Tips for Cleaning Under Fingernails to Prevent Fungal Infections

image of nails - The Dermatology ClinicClean fingernails not only look neater and more attractive but are also an important facet of complete health. Improper cleaning techniques or lack of thorough hygiene can lead to an unpleasant fungal nail infection. Happily, it’s possible to avoid these issues by taking care of basic tasks that will leave hands looking nice and feeling healthy.

Recommended Tools

It is common for people to reach for sharp implements in the pursuit of clean fingernails. While these tools may fit easily into these small areas, there are some risks associated with these cleaning methods. Injury is a common result of using a sharp implement, and sometimes people only push debris further under the nail bed instead of removing it.

A stiff-bristled nail brush is the best tool for cleaning under fingernails. The bristles are firm enough to remove debris without causing injury. This implement is also affordable.

An Effective Cleaning Process

Effective cleaning helps avoid a fungal nail infection. People should soak hands for at least one minute to begin. Soaking is an important step that allows the skin to absorb moisture, which helps loosen debris. Skipping the soaking step could lead to injury.

Apply a small amount of antibacterial soap to the brush bristles and work up a rich lather. Hold the brush against the fingernails so the bristles touch both the tops of the nails with some bristles moving along underneath the edges.

Move the brush back and forth to scrub every surface on and under the tips of the nails. Assess progress while scrubbing to ensure that all debris is removed. After finishing, rinse hands well to remove all soap.

Finish the cleaning process by drying hands and applying a rich moisturizer.

Other Prevention Techniques

Frequent hand-washing with soap and thorough drying also helps prevent fungal nail infection. Keep nails trimmed, and resist the urge to pick at cuticles, because bacteria could enter at these spots. With attentive hygiene habits, it’s possible to avoid this type of infection.

COMMENTS (2)

Someone overhead me say that I use nail brushes for my fingernails and toes and stated they carry bacteria etc. I’ve been doing some research ever since because I became concerned. I personally like to use fingernail brushes to clean my nails and toes thoroughly. However, I’m not sure how to disinfect the brushes. My brushes are for my own personal use, no one else uses them. Normally I just throw them out once I don’t like the look of the bristles. Do you have any recommendations as to how to make sure they are clean and sanitary? I was thinking of leaving them soaked in alcohol between each use. Thank you for your time and I apologize if its not related to cosmetology.

    Reply

    We think it is okay to use nail brushes to clean your nails. We would recommend washing your hands with soap prior to using your nail brush and disinfecting your brush after each use with either alcohol or running it through the dishwasher. We would also recommend replacing your brush every 3 months, or sooner if it shows wear.

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