Fingernail hygiene important to stop infection spread

New Delhi:  One may envy or desire long, stylish nails but unless they are clean underneath, they can be the reason behind a range of bacterial diseases such as diarrhoea. Longer nails harbor more dirt and bacteria than short nails, thus possibly contributing to the spread of infection, says Rajesh U Pandya, Managing Director, KAI India

“Fingernails should be kept short, and the undersides should be cleaned frequently to maintain nail hygiene. At the same time, it is important to keep a tab on how you clean the nails. Unless the means are safe, the process of cleaning hands can cause more damage than good,” Pandya said.

He further explains: wash your hands, including nails and underneath them, as many times as required with lukewarm water and soap. If you handle stronger dirt like grease, you may want to use a pair of gloves while working or use a specific cleaner for that specific type of dirt. Trimming nails regularly help you to maintain healthy nails and avoid breaking. How frequently you trim your nails will depend on how fast they grow.

Every time you wash hands, ensure you dry them completely. Moist hands may attract germs that proliferate in a damp environment and facilitate their spread. Before clipping nails, ensure that all equipment to be used, such as nail clippers and files, are properly cleaned and sanitised even if you are using them at home. Sterilising equipment before use is especially important when nail tools are shared among a number of people, as is common in commercial nail salons or any beauty parlour.

Many people are not adequately conscious of the necessity to keep the hands clean, notes Pandya. “Negligence towards hand hygiene can cause a series of diseases, bacterial and viral infections, including by the deadly COVID-19 virus that is wreaking havoc across the country.

“Considering that fingernails can harbor tons of dirt and debris and can become COVID-19’s first route of communication, keeping our hands, and by extension our nails, clean is crucial. So, don’t let germs make you fall sick. Clean your hands well so you can eat well, and stay healthy,” he concludes.


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