Watch Your Nails For Signs Of Health Problems
Most of the time, nail problems can be traced to environmental assaults — exposure to harsh cleaning chemicals, use of drying nail products, or just general physical abuse, such as typing or excessive use of fingertips.
That said, the American Academy of Dermatology advises that the condition of your nails can sometimes reflect a problem in your overall health. Here’s what they say to look out for:
- White nails — liver condition
Avoid Nail Polish Remover Containing Acetone
Nail polish removers that contain acetone can dehydrate your nails and decrease nail strength after long-term use. Avoid acetone-based removers and instead choose an acetone-free version. While these aren’t quite as effective, they’re gentler and won’t dry your nails out as much.
Unfortunately, there are no truly non-toxic nail polish removers, as they all need to use solvents to break down the polish. If you can, give your nails a break between applications of polish and apply plenty of hydrating oil or lotion before your next manicure or pedicure.
Home Remedies To Make Your Nails Grow Faster
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Nails are composed of a fibrous protein called keratin, which also makes up the hair and skin. Nails grow rather slowly, usually up to 23 mm a month.
Fingernails are relatively faster to develop than toenails and, therefore, need to be filed more regularly, unless you want to keep them long for cosmetic appeal. However, maintaining long nails can be a difficult task as they accumulate dirt easily and are prone to cracking, splitting, or breakage.
Keeping your nails in good condition makes a great impression. Conversely, unclean, discolored, or chipped nails tend to reflect poorly on your hygiene and overall personality. Plus, this kind of negligence can further slow nail growth.
This article will discuss the various causes of slow nail growth and how to address it through nail care, remedies, and lifestyle choices.
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Use Gloves As Often As Needed
Excessive hand washing can damage your nails as constant exposure to soap or hot water can soften your nails, making them brittle and weak. In addition, constant contact with water can cause the nail to split, which can lead to a condition known as nail thrombosis.
Likewise, nails exposed to dry winter weather often become brittle. This happens especially when temperature fluctuations occur during the transition from inside to outside or vice versa. Your nails periodically expand and contract according to the temperature at which they are located. These frequent changes can weaken cells, making nails prone to breakage.
Therefore, wear gloves to protect your nails from damage from water or weather. Use rubber gloves lined with cotton when working with water, such as gardening, washing dishes, or cleaning the house. Wearing gloves also prevents dirt from getting to your nails, which prevents infections.
Additionally, be sure to dry your nails after swimming or showering to keep them dry and prevent bacterial growth.
Avoid Acrylic And Gel Manicures
Acrylics can seriously damage your natural nail beds making them prone to breakage. Application of acrylic nails involves filing the nails surface as well as dipping it in harsh chemicals including acetone which leads to thin, brittle, weak, and peeling nails. Hence, its best to avoid acrylics as much as possible if you want to grow your nails.
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Use Gloves Whenever Needed
Excessive hand washing can be damaging to your nails as constant exposure to soapy or hot water can soften your nails, making them brittle and weak. In addition, constant contact with water can cause nail splitting, which may lead to a condition known as onychoschizia.
Similarly, nails exposed to the dry winter weather often become brittle. This happens especially when temperature fluctuations occur while moving indoors to outdoors or vice versa. Your nails expand and contract periodically according to the temperature they are in. These repetitive changes can weaken the cells, making the nails prone to breakage.
Therefore, wear gloves to protect your nails from water- or weather-caused damage. Use cotton-lined rubber gloves while working with water, such as during gardening, doing the dishes, or housecleaning. Wearing gloves also prevents dirt from getting into your nails, preventing infections.
Additionally, make sure to wipe your nails dry after swimming or showering to keep them dry and prevent bacterial growth.
Use Hand Lotion Or Oil On Your Nails
Moisturizing your nails and cuticles with a good-quality hand cream can help improve their strength over time. Make sure to massage the lotion into and around your nails as you apply it to your hands.
Avoid commercial hand creams that can contain synthetic thickening agents and polyethylene glycol which may not help your nails. Instead, a more natural alternative is to choose a DIY body oil or a luscious homemade lotion with all-natural ingredients.
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Avoid Rough Emery Boards
Those old-fashioned orange emery boards are too harsh for nails, causing small fissures and cracks that lead to breakage and tears, says Ravits. Instead, she says, file nails with a smooth, fine file and don’t saw back and forth. Instead, Ravits says, file in one direction only, and do it slowly and evenly to reduce risk of breakage.
Don’t Overdo Hand Washing And Limit Contact With Cleaning Chemicals
As healthy as it can be to wash your hands frequently, overdo it and you’ll wreak havoc with your nails, says Stern. If you are in a profession where frequent hand washing is mandatory, she advises to use moisturizer as often as possible and rub a little extra around the cuticles several times a day.
When doing housework or laundry, Jamal says, minimize contact with harsh chemicals, including dishwashing liquid, by wearing rubber gloves whenever possible.
