Sure, your nails are the place where you show off a pretty coat of glossy polish but, if those naked nails are looking weak, brittle and dull, then they may be telling you more than you realize. Yes, peeling nails are a definite byproduct of being a polish junkie and the aging process, but if weak nails persist, they can be a sign of more serious health conditions. Here’s how to strengthen nails that look weak and weary to bring health back to your hands:
If your nails are peeling: It could mean that you need to cut back the time you spend with your manicurist. Chemicals from the polish and remover (especially the gel types) can strip your nails of their natural proteins that keep them strong. Take a break and treat them by applying a strengthening, brush-on formula to build up protein. Rubbing on hand cream will keep your cuticles soft and moisturized, so your nails look healthy.
If your nails are thin and break easily: It may mean you’re lacking in some nutrients like iron. Eating a healthier diet high in protein is best. You can also pop a multivitamin and biotin supplements, a B-complex vitamin that’s been shown to strengthen nails.
If your nails are yellowing, pitting and thick: It could mean you have psoriasis, an autoimmune condition that occurs when the immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue. You’ll probably notice itchy, dry skin patches on your skin too. Worried? Check with a dermatologist.
If your nails are swollen, bleeding or causing you pain: Time to see a doc. A dermatologist can diagnose nail problems, and rule out if it’s an infection. He can also determine if you need to see a specialist for an underlying issue, like a heart or kidney condition, diabetes or a thyroid problem.
Are there any other health conditions your nails can be a sign of which we missed? Tell us about them in the comment section.