Helen Schifter Shares the Secret to Healthy Nails

We use our hands every day from the moment we get up in the morning to the time we go to bed, sometimes even when we are asleep. But how often do we take care of our fingernails? For ladies, it is more of a beauty practice than health. For most people, nails require little action, mostly just a clipping and some filing. For the service that we get from these extensions of our hands, like scratching that itch or scraping off stickers, it would not cost much to take good care and maintenance.

Nails are composed of keratin protein also present in hair, while tough to the touch fingernails can be damaged by trauma or drying out. Most of these conditions require simple habits to protect fingernails and keep them in top shape. Sometimes damaged fingernails can be a warning sign of internal problems that require a doctor’s attention, so just taking the time to inspect the general condition of fingernails can be the difference between high medical bills and getting medical help in advance.

Helen Schifter, a former fashion editor, knows that because of the size of fingernails relative to the rest of the body, caring for them is not as time and cost consuming to care for them. Most of these nail care tips are easy to do at home every day or weekly monthly.

Limit the use of drying chemicals such as hand sanitizer. During the pandemic, it has become quite normal for everybody to sanitize their hands for health reasons, limit how much contact fingernails make with sanitizer because it dries out fingernails causing brittle nails.

If you already have weak fingernails, you can consult with a doctor if they recommend a supplement drug called biotin to help strengthen and grow fingernails.

Always make an effort to keep fingernails hydrated. There are simple ways to achieve this, including moisturizing the cuticles using hand lotions and petroleum jelly or castor and olive oil.

For the feet to stay at their best, use synthetic socks to absorb dampness from sweaty feet and leave shoes out to air dry after use.

Some people tend to cut out the cuticle, wipe them instead with a warm cloth and some pressure since cutting them can allow bacteria to cause infections. Somethings can be as simple as drinking enough water throughout the day to help retain moisture. If nail polish is a must or a preference, try to find nontoxic nail polishes and follow that with an acetone-free remover. Beauty should not damage your fingernails. The use of gel and acrylic is quite common and accepted but keep in mind too much use can peel fingernails and affect the skin around fingernails. Use of these products should moderate to none if possible. The same advice can go for nail polish as well. After wearing nail polish for a while, remove with an acetone-free remover and stay polish-free for a week or two.
For the nail bitters and puckers, stop it!; damage to the nail bed from biting or ripping out tissue is all it takes to get an infection. Fingernails can take six months to grow back, including the pain and expenses for treatment. Helen Schifter has been promoting the need for practicing self-care, so take care of your fingernails. To learn more about Helen Schifter, go to


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Pamela is a television journalist, humor writer and novelist. Her first novel, Allegedly, was released in 2015 by St. Martin’s Press. The book is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She and her husband, Daniel, have a 3-year-old son, Carter.

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