Paying attention to your nails is pretty important, regardless of whether or not you're frequently getting manis and pedis. Without even knowing, your fingernails may be sending you signals from underneath your favorite red lacquer. Here is how to read the signs, and figure out what info your fingernails are sending your way.
Peeling, weakened, and splitting nails can be caused by both external and internal factors. Trauma or damage to the nail, applying false nails or acrylics, picking off nail polish, prolonged water exposure, or any activity that presses on your nail bed will cause your nails to thin and weaken. Peeling can also be caused by a vitamin or iron deficiency. An easy way to tell the difference between internal and external cause is to compare your fingernails and toenails. If your fingernails are peeling but your toenails are not, you mostly likely are a little rough on your hands.
- Dry Cuticles
The most common condition may seem obvious. Dry cuticles typically mean that your skin lacks hydration. If you are constantly washing your hands, using harsh soap or antibacterial solution, your cuticles need a daily dose of cuticle oil. Massaging your cuticle oil, cream, or hand cream every day will make all the difference in your cuticle condition.
- White Spots
Contrary to what most people think, white spots on your nails are not a calcium deficiencey; they are most typically casued by tiny traumas to your nail bed. This could be from something as simple as banging your finger (which can take up to 8 months to grow out). White spots can also be the result of a nail fungus, which is treatable with a topical solution.
- Chronic Brittle or Breaking Nails
There are a few reasons your nails could be brittle. Exposure to water or harsh soaps or detergents will most certainly do the trick. Wearing gloves while working in water and being consistent with hand cream, and using a good nail strengthener for brittle nails (like Nailtiques) are the quickest fixes. If you notice a change in the thickness, color, or condition of your nails, or do not notice improvement once you stop exposing them to water, you may want to consult your doctor or dermatologist to rule out any internal disorders.
- Yellowing or Discolored Nails
Smoking, neglecting to use a base coat, and consistently using nail polish use are the most common reasons for yellow nails. Using a good base coat, giving your nails a few days rest from color every so often, and nail bleach are all easy solutions. If your yellowing is a result of a nail fungus, anti fungal medication will destroy the fungus, but not necessarily remove the discoloration. Some discoloration may be removed with a light block buffer, while remaining discoloration will grow out within a few months.
- Dark Vertical Lines of Color
Dark lines under your nail may be a result of benign moles. However, if you notice new single bands of color under your nails, it could signal something more serious like melanoma. If you notice this, check with your dermatologist to stay on the safe side.
- Separating From the Bed
This is usually due to either injury to the nail bed, infection of the nail bed, a drug reaction, thyroid disease, or psoriasis. When there is a space between the nail and the bed, bacteria can become trapped and infections can occur. In the case of minor injury, the nail will usually reattach within a few months. However if you think you may have a more serious condition, ask your doctor.
- Hard as Rock
If your nails are hard and strong, it’s a good bet that you are in good health! Keep up the great diet, exercise, and nail care regimen, and reward yourself with a mani and pedi, or a new polish color!
Posted by Tammy Taylor