Having cracked nails can both look bad and also cause functional problems. We need strong nails more than we realise, we may use them to pick up small things like coins, or to peel labels off things during the day! Having cracked and weak nails can make some mundane tasks more difficult.
Frequently exposing your nails to water whilst washing dishes, soaking in the bath or having manicures too often can cause nails to crack and become brittle.
A healthy nail is clear and smooth; it does not have any grooves or ridges. Sometimes however, bruising can occur on the nail as a result of a knock or injury; this does not necessarily mean that the nail is unhealthy.
Aging is also responsible for the weakening of the nails and a factor in nails becoming more brittle. Whilst it takes four to six months for a fingernail to completely regenerate prevention is better than cure. Follow our tips to keep your nails strong and healthy.
Don’t bite them
If you bite your nails, stop! Biting your nails or your cuticles can cause harm the nail bed. It can also result in small cuts which can often get infected.
Trim your nails
Keep your nails short. Use a sharp and clean scissors or clippers to trim them. Hangnails should never be pulled off, they should be soaked to make them soft and trimmed off.
Wear rubber gloves when you are washing dishes or exposing your hands to chemicals.
Have shorter baths
If you like long and lengthy soaks in the bath, you may want to think twice! Long exposure to water can result in brittle nails that peel and break. If however you keep your hands out of the bath, this can overcome the problem.
It is really important to keep your nails moisturised. Apply it after you wash your hands, have a bath or shower. Keep some moisturiser in your handbag, at your desk and in your bathroom for easy use.
Avoid sulfonamide or formaldehyde
If you need to use a nail hardener, stay away from those that contain toluene sulfonamide or formaldehyde as they can irritate the skin.
Go easy on nail polish remover
Instead of totally removing nail polish, try painting in the parts that have worn off. When you do need to take off old polish, opt for polish removers that don't have acetone, as this can dry out your fingernails and cause them to crack.
Cracked nails usually just need a little care. In order to keep your nails strong and healthy, give them a little TLC from time to time.