5 common nail problems and how to fix them
Despite our best efforts, sometimes normally healthy nails can start to look a little worse for wear. Most of the time this is simply due to a minor chip in our nail polish. But when real nail problems occur such as discolouration or brittle nails, it takes more than a quick trip to the salon to fix.
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We spoke to National Mavala Trainer, Tracey Winder, to cover five of the most common nail problems and how to fix them.
There are a number of factors that come into play for yellow nails to occur. According to Tracey, “the causes can vary from simple common causes such as overuse of nail polish without first applying a protective base coat or smoking through to more serious issues such as lymphatic concerns or what’s called ‘mycosis’ or when the nail is infected by a fungus.” Tracey says that mycosis usually develops after the nail has sustained some kind of micro-trauma.
So how do you fix unsightly yellow nails? “It’s important to first seek medical advice to ascertain the extent of the problem and whether or not prescribed medicines are required,” says Tracey. Once you’ve determined that the yellowing is simply caused from failing to prepare the nail plate, it’s time to get yourself a base coat to protect the nails from staining and improve the lasting hold of nail polish.
Dry, cracked or brittle nails
Dry, cracked or brittle nails are usually an indicator of a poor diet, since dietary deficiencies not only prevent nails from growing normally but can cause weakness and brittleness. “This nail disorder can also be linked to fatigue and illnesses, like metabolic problems, anemia or endocrine disorders,” says Tracey. Believe it or not, even taking certain medicines can cause nail trauma.
Tracey stressed that it’s important to eat well and minimise nail contact with harsh substances. “Vitamins A,B,C,D and E are the most important for healthy nails, so ensure your diet covers the full spectrum of food groups,” she says. Make sure you’re getting enough minerals like calcium, iodine, iron and magnesium, and always apply a nutritive nail solution to restore hydration and elasticity. Don’t forget to keep nails short to minimis trauma and damage.
White spots on nails
“This condition affects the nail plate and is caused by small air bubbles being trapped between nail cells,” explains Tracey. This is usually hereditary, but sometimes can be caused by other factors such as bad tissue nutrition or trauma from a bad manicure. Interestingly enough, these spots can be linked to menstruation too.
Tracey says that it’s important to go gentle on your nails and improve your diet with foods that promote healthy nail growth like carrots, green vegetables, eggs and fish. If you can’t stand the look of white spots, you can hide them easily under a coat of polish, so keep your nails painted! “If you wear nail polish all the time, make sure you choose one that lets your nail breathe and is free from toxic ingredients like parabens, camphor and nickel to name a few,” recommends Tracey.
Horizontal or vertical ridges
Horizontal or vertical ridges are troublesome and can be linked back to a variety of factors including diet, certain dermatological disorders or even an illness. “Persistent immersion in water, detergents or solvents can cause severe dehydration, resulting in nail ridges,” says Tracey.
If it’s a dietary deficiency, this could mean a lack of the mineral sulfur in your diet. “This is readily available in protein rich foods such as meat, poultry, eggs and milk,” says Tracey. But don’t stress if you’re vegan! You can get your mineral sulphur intake through garlic, onions, cabbage, cucumbers, brussel sprouts, turnips, nuts, kale, lettuce, kelp and raspberries. A ridge-filler product is another solution that will help to even out the nail surface and treat the nail at the same time.
bh loves: Mavala Switzerland Ridge Filler
“The most common causes of soft nails are prolonged exposure to certain substances, such as detergents or solvents, without wearing gloves and nutritional deficiencies, in particular in silicium,” says Tracey. But soft nails can also be caused by taking certain medications or and by an unhealthy lifestyle with lack of sleep, exercise and a poor diet.
Your nails might just need a helping hand with a nail hardener to protect the nail plate. In terms of your diet, it’s important to ensure it’s rich in silicium, a mineral likened to ‘cell cement’, helping nails to grow faster and be more resistant. You can find silicium in vegetables, prunes, whole cereals and garlic. “Look after your nails when immersed in water or using heavy duty cleaning products by wearing gloves,” says Tracey.
bh loves: Manicare Daily Nail Hardener
Have you had experienced any of these common nail problems? How do you keep your nails healthy?
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