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Use A Cuticle Oil Daily
According to Ama Quashie, session manicurist and founder of Ama salon, the secret to growing your best nails is: hydration, hydration, hydration. ‘To have strong nails, they need to be healthy and to be healthy, they need to be hydrated,’ she says. ‘Cuticle oil works by hydrating the cuticle and nail bed, which is why it’s such an important step in nail care, whether you’re growing your nails or simply want them to look their best.’
Her favourites? Skip the pricey branded bottles and opt instead for organic Dadi oil or a simple jojoba: they’ll do the job just as well and don’t cost the earth.
Dont Forget To Hydrate
10. Moisturize. Moisturize. Moisturize. Dry hands are a major problem when it comes to maintaining nail strength and health. Thats why weve created ProSpa Protective hand, nail & cuticle cream.
11. Remember this: Healthy cuticles equal healthy nails. Stop picking, trimming or manipulating your cuticles in any way. Use ProSpa Nail + Cuticle Oil daily to repair, nourish and moisturize. Dry, brittle nails will only lead to splitting and chipping.
12. Say goodbye to dry skin around nails with the soothing and repairing ProSpa Exfoliating Cuticle Cream. Packed with white tea and essential minerals, itll transform delicate skin, leaving it ultra-nourished and hydrated.
Your hands say a lot about you, so keep those nails in good shape with these easy-to-follow tips. Want to learn more about the best way to keep your nails healthy and happy? Head to the OPI Nail Clinic, and dont forget to shop our full range of nail care products today.
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Home Remedy Nr 8 Diet For Nail Growth
A lack of nutrients is the most common reason for slow nail growth. Vitamin deficiencies make nails dull and brittle. A diet rich in vitamins, iron, zinc, calcium, and protein is highly beneficial for healthy nails. Therefore, having a balanced diet with fruits, vegetables, and nuts, but also protein-rich foods like eggs, almonds, yogurt, cheese, and buttermilk would be beneficial for making your nails stronger. Having jellies or other foods containing gelatin is also considered as a good natural cure for growing your nails faster.
You can always support your body with an extra portion of vitamins and minerals, as for example with our Zinc Capsules or our ZMA Capsules.
Home Remedy Nr 3 Horsetail
Add one teaspoon of dried horsetail stemsin two cups of boiling water. Steep it for about 10 minutes and finally drinkit as a herbal tea to cure brittle nails and enhance nail growth. If you dontlike the taste, add some honey. Soaking your nails in this mixture can alsohelp you to grow long and strong nails.
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Moisturize Your Hands And Nails Regularly
Frequently moisturizing your nails and the surrounding skin with a hand cream can prevent further impairment of the integrity of the nails, says Philadelphia-based dermatologist Rina Allawh, MD. Ointments, such as Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Vaniply Skin Protectant, pull a double-duty by nourishing your nails and protecting them from future damage by locking in moisture.
Cuticle oil helps to repair, nourish, and moisturize weak nails as well, says North Carolina-based board-certified dermatologist Sheel Desai Solomon, MD. I recommend LOccitane Shea Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Oil, she says. Its formulated with a high concentration of shea oil to help soften cuticles and nourish nails.
How To Make Nails Stronger
6. Even if you dont have time for a full manicure, applying a hydrating and strengthening base coat can prevent the nails from peeling and becoming weak. We recommend switching your regular base coat for one coat of Natural Nail Strengthener, which is formulated to help your nails grow stronger.
7. Switch your nail polish remover to Expert Touch Lacquer Remover. It sweeps away even the darkest lacquer shades without the drying effects of harsh removers. The acetone in harsh removers is rough on fragile nails and can dry them out almost instantly cue peeling, splitting and those unsightly white, mottled marks.
8. Take a look at your diet, strong nails need plenty of vitamins and minerals. Consider adding more protein , biotin , zinc and iron to your diet.
9. Make sure your nails are the correct shape as you grow them out. Your nail shape should follow your cuticle shape for easy strength and growth.
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Home Remedy Nr 2 Olive Oil & Lemon
This is one of the best natural ways to grow your nails faster and makethem stronger! Soak your nails in a mixture of three tablespoons of olive oiland one tablespoon of lemon juice for 10 minutes. Follow this home treatmentfor about 10 minutes every day to strengthen your nails.Simply applying warm olive oil to the ends of your nails also serves as aneffective treatment to grow your nails.
Myths About Nail Growth
Nail tissue is already dead by the time it is long enough to paint, so painting will not affect growth.
It is also a myth that applying vitamins directly to the nails can help them grow. These remedies are unlikely to help. At best, they strengthen the nail and prevent it from breaking.
No specific nail polish, such as a gel or powder, can improve nail health. In fact, some products, particularly those that require harsh methods for removal, may have adverse effects on nail health. The acetone that people use to remove gel nails can weaken nails despite the gel polish making them appear strong and healthy.
Understanding how nails grow can support lifestyle changes that promote nail health.
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Apply Cuticle Oil Daily
Cuticle care is always a good idea, problem nails or not. That’s because dehydrated, frayed cuticles can lead to damaged nailbeds and infection if they’re left untreated rehydrating and moisturizing that surrounding skin is key for top-notch nail care. Add a cuticle oil to your daily routine: Many options include fatty acids and vitamins that nourish the nails and fill in any micro-cracks in the skin.
