yellowed or weakened. This is not because the nails need to breathe, but rather because they're being exposed to chemicals for an extended period.
What actually damages nails?
There are several factors that can damage nails, including:
- Trauma: Nails can become damaged if they're subjected to excessive force, such as if you stub your toe or hit your finger with a hammer.
- Chemicals: Exposure to harsh chemicals, such as nail polish remover, can cause nails to become brittle, discolored, or weak.
- Infections: Fungal or bacterial infections can damage the nail plate, causing it to become discolored, thickened, or brittle.
- Aging: As we age, our nails can become thinner, weaker, and more prone to breakage.
- Nutritional deficiencies: A lack of certain vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, iron, and biotin, can affect nail health.
How to keep nails healthy
To keep your nails healthy, here are some tips to follow:
- Keep your nails clean and dry: This can help prevent fungal or bacterial infections.
- Use moisturizer: Applying moisturizer to your nails and cuticles can help keep them hydrated and healthy.
- Avoid harsh chemicals: Try to limit your exposure to harsh chemicals, such as nail polish remover, and opt for gentler alternatives.
- Protect your nails: Wear gloves when doing household chores, and avoid biting or picking at your nails.
- Eat a balanced diet: Make sure you're getting enough vitamins and minerals in your diet to support nail health.