Find out what lies beneath your fingernails!

Apart from following the basic handwashing principles, you should always keep your fingernails clean and trimmed

Last Updated: Jun 24, 2016, 13:52 PM IST

Zee Media Bureau

New Delhi: Practice good handwashing hygiene, keep your nails sort and clean - are some common advices we received from our guardians as young kids!

 

Perhaps, handwashing is the first and foremost step in defence against the spread of germs and infections. However, it may be noted that no amount of scrubbing can ever rid the hand of all its bacteria.

Hence, apart from following the basic handwashing principles, you should always keep your fingernails clean and trimmed: Here's why

  • Your fingernails harbour dirt and germs and can contribute to the spread of some infections, such as pinworms.
  • In 1988, a trio of researchers from the University of Pennsylvania’s Department of Dermatology, found that the space under the fingernails, also called the subungual region, harbour hundreds of thousands of bacteria, reported the BBC. The findings were based on 26 adult volunteers who did not interact with patients.
  • In another study, researchers discovered that nurses with artificial nails had more bacteria on their fingertips than those who had natural nails, both before and after handwashing.
  • Artificial nails were also associated with poor handwashing, and were also most likely to tear disposable gloves.
  • On the other hand, painted natural nails were found to be less affected in terms of fingertip bacterial micro-biodiversity when compared to artificial ones, as per a 1993 study carried out by nursing researchers from Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

The bottom line is that you should make sure your fingernails are clean, short besides washing hands with antibacterial soaps.