Published On: Tue, Dec 27th, 2011

What Does It Take To Have Beautiful, Strong Healthy Nails? The Answer Is Here!

By: Oleda Baker

Even if you go to a fancy nail salon it’s no guarantee you nails will be strong and healthy…strong and healthy starts at home.

Many people say they’re having serious problems with their nails . . . some even have problems when keeping their nails short. You will learn here how to take care of the top surface of the nails, as well as the nutrition it takes to develop strong healthy nails. This part does not happen overnight – but stick with it and it will work.

Basic Information.

Fingernails—and toenails, too—are products of your epidermis and are composed of the protein keratin. Each nail grows outward from a nail root that extends back into a groove of skin.

Fingernails normally grow at the rate of 1/8th inch a month, approximately 2 or 3 times faster than toenails. Growth slows in old age. Sudden or significant changes in the appearance of the nails can be a first sign of illness. Abnormal or unhealthy nails may be the result of a local injury, a glandular deficiency, or a deficiency of certain nutrients.

Contrary to common belief, the structure of the nails is not related to the structure of bone, and taking extra calcium will not strengthen brittle nails. Neither will taking gelatin.

With severe malnutrition, after an injury or during a course of some kinds of chemotherapy, nail formation is impaired. During the several weeks of such impaired formation an area of thinning of the nails can be seen. The width of this zone of thinning of nails corresponds to the duration of the injury or the use of, for example, chemotherapy.

How To Get The Nail To GROW Strong and Healthy.

A protein deficiency can cause opaque white bands to appear on the nails or cause them to become dry, brittle and very thin. Insufficient amounts of complete proteins and/or vitamin A slow down the rate of nail growth (which is also affected by various drugs). A shortage of vitamin A in the diet may also cause dryness and brittleness. A lack of the B vitamins causes nails to become fragile, with horizontal or vertical ridges appearing. The B complex is also a factor in fungus infestation found underneath the nails. Frequent hangnails usually indicate an inadequate intake of vitamins C, folic acid, and protein. An iron deficiency can disturb the growth of the nails, causing dryness, brittleness, thinning, flattening and eventually the appearance of moon-shaped nails. White spots can be caused by a zinc deficiency.

Any nail abnormality usually indicates that the diet is not adequate; a well-balanced diet supplying all essential nutrients is recommended.

Nutrients that may be beneficial in treatment of nail problems: Vitamin A, Vitamin B complex, Folic acid, Vitamin C, Calcium, Iron, Zinc, and Protein. If you have a nail problem that is the result of poor diet or illness, and you plan to do something about it, think in terms of three months because that’s how long it will take before you see the results of improved nutrition through your diet and supplements.

Meanwhile, here are some measures that will help strengthen your nails and keep them that way:

1. Wear rubber gloves whenever you use soap and water or do any kind of manual activity; and have them larger than your usual glove size.

2. Use your fingers, not your nails, to pick things up. This, of course, is easier said than done! If you have long nails, use the sides of your fingers.

3. Carry a small Band-aid in your handbag. If a nail cracks, put it on immediately, then mend your nail as soon as you return home. You can buy a “mending kit” of some kind in almost any drugstore.

4. Always keep a coat of some type of polish, even clear polish, on your nails for protection.

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