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Preventing Brittle Nails

Preventing Brittle Nails

By: Teresa Hall

The exposure to such chemicals can cause our nails to become dry, resulting in brittle nails that crack, peel, break and spilt. We spend a lot of our daily lives exposing our nails to harsh chemicals, whether through the nail procedures we have performed upon our hands at the salon or the chemicals we use to clean our homes.

The most common reason our nails become brittle, other than chemical exposure, is an excessive exposure to water. If this isn’t a reason to justify a dishwasher, nothing it! Water will soften the nail and break down the fibers, which in turn makes them more susceptible to breaking, tearing or peeling.

Obviously we cannot go without putting our hands in water, but we can take precautions to keep our nails healthy. One quick tip that doesn’t involve much effort is to wear gloves while washing the dishes. This not only protects the nails, it protects the skin on our hands, which tend to show signs of aging faster than any other part of the body.

Here are a few more ways to protect your nails from drying out and becoming brittle:
•Only use fingernail polish remover that is acetone free and contains conditioners. Many brands now carry acetone-free removers that already contain moisturizers. This is a plus for us!
•Try not to use polish remover-even acetone-free remover-more than once a week.
•Avoid placing your hands in water for prolonged periods of time, especially if the water is very hot.
•Moisturize your nails as soon as you get out of the shower and be sure to rub the lotion into the nail beds. Use cuticle cream as well.
•Never, ever use a metal nail file. Metal files tend to rip the nails, where glass and emery boards gently file the nail with out tearing them.

There are medical reasons why a person’s nails can become brittle. Women who have low amounts of estrogen in their bodies tend to suffer more. Lack of estrogen causes dry, brittle hair and dry skin, which affects the nails. Nails can dry out just like our skin and hair can; most people aren’t aware of this fact.

Nutrition also plays a huge part in how our nails grow. Just like the body reacts to junk food, the nails can react as well. Many doctors believe that disease can be detected on the nails by certain spots or colorations of the actual nail. Eating a healthy diet rich in vitamins and minerals will nourish not only your body, but your nails as well.

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