Strong, smooth nails are desirable as they can serve as indicators of good health. On the other hand, those with grooves, dents, and ridges serve as pointers to poor hygiene. Good thing these conditions can be avoided through proper nail care.
Water is essential to health, and nail health is no exception. Without adequate moisture, nails can become weak, and brittle. Drinking enough water helps your nails to retain moisture and stay strong. Hand creams can also be used as an alternative for moisturizing your nails.
Keep Your Nails Short.
Long nails are more likely to break off as they can easily be caught on things. Short nails, on the other hand, are less likely to be chipped, or cracked, and this helps them retain strength. Bearing this in mind, it would be wise to keep your nails on the shorter side more frequently.
Avoid Using Your Nails As Tools.
Several people have made a habit out of using their nails for jobs such as opening up soda cans or reaching into narrow spaces to grab objects. Unfortunately, this can result in your fingernails becoming weak and breaking off. Ideally, the pads of the fingers and not the nails should be used as they are more suited for these tasks.
Limit Use Of Artificial Products.
Frequent use of acrylic nails can cause the surface of your nails to peel off, which weakens them over time. If you must use acrylic nails, do not wear them continuously. Take them off often to allow your nails time to breathe.
Many nail polishes also contain harsh chemicals that weaken nails. Non-toxic ones that are less likely to cause harm to your nails should be used. Nail-polish removers for use must also be free from acetone.
If you have tried several remedies to strengthen your nails and nothing seems to be working, you may need to see your doctor. They will help ascertain if your brittle nails are a result of an underlying medical condition.
Some nail conditions likely to be associated with the underlying illness include:
• Changes in the nail shape and color, e.g curled nails and dark streaks under nails respectively.
• Swelling or pain in the skin surrounding nails.
• Thinning or thickening of nails.
• Bleeding and separation of the skin around the nails.
• Failure of nails to grow out.
To ensure your nails always look their best:
Keep Them Dry and Clean.
Repeated or prolonged contact with water can contribute to split nails and serve as a medium for bacteria to thrive. Submerging your hands in water can sometimes be unavoidable, but wearing rubber gloves when performing chores like dishwashing or cleaning with chemicals (many of them weaken nails on contact), is in your best interest.
Pay Attention To Your Diet.
One of the B-vitamins, B-7; also known as Biotin has been shown through research to not only help the body’s nervous system function properly but also to strengthen hair and nails.
Taking a biotin supplement or consuming foods rich in biotins such as legumes, sardines, and cooked eggs can make all the difference in the appearance of your nails. Before taking a biotin supplement, however, check-in with your healthcare provider to ensure it is safe for you.