Nail Care For The Disinclined
Not all of us are thrilled at the prospect of taking good care of our nails. File, polish, paint, moisturise...it all gets a bit much for those of us who are really more inclined to just bite the things off at the ends and be done with it! We know, we know. Biting our nails is no good, and anyway, it hurts at the end of the day. In fact, very often we would like to quit the habit altogether and use nail clippers like normal people. But how do we get there? Is it actually possible to take an uninterested nail biter and turn her into the sort of person who buys normal nail polish instead of the nasty tasting stop biting your nails kind?
Sure it is! Thousands of people out there have this habit, and have trained themselves in the arts of nail care regardless of the tendency to chomp down on the ends of their nails and ruin the effect! The main thing necessary for this glorious transformation is the motivation. So why do you want to stop biting your nails, really? To stop the pain of cracked and ragged nail edges? So that your nails look nice and you can finally show them off? Or is it simply that you are tired of the habit and want to take more control over your life and health? For most people it will be a combination of all these reasons, but there are undoubtedly more to choose from. Be sure that you fully understand your own motivation for breaking the habit before giving it a go, otherwise you might be disappointed with the results.
Once you are certain that you want to be welcomed into the world of nail care with open arms, it is time to get to work and deal with those poor, tattered nails. Primarily, let your nails grow back out a little so that there is a little overhang from the nail bed. This will give the skin a chance to heal, and it will also give you enough room to manoeuvre your nail clippers to smooth out the jagged edges. This is the most difficult step, since it involves actually not biting your nails for a good week or two, depending how short your poor nails have gotten. Do not give up! It can be very difficult, especially if you have been in the habit of munching away several times a day. But think of it like any other bad habit...it is bad for your health and you are better off without it. Do not bite!
Next, a good round of moisturising is called for. This will not only soften the skin and any calluses you may be sporting, but it will also help the healing process for your sore, red fingertips. If the skin is broken, do not apply the lotion directly except to the periphery of the wounds. If you apply cream right onto broken skin it will sting, and instead of facilitating the healing process it will actually prolong it. Wait for the skin to heal over and any scabs to disappear before you apply moisturiser, and do so lightly.
Chances are, your cuticles need some looking after as well as your nails themselves. Are they growing right over the nails in wavy, thick lines? If so, give them a short soak in warm water and then gently push the skin back and off the nails. If you have a manicure set, you will find a rounded edged tool just for this; if not, it is alright to use a similar utensil or just your own nails. Be sure to moisturise the cuticles as well to inhibit any painful hangnails.
That is it, job done! Most of the work comes in stopping the habit, so be prepared to face down your demons and really give it a go. Good luck!
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