Nails

Q.I love gardening in my spare time but my hands and cuticles have become very dry. My nails are broken and flaking and are of uneven length. What do you suggest I do to stop this from happening and which products should I use?

A.Nails are made of keratin, a non-living product of living cells. The nail-plate is made from the matrix, white part, of the nail near the cuticle. If the cuticle or matrix area is damaged or traumatized, the nail-plate grows irregular or with deformities. Nail-plates can also chip and dry out from excessive water exposure or trauma. Once a chipping and cracks develop in a nail-plate, any trauma to the nail area will continue this process. This is similar to a crack in a windshield. Oil and wax treatments do not add to the strength of the nail, Nail conditioners, however, are beneficial in that they help protect and strengthen the nail. The best protection is good daily maintenance.


Q.I love getting my nails done. I've tried everything...acrylic, fiberglass, special glue. After a week of having them on, my fingers, near the nail, will start to get baby blisters. If I break a blister, they will itch and spread. If I leave them on, my fingers will get sore under the nail and actually get puss under the nail. What am I allergic to?

A.The most common allergy associated with acrylic nails is the glue. Try a small amount of glue on your toenail and see if you are sensitive to it. Ask your manicurist if there is another type of glue.


Q.I only had acrylic nails for one month and then had them removed. Now they are so thin and weak, is there anything that I can do to repair the damage?

A.Many times it is the glue associated with the acrylic nail that damages the natural nail. It is also common to have natural nail separation from the underlying skin due to trauma associated with wearing acrylic nails. Some people cannot wear acrylic nails for the above reasons. If the nail is damaged, you must wait for to six months for new nail to grow out from the base before you can have a healthy nail. Nail conditioners help strengthen the nail until new nail grows out.


Q.My nails were beautiful until I used artificial nails. Now my nails are split and broken.

A.This question may be more complex than the obvious. Split and broken nails are usually the result of trauma. Trauma can be as simple as overwashing of the hands. The nail plate dries out and is fragile. Sometimes people are allergic to the glue associated with artificial nails. This reaction will pass. Stop wearing the artificial nails and cut your nails short. A nail conditioner will help protect your nails and give them more strength until your natural nail grows (usually four to six months).