The health is (literally) in your hands and just give them a look or, better still, give it to the nails to see if there is something wrong with your body. As it is explained on the Prevention website, if the nails appear dry and fragile, to the point of breaking often and easily like brittle nails, the causes can be many. Here are the eight main ones:
1 – Do not take enough iron
Iron makes the formation of hemoglobin, a molecule that carries red blood cells loaded with oxygen to the nail matrix. As a consequence, a lack of this fundamental mineral does not allow the nails to grow in the right way, often modifying their shape.
The advice: if you see some depressions on the nails, it is appropriate to do a blood test and, once established the iron deficiency, to enrich your diet with foods rich in iron, such as spinach, white beans, oysters and dark chocolate.
2 – Write and type without stopping
The sound of nails that incessantly beat the keys of the PC or smartphone keyboard not only gives the nerves to those around you but in the long run this constant typing also puts a strain on the same nails, that end up breaking or ruining the edges. The advice: shortens the nails so you can type on the keys using only the fingertip.
3 – Use the cream only in the morning
Whenever you wash your hands, the water dries the skin. And if the cuticles are dry, it is likely that it is also the matrix. Which means that the nails that will form will be easier to break up. The advice: during the day apply several times the hand cream. Choosing one to quickly absorb and paying particular attention to the area under the matrix. And the area that goes from the cuticles to the second knuckle of the finger.
4 – Keep the enamel too long
All the enamels contain ingredients that tend to remove moisture from the nail plate, thus ending up weakening it. “And this annoying action continues even once the polish has dried out,” warns Professor Ellen Marmur, a dermatologist at Mount Sinai in New York. The advice: remove the enamel after five days, or when you see that it begins to get damaged, and lets the nails breathe for at least 48 hours before reapplying it.
5 – Mistakes to Put the Nail
In spite of the name, the base should never be placed on bare nails. Because the chemicals it contains can consume the nail plate, making it weaker and easier to break. The advice: put a small amount of hand cream on the nails, so as to fill the microscopic grooves and hydrate them, then let it dry and remove the excess cream, before applying the base and then the enamel.
6 – Cut the cuticles
The cuticles are essentially the protections placed between nail and skin. It serves to repair the nail from water, bacteria and anything else that touches. Cutting them eliminate this protection and expose the nails to the risk of infections. Tip: gently push back the cuticles with a face towel after a shower and never cut them for any reason.
7 – You have a vitamin deficiency
Biotin (otherwise known as vitamin B7 or vitamin H) is a water-soluble vitamin. Biotin comes with proven properties to strengthen nails and hair. A study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology has confirmed that taking 2.5 mg of biotin per day improves the nail resistance and reduces frailty after six to nine months.
The advice: biotin is found in foods (especially in eggs, salmon, beef, sweet potatoes, and almonds). But if for some reason your diet lacks these foods. It may be useful to use a supplement, subject to medical supervision. “One dose of 2.5 mg per day is sufficient – recommended dermatologist Dana Stern of the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York – but remember that it takes months to see the results.”
8 – Use acetone to remove the enamel
Not enough its pungent and particularly unpleasant odor. To advise against the use of acetone is also the fact that, together with the enamel. This solvent also removes natural oils from the nails, leaving them more fragile and easy to break. «And also non-acetone solvents are to be avoided – warns Dr. Ella Toombs, the dermatologist from Washington – because they can dry out a lot of nails». The advice: choose a solvent based on soy and without acetone, which contains oils that leave the nails well hydrated and protected.