How To Take Proper Care of Natural Nails

Nail-clipping should be straightforward enough—trim them when they get long, roughly every few weeks. But that baseline regimen barely scratches the surface of proper nail care. With the right adjustments and Intel, you can prevent hangnails, minimize trimmings, and maintain smooth geometric perfection. No need to see a manicurist, either: You can do it all from the comfort of your toilet seat. The cuticle expert gave us her top tips—to get your nail care game where it needs to be: Proper-Care-of-Your-Nail

Don’t cut straight across

When cutting your fingernails, be certain you’re using one of those smaller, rounded-blade clippers; they’re the ones designed for fingers, and they work well on your smaller toes. Check out the reviews of best nail clippers from BestViva to make the best purchase. They cut cleanly without crushing or cracking nails.

When using the rounded fingernail clippers, you still need to cut the nails at an angle, since the curve of the blade doesn’t match the curve of your nail. “A common mistake men and women make when trimming their own nails is the angle at which they approach it,” says Lippmann. “Clipping straight-on can bend and ultimately damage the nail.”

The nails should (literally) reflect your cuticles

If you’re unsure of what shape your nails should have, just look at your cuticles. Imagine your nail as an oval—an odd oval, yes. The U-shape of the cuticle should be reflected (upside down) by the top of your nail. And, since the top is often wider than the cuticle, you may have to adjust for size; the primary goal here is to mirror the shape.

Leave a little white

As for nail length, there’s a small spectrum of acceptable lengths. You should leave at least a sliver of “white” at the top of your nails—that space where the nail starts to separate from the skin it protects. (One or two millimeters, in our book.) If you look at your fingers from the side, the whites of the nails shouldn’t be so long that they start to divorce the rounded shape of the finger. If the nail is so long that it extends past the fingertips, you’re due for a trim.

Start filing your nails, and do it right

You’re not going to get a smooth, perfect cut with the nail clippers—that’s just step one. And, while many clippers come with a built-in file, it’s a sub-par option compared to an Emory board file. “An Emory board is how you get even nails, shaped to perfection,” says Lippmann. You can use one to smoothen the arch of the nails after a trim, or you can file your nails every few days to maintain a standard length.

Tend to the cuticles

Push and clip your cuticles weekly. That’s the best way to prevent painful hangnails from developing. Many nail clippers have an attachment that helps uproot excess skin. Very gently pry this skin upward so that it’s easy to trim. “These are the only pieces of skin that you should nip,” says Lippmann. “The cuticle protects nails from infection, so if cut improperly, it allows bacteria and fungus to infect the nail bed.”

Moisturize, moisturize, moisturize

Apply hand lotion daily, and distribute it to the nails. Do this immediately following any self-administered manicuring, too. Lotion is both an offense and defense: It will keep nails polished and strong, while nourishing any lingering hangnails or freshly nipped cuticles.

Don’t Let Where You Live Stop You From Going to Rehab

There’s a lot of media hype about drugs turning cities into urban hellholes. Yes, some cities do have large drug problems, but cities aren’t the only places where people can get addicted to drugs or alcohol. It happens to plenty of people who live in rural areas as well. Think about life out in the country. There’s not much to do on the weekend except maybe go to a high school football game. Or you could get some alcohol from your friend’s older brother and have a big party. Don’t-Let-Where-You-Live-Stop-You-From-Going-to-Rehab.

When people are feeling bored and aimless, they’re more likely to get in trouble. That doesn’t mean moving to a big city with lots of street festivals will save you from a life of addiction, because life is never that simple. But plenty of rural teens have gotten addicted to drugs or alcohol. Some parents think that moving their kids out into the country will save them from bad influences, but there are bad influences everywhere nowadays.

But even if living in a small town won’t necessarily save you from addiction, it also doesn’t have to doom you. You can still get help even if you’re not near a major metro area. You may have to travel farther or seek outpatient services, but it absolutely can be done.

Explore your options

It’s important to know that there are rehab facilities located in all kinds of places. Some facilities even seek out smaller towns because they want their residents to have fewer distractions from the outside world. And the centers  in big cities serve plenty of people from outlying areas as well. A place like Beachway Therapy Center is committed to helping residents in Tampa with addiction, but it’s also devoted to helping residents from all over Florida and the Southeast.

Health insurance coverage plays a large role in where and how people get help for their issues as well. Some insurance companies may want you to go to facilities in a certain area or network, but if you’re willing to jump through some insurance hoops, you should be able to find a situation that works for you. A change of scenery can do wonders for you mentally as well. You have plenty of options that don’t include staying in your hometown and slowly wasting away due to drugs or alcohol.  

You have to be ready to make a change before going to rehab. Most addicts have to hit rock-bottom before they can admit they have an issue. It should go without saying, but if you or someone you’re with looks like he or she is overdosing, call 911. It doesn’t matter if you’re in the middle of a big city or in the middle of nowhere. It’s not the time to worry about police finding you with drugs; this is a life or death situation that requires immediate medical attention.
A trip to the hospital is enough to scare some people straight, but you shouldn’t try to detox on your own. Detoxing is hard on the mind and body, and you should do it in a controlled setting. You can beat addiction, but it’s best to have a team full of professionals on your side when you start the fight.

