Nail Hygiene. Proper hand hygiene incorporates diligently cleaning and managing fingernails, which might hold onto soil and microbes and can add to the spread of certain contaminations, like pinworms. Fingernails ought to be kept short, and the undersides ought to be cleaned regularly with cleanser and water. On account of their length, longer fingernails can hold onto more soil and microscopic organisms than short nails, consequently possibly adding to the spread of contamination.
Before clipping or grooming nails, all equipment (for example, nail clippers and files) should be properly cleaned. Sterilizing equipment before use is especially important when nail tools are shared among a number of people, as is common in commercial nail salons.
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Infections of the fingernails or toenails are often characterized by swelling of the surrounding skin, pain in the surrounding area, or thickening of the nail. In some cases, these infections may be serious and need to be treated by a physician.
To help prevent the spread of germs and nail infections:
- Keep nails short and trim them often.
- Scrub the underside of nails with soap and water (or a nail brush) every time you wash your hands.
- Clean any nail grooming tools before use.
- In commercial settings such as nail salons, sterilize nail grooming tools before use.
- Avoid biting or chewing nails.
- Avoid cutting cuticles, as they act as barriers to preventing infection.
- Never rip or bite a hangnail. Instead, clip it with a clean, sanitized nail trimmer.