trimming nails
Regular grooming affects balance of a nail; makes it suffer from residual stress and leads to changes in its shape and curvature, researchers, while explaining the occurrence, said in a statement.Tamaki Sono/Flickr

Too much trimming is not good for your nails, says a new research.

Researchers at the University of Nottingham in the UK found that the habit of cutting fingernails and toenails daily, increased the risk of having many serious nail conditions, including ingrown toe nails, spoon-shaped nails and pincer nails.

Regular grooming affects the balance of a nail, makes it suffer from residual stress and leads to changes in its shape and curvature, researchers revealed in a statement, while explaining the occurrence.

While investigating causes of ingrown toe nails, they identified certain microscopic structures that helped nails to stick to their bed and grow forward. They also realised that a balance between growth and adhesive stress was required to keep nails healthy. Any disturbance to the balance, including an increase or decrease in the speed with which a nail grew, caused residual stress across the entire nail.

Intensity of this residual stress went up with an increase in the nail size and when it had a flatter edge, a point that explained why ingrown toe nails are more found in the big toe.

Apart from poor trimming, age and changes in metabolic activity can also increase residual stress and lead to ingrown toenails, the researchers said.

"It is remarkable what some people are willing to do to make their nails look good, and it is in this context that I decided to look at what we really know about nails. Reading the scientific literature on nails I quickly realised that very little physics or maths had been applied to nails and their conditions," lead author of the study Cyril Rauch, said in a news release.

"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."

The study has been reported in Physical Biology.

A nail plate can be considered as healthy, only when it is pink in colour and when the nail is white in colour while growing off the nail bed, according to The Better Health Channel (BHC) of the State Government of Victoria in Australia.

Nails are formed by a hardened protein called keratin. According to the Medline Plus, changes in colour and growth rate of nails may be an early indication of an underlying medical condition including diabetes, anaemia, diseases of the heart, kidney or liver.