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Dr K K Aggarwal

Nail Hygiene

By Dr K K Aggarwal
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  • Nails can harbor dirt and germs and contribute to the spread of many infections.
  • Keep nails short.
  • Trim nails often.
  • Scrub the underside of nails with soap or water each time you wash your hands.
  • Clean any nail grooming tools before use.
  • Nail grooming tools should be sterilized before use in saloon.
  • Avoid biting nails.
  • Avoid chewing nails.
  • Avoid cutting cuticles as they act as barriers to prevent infection.
  • Never rip or bite a hang nail, instead clip it with a clear sterilized nail trimmer (a hang nail is small torn piece of skin next to finger nail or toe nail).
  • Infections of the finger nails or toe nails are often characterized by swelling of the skin or thickening of the nail. In some cases these infections may be serious and need to be treated by a doctor.

Betel nut chewing can cause neck and head cancer

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  • Head and neck cancer accounts for more than 550,000 cases annually worldwide.
  • There is 5- to 25-fold increased risk of head and neck cancer in heavy cigarette smokers.
  • There is a significant increase in risk associated with pipe and cigar smoking as well.
  • Alcohol consumption significantly increases the risk of cancer in the upper aerodigestive tract.
  • Epstein Barr virus (EBV) is the primary etiologic agent in the pathogenesis of nasopharyngeal carcinoma.
  • Human papillomavirus (HPV) is implicated as a primary cause of oropharyngeal cancer.
  • Betel nut chewing is an independent risk factor for the development of squamous cell head and neck cancer. The effects are synergistic with tobacco and alcohol. Betel nut chewing is also implicated in the development of hepatocellular and esophageal cancer.
  • Some dietary factors have a role in protecting individuals from head and neck cancer. There is a protective effect associated with increased consumption of fruits and vegetables. Risk of nasopharyngeal carcinoma is increased in frequent consumers of preserved meats that contain high levels of added nitrites.