Four steps for Healthier Nails

Sat, 2017-12-09
December 6, 2017 by Julie Davis, Healthday Reporter

(HealthDay)—Good nail care is important, but it's possible to overdo it.

    For instance, it turns out that too much clipping can actually be harmful. Trimming nails every day can create stress across the entire nail. Over time, it can change nail shape and even lead to conditions like ingrown toe nails.

    It's fine to trim your nails with nail clippers or scissors, but no more than once every week or two. Fingernails should follow the shape of your fingertips, straight across and slightly rounded at the sides. Clip toenails straight across at the level of the toe. File in only one direction to keep nails strong.

    Here are other care tips:

  • Keep nails clean and dry whenever possible.
  • Moisturize nails and cuticles with hand lotion or cream.
  • Nail polish offers some protection, but don't use polish remover more than twice a month.
  • Try to avoid all nail products with toluene, formaldehyde and dibutyl phthalate.
  • Avoid prolonged exposure to water when bathing and housecleaning. Protect nails from harsh chemicals by wearing cotton-lined rubber gloves when cleaning.

    It's also important to check your nails regularly for warning signs of a problem that merits a doctor visit.

    Signs to look for include:

  • Discoloration of the entire nail or a dark streak under a nail.
  • Any change in shape.
  • Any change in thickness—thinner or thicker.
  • Separation of the nail from the surrounding skin or nail bed.
  • Bleeding, redness, swelling or pain around the nails.

    If you see any worrisome signs, get prompt medical attention from your doctor or a dermatologist who specializes in nail problems.


    More information: The Mayo Clinic has more do's and don'ts for healthy nails.

Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Nail Polish Trivia: 20 amazing facts about nail polish!

Tue, 2017-12-05

December 1, 2017 By

Nail polish is the amazing product we use when we feel like painting our nails! Let’s see some interesting facts and trivia about nail polish!

1. Nail polish was born in China around 3000 BC!

2. With nail polish we can paint both our fingernails and toenails!

3. There are millions of nail polish varieties!

4. There are countless colors we can choose from!

5. Around 600 BC, the royal house preferred the colors gold and silver.

6. Nail polish was made from a mixture that contained bees-wax, egg whites, gelatin, vegetable dyes and gum arabic.

7. It is also known as nail varnish or lacquer!

8. In Egypt, high society painted their nails with henna!

9. There are several types of nail polish!

10. The base coat which is applied before the colored lacquer, in order to protect, hydrate and harden the surface of our nails.

11. Next is the colored lacquer. A simple nail polish that dries naturally.

12. There’s also Gel which offers a long-lasting shiny result and dries under an ultraviolet lamp or ultraviolet LED, can be harder to remove, and should better be removed by a professional! Careful there you might lose a nail.

13. You can also dye your nails with a Matte nail polish. It is similar to the regular nail polish but has a matte finish.

14. Another choice is Shellac. Shellac is a type of nail polish similar to Gel but can last up to two weeks.

15. French Manicure was established during the eighteenth-century in Paris, and is the most popular choice even today! It is simple, beautiful and chic!

16. Everyone should be aware that in order for nail polish to be produced lots and lots and lots of chemical ingredients are used, so let’s have in mind of how many times we expose ourselves to the risk of those chemicals.

17. Last but not least is the top coat lacquer! It is a transparent liquid polish, that is used to protect the color we painted our nails, and it adds on a shine!

18. The primary ingredient in nail polish is nitrocellulose cotton, it was originally known as guncotton, and it was used as a propellant or low-order explosive!!!

19. Regular nail polish is easily removed with acetone.

20. Although nail polish should be used carefully, because of its chemical consistency, people have been safely using it throughout the years.

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Tackling Brittle Nails

Tue, 2017-12-05

Tackling brittle nails
Angela Davis
Sunday, December 03, 2017

BRITTLE nails can be a very annoying problem. Nails that peel, break, splinter, are thin and have longitudinal lines are called brittle; the medical term for this condition is onychorrhexis.

Onychorrhexis is found in the fingernails and toenails and is more common in women.

The nails are made up of layers of a protein called keratin. The layers make the nail strong and thick. People with onychorrhexis have separation between the layers so they do not bond properly, and this leads to brittle nails.


1. Malnutrition and dehydration are common causes. Without sufficient water in the body, the nails will dry out. Also, without a balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals, the health and growth of nails will be compromised;

2. Hypothyroidism is a glandular condition where the thyroid gland does not produce enough thyroxine and this can cause brittle nails;

3. Bulimia and anorexia cause poor nutrition to the nails due to binge eating and starvation;

4. Anaemia;

5. Trauma to the nail can cause permanent damage and make them brittle;

6. Chemotherapy;

7. Nail polish removers, some cheap polishes and other chemicals can be very drying to the nails;

8. Repeat exposure to cold, dry weather;

9. Frequent handwashing;

10. Psoriasis and eczema;

11. Genetic disposition;

12. Continuous nail tapping against a keyboard;


If there is an underlying condition such as hypothyroidism or bulimia, it needs to be treated appropriately by your doctor. If there is no underlying medical reason, most prevention and treatment of brittle nails will be based on reducing exposure to water and irritants, and moisturising the hands and nails regularly. Here are some examples of how to treat brittle nails.

1. Limit the amount of time during which you expose your nails to soap and water.

2. Use a moisturiser that contains natural plant oils and massage it into your nails.

3. Take a high quality multivitamin that contains iron, calcium and vitamins A and C.

4. Eat a nutritious diet and drink plenty of water.

5. Wear gloves when your hands are in water; cotton-lined gloves are best.

6. Dip your nails in vegetable oil for five minutes every day.

7. Use nail polishes that are of good quality and use mild nail polish removers.

8. Heat 1/4 cup of olive oil. Blend with 1/2 cup of beer and an equal amount of apple cider vinegar. Soak your nails in this mixture for 20 minutes, once a day.

9. If you work on a computer regularly, keep your nails trimmed.

10. Treat your nails gently. File using a fine emery board and file in one direction.

11. Herbs that are known to promote healthy nails are horsetail grass, singing nettle leaf, and fo-ti root. The mineral selenium is also known to strengthen nails but the dosage has to be no more than 25mcg daily, as too much selenium can have the opposite effect and make nails more brittle.


Angela Davis BSc (Hons) DPodM MChS is a podiatrist with offices in Montego Bay (293- 7119), Mandeville (962-2100), Ocho Rios (974-6339), Kingston (978-8392), and Savanna-la-Mar (955-3154). She is a member of the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom.