Having strong, healthy nails is not just a matter of cosmetics. Your nails can also be an indication of your overall health.
Your nails may become brittle and break if you don’t have a healthy hygiene and self-care routine.
If you’re looking to improve the condition of your finger and toenails, here are 7 tips to help you achieve stronger, healthier nails.
Eat a Healthful and Balanced Diet
What you eat can have a big impact on the health of your nails. Nails are primarily made of a protein called keratin. Other nutrients that are important for nail health include vitamins A, B7, C, and E, as well as biotin and zinc. A deficiency in any of these nutrients can result in problems with your nails (and many other health problems).
Eating a variety of nutritious vegetables and protein sources every day will generally provide all the nutrition you need. Your doctor may recommend supplements if dietary sources are not possible.
Keep Your Nails Trimmed and Filed
One of the simplest ways to keep your nails looking their best is to keep them trimmed and filed regularly. Use nail scissors or clippers to trim your nails to the desired length, and then use a nail file to smooth out any rough or jagged edges. Be sure to file your nails in one direction rather than sawing back and forth, as this can weaken the nail.
Protect Your Nails From Damage
Your nails can be easily damaged by everyday activities like typing, washing dishes, and carrying heavy objects. To protect your nails from damage, try wearing gloves when doing tasks that could be rough on your nails.
Also, avoid using your nails as a tool to open or remove things. Use a knife or another appropriate tool for the task rather than your vulnerable fingernails.
Avoid Biting Your Nails
Nail biting can weaken and damage your nails, leading to breakage and other problems. Biting your nails damages not only the nail itself but also the skin around the nail, which can lead to infections.
Keep your nails trimmed short to make them less tempting to bite.
More serious cases of nail biting may require therapy treatments to correct the behavior (or to address the underlying stressors that lead to nail-biting).
Moisturize Your Nails and Cuticles
Just like the skin on your face and body, your nails and cuticles need moisture to stay healthy. Dry nails are more prone to breaking and splitting, so it’s important to keep them moisturized.
To moisturize your nails and cuticles, try using cuticle oil or lotion on a daily basis. You can also massage a nourishing oil like olive oil or coconut oil into your nails and cuticles to help keep them hydrated.
Avoid Harsh Chemicals
Exposure to harsh chemicals can weaken and damage your nails, so it’s important to be cautious about the products you use on your nails.
Avoid using nail polish removers that contain acetone, and consider using natural or organic nail care products instead.
When using cleaning products or doing tasks that involve chemicals, make sure to wear gloves to protect your nails.