While using the dropper daily is enough to keep nails healthy, chief educator of Paintbox Evelyn Lim says you can use a cuticle oil up to three times a day if your tips are feeling especially dehydrated . “Apply cuticle oil at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Why not?”
Change Your Nail Care Products
We think we are taking good care of our nails when we perform a little manicure at home, but sometimes, doing this wrong can do more harm than good.
Removing your nail polish with an acetone-free nail polish remover will also help to protect your nails.
This is because high levels of acetone can dry out the nail, making it become weaker.
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Bringing Your Own Tools To Your Nail Salon
This is the best thing you can do for your nail health, Draelos says. Using your own tools can help reduce your risk of developing fungal infection from shared instruments that arent properly sterilized. These infections are showing up in younger and younger salon patrons because adolescent girls are having birthday parties in nail salons. Nail parties are here to stay, and we are seeing nail fungus in young girls, she says.
To help combat fungal infections, many salons are offering clients antifungal liquids or gels, and that is all well and good, she says. But make sure your dermatologist knows if your salon uses one of these products as they can interfere with skin cultures done on your nails, she says.
Take Breathers Between Manicures
Bottom line: Your nails need to breathe. Constant use of polish, even non-toxic polish, can weaken the nail, says Dr. Solomon. If you find that your nails have become especially fragile , give them a month off from nail polish to allow them to grow and strengthen. Applying a keratin treatment between manicures, such as CND RescueRXx, can help nourish your nails during the hiatus.
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Choose Your Nail Products Wisely
The use of different nail polishes to increase the appeal of your nails is a common practice. However, nail polishes that contain toxic chemicals must be avoided as they can weaken your nails and make them brittle. These chemicals include camphor, formaldehyde resin, TPHP, dibutyl phthalate, toluene, and xylene.
Moreover, the use of nail polishes is often coupled with the frequent use of nail polish removers such as acetone. These products can strip the natural oils from your nails, leading to weak and brittle nails. The chemical-laden nail polish removers can also dehydrate your nails and cause discoloration, keratin granulations, splitting, and peeling.
It is suggested to use alternate products such as acetone-free nail polish remover pads for this purpose. This also eliminates the risk of gamma-butyrolactone poisoning, which usually happens when children accidentally ingest acetone-based nail polish removers that contain this harmful compound.
Another common nail beauty product to stay wary of is acrylic nails and acrylic gel manicures, especially from unlicensed salons. This artificial nail technique can increase the risk of nail and cuticle infections and conditions such as contact dermatitis.
Use A Skin Serum To Moisturize
Healthy skin is the key to healthy and strong nails. However, it is very common to damage the skin of the nail or push it too far, often increasing the risk of infection in the nail bed. Skin may also be damaged by medical conditions that reduce circulation to the extremities, such as diabetes.
To help strengthen your nails and increase blood flow to them, a quick massage is suggested. you can use Coconut Oil , Andolive oil , flaxseed oil, almond oil, double ointments, hand creams, and skin protectants to massage the skin.
Invest in a complexion oil that not only moisturizes the skin but also nourishes and repairs it, all of which contribute to better skin health. You can buy skin oils that contain a high percentage of shea oil.
Simply massage your nails gently with the product for 5-10 minutes. Put on cotton gloves as soon as the product is absorbed and leave it on overnight. Wash your nails in the morning with warm water. Eczema-friendly creams are also available for people with eczema.
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Try The Following Home Remedies
Various home remedies have been shown anecdotally to improve the health of nails. However, when trying these remedies, keep in mind that they are not backed by scientific evidence.
Since the remedies are generally safe, you can use them as an adjunct to other self-care measures and see if they work for you.
The following home remedies may aid in strengthening your nails:
- Mix one egg yolk with 2 tbsp of milk or cream, and apply the mixture to your nails. Wash it off after 1015 minutes. This remedy can help nourish your nails and make them stronger.
- To 1 tbsp of warm olive oil, add 1 tbsp of apple cider vinegar and 1 tbsp of beer and mix well. Soak your nails in this mixture for about 15 minutes.
- Dilute apple cider vinegar with equal amounts of water, and soak your nails in the solution for up to 10 minutes.
- Mix green tea, a few drops of wheat germ oil, and a pinch of salt. Soak your nails in the mixture for 5 minutes, and wipe them with a dry cloth.
- Add 1 tsp of lemon juice to 3 tsp of warm olive oil. Dab this solution on your nails using a cotton swab. Once the mixture is dry, cover your hands with soft, cotton gloves, preferably overnight.
Avoid Biting Your Nails
People often bite their nails out of boredom, nervousness, and various other reasons. While they may not realize the consequences of nail-biting immediately, years of this habit can damage the nails severely.
Repetitive nail-biting over a long period can shorten the nails, destroy the cuticles, and even damage the nail bed. In addition, it increases the chances of developing a bacterial or fungal infection.
Therefore, quit this habit at the earliest to preserve the health of your nails. Applying a bitter-tasting polish on your nails may help control the habit. Also, try to determine the physical or mental triggers that initiate this habit and work to improve the condition.
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