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How can I prevent toenail or fingernail problems?

Practicing good hygiene and changing your habits may prevent certain causes of nail disorders. If you have diabetes, it is especially important to take care of your nails. Try to break the habits of biting, picking, or rubbing at your nails. Keep your nails clean and dry as often as possible. Trim nails in a straight line to prevent them from curving into your skin. Clip hangnails and bandage open cuts or tears in the nail that may allow infection into the nail area. You should make it a point to keep toenails trim; this reduces the chance for injury.

Get rid of shoes that are too tight or constricting to decrease ingrown toenails and spread of fungus among toes. Wear shower shoes in public pools and locker rooms to decrease your risk of coming in contact with fungi and bacteria. To prevent peeling and brittle nails, don't use nail polish and regularly apply a lotion with vitamins to promote healthy nails and cuticles.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.