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Nail Care

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Dirty, bitten fingernails are a big turn off, but fear not - it's a simple bit of grooming to tackle. Your nails are an indicator of your general health, and if you use your hands a lot when you talk then they're also going to get plenty of attention from the person you're trying to attract. Treat them well and you'll do just fine.

No need for grimy mitts. Just give your hands a scrub with mild soap and warm water before you go out, using a nailbrush to get the gunge out from under your nails. Oil on hands and under nails can be got rid of with a bit of swarfega, or other cleansing agents.

If your nails go crumbly and whitish or yellowish and separate slightly from the nail bed then it could be a fungal infection. Speak to your doctor, who can prescribe an anti-fungal paint to get rid of it. If you get hangnails or loose skin down the side of the nail, trim it off with sharp scissors to reduce the risk of the skin tearing or infections getting into the skin.

Basic nail care
* Wash hands with mild soap, using a nailbrush.
* Soak the hands in warm water for a few minutes to soften the cuticles (the bits of skin at the bottom of the nails).
* Very gently push back the cuticles if they are long and ragged.
* Trim the nails to the same length, cutting off any snaggy or spiky bits.
* File the ends of the nails to smooth them off.
* If your hands are dry, apply some handcream (it doesn't have to be the girly stuff that stinks of flowers, lads).

Don't bite!
Bitten nails aren't exactly seductive, try an anti-biting nail paint. Tastes absolutely disgusting, but will stop you putting your fingers in your mouth so often.

Nail facts
* Nails grow roughly 1mm each week.
* Lose a nail completely, and it'll take half a year to grow back.
* The longest fingernails ever recorded belonged to an Indian man who sported 48-inch-long specimens.
* Up to 45% of blokes bite their nails.
* The rate at which your nails grow can be slowed down by illness, or sped up by stress and hot weather.
* Your diet dictates the condition of your nails. For extra-strength, eat food rich in calcium, iron and zinc.
* White marks on the nail are due to knocks, and not a sign of calcium deficiency.
* Strong soaps and detergents can dry out nails and cause them to split. Wear rubber gloves when using detergent or doing the washing up.

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