Damaged nails can occur from lifestyle habits such as poor nutrition, dehydration and use of polishes or artificial nails products. You may be able to cure damaged nails by taking some preventative measures and pampering your nails back to health. Although many nail problems may be related to poor diet or harsh treatment, sudden changes in the nail and nail bed may indicate a more serious health condition. Always talk to your doctor if you notice any unusual changes in your nails.
Prevention and Supplementation
Steep your diet in biotin-rich foods which help strengthen and thicken weak and brittle nails. Foods such as whole grain wheat, eggs, avocados, salmon, liver and baker’s yeast are high in biotin and, in addition to protecting your nails, help combat hair loss, depression and restore immune function. Calcium, vitamins A and C are also important to nail health, so introducing a good multivitamin supplement may also help protect nails.
Wear protective gloves when cleaning, washing dishes and handling harsh chemicals. Keep well-hydrated and avoid using your fingernails as tools. Aggressive nail cleaning can damage nails, as can pushing back the cuticles, chewing on nails and overuse of polishes and nail products. Nail polish removers should be used sparingly, no more than a few times monthly, as they dry and degrade the nail.
Healing Damage Caused by Artificial Nails
Artificial nails cause damage to the nail plate which can sometimes take nearly a year to grow out and heal. In order for adhesives to bond, technicians roughen up the nail which can make them weak and thin.
The best cure is to keep nails clipped short until your natural nail grows back in and apply a nail strengthener to help toughen nails back up. Soaking nails in a natural olive oil for 15 minutes daily can help with the dryness as well as rubbing a bit of vitamin E oil into the nail bed.
Healing Damage from Nail Fungus
Nail fungus is a common condition which usually leads to yellow, purple or brown discoloration of the nail. Other symptoms of fungus are thickened nails that are painful to cut or those that are flaky, have an odor or become detached from the nail bed.
Keep your fingernails dry whenever possible, avoid the use of polishes and soak them in a 50/50 solution of apple cider vinegar and hydrogen peroxide for 30 to 45 minute a day. Fingernail fungus is not easy to get rid of, and will sometimes take a daily application of the apple cider solution for up to 60 days.
Some medicines can help with removing nail fungus and can be obtained from your physician or dermatologist.