You can see the problems in your nails just by looking at them. Sometimes, thin, horizontal and white lines or pits may appear on the nail surface. Also, color changes are one of the most common problems.
Even if you don’t experience any of these flaws, you should consider your nail health. Your nails can provide valuable clues about your overall health.
Nails and Your Health
Nails are made up of a tough protein layer called keratin. Your nails are an important indicator of your overall health. Healthy nails should be smooth and firm, free of any dents or grooves, and consistent in color.
If your nails are growing slower than average and you want them to grow healthier and faster, there are a few natural remedies and care techniques that can help.
Tips for Healthy Nails
Tips to Consider to Have Strong and Healthy Nails
Try the following tips to protect your nail health, prevent infections, and improve nail appearance:
- Keep your nails clean and dry.
- Avoid biting or plucking nails.
- Apply moisturizer to your nails and edges every day. Creams containing urea, phospholipids or lactic acid can help prevent cracking.
- File your nails in one direction and slightly round the tip instead of cutting it straight.
- Don’t cut your nails too deeply or clean under your nails too deeply as this can cause an infection.
- Do not scrape your ingrown toenails. If it bothers you, see a dermatologist.
- Do not use nail polish removers containing acetone or formaldehyde.
- Bring your own tools if you have frequent manicures.
- If you use fake nails, check them regularly for green discoloration (a sign of bacterial infection).
- Eat a balanced diet and, if necessary, take vitamin supplements containing biotin and other vitamins under the advice and supervision of your dermatologist.
- Finally, get advice from your dermatologist during your next visit to protect your nails.
Use Biotin Supplements
Biotin is an important type of B vitamin that enables the body to convert food into energy. It is also recommended for use as a supplement to help increase the strength of your hair and nails.
Many human studies suggest that taking a biotin supplement every day can help strengthen nails. Some scientists say that doses of 2.5 milligrams of biotin several times a day can improve nail strength in a matter of weeks. Biotin is found naturally in the following foods:
- Brewer’s yeast
- Cooked eggs
- Nuts such as hazelnuts and pistachios
- Whole grains
- Soy and other bean varieties
Use Nail Hardener
The softness of the nails makes them more prone to breakage, which causes the nail to re-grow. To prevent nails from breaking, experts normally recommend nail hardeners. These are products that can be applied on the nail like a nail polish and then removed with nail polish remover.
Hardening polish helps strengthen nails and prevent breakage in the short term. However, experts say that long-term use of nail hardeners can sometimes make nails weaker and more prone to breakage.
Avoid Using False Nails and Toxic Nail Polish
Researchers show that regular use of glue-applied fake nails can weaken your own nails and make them more prone to breakage. You should also apply nail polishes that contain little or no toxic chemicals on your nails. Use water-based nail polish that is stated to be non-toxic.
You should avoid the following ingredients:
- Dibutyl phthalate (DBP)
Practice Good Nail Care
Regular nail care can also help increase the strength of your nails, encourage their growth and reduce breakage. Some of the ways to keep your nails healthy include:
- Keeping your nails dry and clean; It prevents the growth of bacteria underneath.
- Use sharp manicure clippers or nail clippers to trim your nails straight.
- Leave the tips of your nails rounded.
- Moisten your hands and nails with a lotion, especially around the nails.
- Avoid biting nails or cutting your nails too short.
What Causes Unhealthy Nails?
Health problems can cause nails to grow abnormally. Some common nail growth problems include:
- Changes in color
- Change in thickness or shape
- Separating the nail from the surrounding skin
- Swelling or pain around the nail
The growth of your nails slows down as you age. Slowed nail growth can also be a sign of illness or malnutrition. It can even be caused by certain medications.
In addition, hormones play a role in nail growth. Younger people tend to have nails that grow faster than older people, and men and pregnant women experience faster nail growth than others. In healthy adults, the average nail growth is about 3.5 millimeters per month.
Bottom Line: Your nails are a reflection of your overall health. A healthy diet is important if you want strong, fast-growing, healthy nails. This includes eating a well-balanced diet filled with fresh fruits and vegetables, lean sources of protein, adequate carbohydrates and plenty of healthy fats.
However, sometimes nails need a little help getting healthier and stronger. Get advice from your dermatologist at this stage because sometimes nail problems can be related to anemia, system diseases, nutritional problems and medications used. Remember, you can’t magically grow your nails out fast. But if you take care of your nails, they’ll get stronger and last longer, making them less prone to breakage.