Screen Shot 2014-10-17 at 3.37.04 PMWhile you may believe obsessing over your nails is rather normal and quite fine, researchers have discovered it can lead to more serious nail conditions.

According to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Nottingham, daily trimming of fingernails and toenails may make them more visually pleasing, but could disturb the balance of nails, causing residual stress to occur across the entire nail.

For the study lead author Cyril Rauch, along with his team, focused specifically on ingrown toenails. An overall nail shape equation was created to determine the mechanical stresses and energies associated with the nail. Researchers learned when the balance between the growth stress and adhesive stress is broken – if a nail grows too quickly or slowly, or the number of adhesive structures changes – a residual stress across the entire nail can occur. This can cause the nail to change shape over time. The stress can seen in either fingernails or toenails, but is more likely to occur in a larger, flatter size nail, which explains why ingrown toenails occur more frequent in the big toe.

“Looking at our results, we suggest that nail beauty fanatics who trim their nails on a daily basis opt for straight or parabolic edges, as otherwise they may amplify the imbalance of stresses which could lead to a number of serious conditions,” Rauch said.

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  • Brianna

    So, what is healthy then? How often should you trim your nails? I’ve heard once a week for fingers, and once every two weeks for toes.