Our nails are an essential part of the body. Aside from being an aesthetic feature, they play the crucial role of protecting our fingerprints. Besides, they can also help us become aware of certain underlying health issues. Unfortunately, most of us do not know how to protect our nails, unknowingly damaging them out of habit or ignorance. So here are five things you need to stop doing to your nails to improve their health.
Indeed, gel manicures are increasingly becoming popular. But do you know how well you take off your gel manicures can impact your nail health? The worst thing you can do to your nails is to attempt to peel them off once gel polish starts chipping or lifting, as this can damage the top layer of your nails. When this happens, the result is weak and brittle nails. However, instead of peeling off gel nails, you should consider visiting a professional nail salon to have them removed safely.
Most of us mistreat our nails by using them as tools. For example, some people use their nails to open cans, lids, or scratch-off stickers. Unfortunately, these habits are dangerous to the health of your nails as they can result in serious damage. In addition, your nails were never designed to withstand pressure, so if you continue using them as tools, they will weaken, split and break. Therefore, it would make sense to discipline yourself to use tools such as scissors, screwdrivers, and can openers to avoid damaging your nails.
Even though acrylic nails are very popular due to their durable and long-lasting effects, they can cause damage to natural nails. The reason is that when applying acrylic nails, chemicals are often used to bond the nails. Of course, such chemicals can cause your nails to thin out, weakening them over time. In addition, the weight of the acrylics can easily put extra pressure on your nail beds, resulting in discomfort and infections. Therefore, to keep your nails healthy, it would help if you ditch acrylics for either a gel manicure or a natural look.
Nail biting is one of those bad habits that can ruin the health of your nails. Aside from being unhealthy, there are indications that biting your nails can cause severe damage, including infections and ingrown nails. So, if you are already addicted to biting your nails, you must find ways to stop this bad habit. For example, you could use bitter-tasting nail polish on your nails. You could also wear gloves to prevent access to your nails. Finally, you can explore other ways of relieving stress, like meditation or exercise.
Most of us always instinctively pull out our hanging nails. Although we feel it is harmless, it can cause more harm than good. For example, pulling off hanging nails can damage the surrounding skin, increasing your risk of infections. However, we can stop this bad habit by using sharp scissors to trim our nails instead. It will also help to apply a small quantity of antiseptic cream or oil to the area to prevent infections.
However, aside from stopping certain habits, here are five things you could do to strengthen your nails;
Keeping your nails clean and dry can go a long way to strengthening them. Nails that are always wet and dirty are more prone to infections that can weaken the nails over time. However, it would be best to be intentional when caring for your nails. Try washing your hands regularly, with soap or hand shampoo, especially after contact with water or dirt, to keep them healthy. Also, always dry them thoroughly, as wet nails can quickly be breeding grounds for infections.
It would be best to improve your nail hygiene to strengthen your nails. Of course, nail hygiene is much more than washing and drying your nails. It also includes trimming, filing, and shaping them regularly, or visit your professional nail technician on a consistent basis. Also, learn to protect your nails by avoiding biting or using them as tools. Above all, it would help if you use the proper tools for your nail care regimen. For example, using nail clippers instead of scissors is vital to avoid splitting your nails. Also, you would protect your nails by filing them in one direction instead of back and forth.
You also need the right products to strengthen and improve your nail health. Cuticle oil is highly recommended as it helps moisturize and strengthen your nails. There are also indications that applying cuticle oil twice every day can help prevent your nails from becoming dry and brittle, making them less prone to breakage. Cuticle oils are readily available in drug stores, and the best way to apply them for optimal effectiveness is by massaging them gently into your nails and cuticles.
Aside from cuticle oil, you should also try biotin. If you need help using it, you can ask your doctor for explanations. Biotin is one of the B vitamins that play the crucial function of strengthening nails and improving their thickness. Studies have revealed that consuming 2.5mg of biotin daily may help improve nail firmness, hardness, and thickness. But then, your doctor is the right person to recommend the proper dosage for you, so it would make sense if you consult before taking it.
Most people who frequently go to nail salons are at a high risk of suffering from nail problems. The reason is that most manicures, especially acrylic nails, are done with chemicals that could result in adverse side effects. So, if you frequent nail salons, consider getting an enhancement gel layer to your nails to protect and strengthen your nails over time. But then, it's advisable to always go to a reputed hair salon to get the safest nail enhancement gels.
Protecting and strengthening your nails can be easy if you follow the tips. However, if you have any concerns, you can consult your doctor or dermatologist to rule out any underlying health issues.