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Nails are important

Because your nails are important and can even help a doctor find out if you are healthy or not, it's important to take good care of them. It's not that hard. Here are some dos and don'ts of fingernail and toenail care.


1. Keep them short and clean

Keep them short and clean. Use a good nail clipper or a small nail scissors to cut them every week or two. If you let your nails get too long, they're more likely to break and to get germs under them that can make you sick.

2. Cut them in the shape of the tip of your finger

Cut them in the shape of the tip of your finger, kind of straight across but a little round at the sides so they're strong.

3. Cut your toenails straight across

Cut your toenails straight across, using a clipper designated for toenails. This will help prevent an ingrown toenail.

4. Emery board

Some people use a nail file or emery board (it looks like a popsicle stick with rough surfaces) to smooth the ends of their nails. Make sure that the file is not old and dull. It will work better if it is new. Rub it back and forth very gently along the end of your nail to remove any rough edges.


1. Don't bite your nails

Don't bite your nails or pick at the skin around your nails. It can cause an infection and it hurts, too!

2. Don't pry or poke with your nails

Don't pry or poke at things with your nails. This can damage them.

3. Don't cut or push back the cuticles

Cut or push back the cuticles, the tiny sliver of skin where your nail grows out your finger. That can lead to infection.

4. Don't use nail-polish remover more than twice a month

Don't use nail-polish remover more than twice a month. It's really hard on your nails.

By: American Academy of Dermatology Association | N.A.

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