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Dealing with Hearing Issues

Dealing-With-Hearing-LossSociety doesn’t like to talk about the hearing loss that comes with age. It’s a reminder that we’re getting older, which is in turn a reminder of our own mortality. We rationalize it and tell ourselves that it’s fine, and we’ll just lean in closer when someone is talking, and surely no one will really notice anything is wrong, right? Unfortunately, people notice. It’s one thing if you have trouble making out certain words and phrases in the middle of a loud, crowded party. It’s another thing if you struggle to hear something being said to you in the middle of a quiet library.

Hearing loss can be embarrassing and inconvenient, but it can also be dangerous. Most states have laws requiring drivers to move over if there’s an ambulance or emergency vehicle coming through. If you can’t hear the wail of an ambulance siren, then you won’t know to move over. That’s putting yourself and others in a perilous situation. The best-case scenario in that situation is that a cop pulls you over and gives you a ticket. You’ll probably be shaken up by such an experience, but it won’t do you much good if you don’t use that lesson to start searching for a solution to your hearing loss.

Hearing aids and beyond

People with bad hearing can often be afraid of hearing aids. They think they’re bulky and unattractive, but the truth is, hearing aids have come a long way in recent years. An experienced audiologist can evaluate your hearing and talk to you about what sort of hearing aids might work best for your particular needs. Cosmetic concerns play a part, just like they do when you visit the dentist or go to the eye doctor. Communication style and financial considerations will also have a role in this process, since there’s no one-size fits all solution to helping patients hear better. Some people prefer in-the-ear hearing aids, or ITE, while others like behind-the-ear devices, or BTE. There are even accessories that work with Bluetooth to stream phone calls directly to your hearing aid. People with bad hearing can often be afraid of hearing aids. They think they’re bulky and unattractive, but the truth is, People with bad hearing can often be afraid of hearing aids. They think they’re bulky and unattractive, but the truth is, digital hearing aids that are rechargeable have come a long way in recent years

Not everyone goes to a hearing clinic for the same issue, of course. Tinnitus is a poorly-misunderstood condition that can cause a lot of misery if it’s not treated properly. Hearing roaring, buzzing, clicking, and hissing noises with no apparent source can make you feel like you’re losing your sanity. Tinnitus can be caused by age-related hearing loss, or it can be caused by things like medication prescribed by your doctor. It may even be related to impacted earwax buildup, a condition that’s just as fun as it sounds.

Sometimes people blame themselves for their hearing loss. They think things like “I went to too many death metal concerts in college” or “I really should have worn earplugs when I was mowing the lawn.” Some experiences can certainly be more damaging to your eardrums than others (ask war veterans who spent time in combat zones), but to some degree or another, hearing loss happens to us all. If you’re experiencing it, then it’s not going to do you much good to worry about the past. The past is gone, and now it’s time to focus on creating a brighter future, one where you no longer have to say, “Sorry, I can’t hear you.”

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How Winter Tests Your Home

Are you ready for the winter that is coming?How-winter-tests-your-home

How Winter Tests Your Home

 

People tend to associate winter with lots of wear and tear on the body. Your skin is dryer. Your feet are always cold. Depending on how dry the climate is, you may even be prone to nosebleeds and need a humidifier. It’s true that harsh winters take a toll on the body, but it’s also true that harsh winters can really do a number on your home. 

Rain and snow build-up 

There are two types of weather patterns you tend to hear a lot about in winter: La Niña and El Niño. In the former case, the northern part of the U.S. is generally colder and wetter than average, while the southern portion is dryer and warmer. In the latter, the northern parts tend to be warmer and drier while the southern parts are cooler and wetter. That doesn’t mean El Niño is going to bring a blizzard to New Orleans, just that New Orleans will be colder and rainier. The effects of climate change may worsen these weather patterns, but we’re not to the point where we expect January heat waves in Montana or major snow events in South Florida. 

Still, the areas that get more precipitation than usual in winter are also more likely to see structural damage to their homes, office buildings, and even carports. Some roofs just aren’t graded to receive the massive amounts of snow and rain that can fall. If you drive through an area that received a ton of snow, you’ll likely see a lot of warped, twisted carports. Most carports can only take so much before they start to wither under the pressure. 

A lot of rain and snow can also mess up the plumbing. Old pipes that can’t handle the load are more likely to crack both literally and figuratively. It can happen anywhere in the U.S. If you’re in the Southeast during an El Niño year, you  may have to call a South Florida plumber after a particularly heavy rainstorm. If you’re living in Colorado and get a foot of snow during a La Niña year, you may find yourself looking for drain cleaning services in the Greater Denver area. 

It’s easy to forget about the plumbing when you’re busy trying to dig your car out of the snow with nothing more than a shovel and some pluck. But if there’s an issue, you’ll find out sooner rather than later, although hopefully not when the toilet overflows and floods your bathroom. 

Around October or so, you’ll usually hear weather forecasters list the chances of a La Niña or El Niño winter. There are also neutral winters where there’s not really enough evidence to support either pattern developing. The two patterns don’t necessarily alternate years, either, as the winter of 2017-2018 is looking like it will be the second year in a row where the Northern Hemisphere will have to deal with La Niña. It’s all about which way the sea surface temperatures are trending. 

Some people love winter, while others hate it with a passion. However you feel about it, keep an eye on the forecasts and make sure you’re prepared for a range of possible outcomes.