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.

What The Heck Is Acetone, And How Does It Affect Your Nails?

Wed, 2015-07-29

Dana Oliver

Executive Fashion And Beauty Editor,

The Huffington Post Posted: 07/24/2015 | Edited: 07/24/2015 11:49 AM EDT


"Beauty Glossary" is a HuffPost series that breaks down beauty product techniques, treatments and ingredients so you know exactly what you're putting onto and into your body.




When we need to remove stubborn nail polish or a glitter top coat, acetone always gets the job done. The downside: our nails look and feel dry immediately after swiping away all that polish.

That's because acetone is essentially a paint stripper. "Super dry, damaged nails will get drier and more brittle with acetone exposure," says board-certified dermatologist and nail specialist Dana Stern.

"Many people don’t realize that the damage that we do to our nails is not from the polish but rather the remover," says Stern. "The polish can actually be protective to the nail. Taking a break from polish remover exposure allows the nail to recover."

According to Stern, nails that are lifted or separated from the nail bed (also known as onycholysis) should not be regularly exposed to acetone because the solvent will bathe the delicate, exposed nail bed causing irritation and further separation. "Polish remover significantly dries out the nail, leading to brittleness, splitting, peeling and breakage," she says.

Stern adds, "Acetone also dissolves the polish and makes the pigments migrate and leach. This process can cause post-polish yellowing.

" Due to the dehydrating aspects of acetone, celebrity manicurist Gina Edwards for Kiss Products says it may also dry cuticles when used on a regular basis. "This will leave the skin open for hang nails and splits on the nail surface," she explains. "We don't realize it, but there are many skincare and hair products that have acetone in the ingredients just broken down in a diluted form."

If you are tolerating a weekly manicure and your nails don't look super dry, stripped and brittle when your polish is removed, Stern believes there is no reason to change your routine. However, she notes that gel manicures require a 10-minute pure acetone soak and that will usually cause extensive drying to the nails.

"I like to dab each nail with some remover and then go back to each one and individually swipe them clean," says Stern. "The first dab gets the polish dissolving. Theoretically, the faster you can remove it, the less exposure your nail has. Always remember to wash afterward with soap and water."

For at-home manicures, Edwards suggests using a non-acetone remover to take off your polish. If you wear gels or acrylics, she thinks it best to make your regular nail appointment to have a professional remove your enhancements with acetone.

Edwards also has an easy trick to replenish nails with hydration: Add cuticle oil to your acetone and mix it with non-acetone so it's not too harsh on your skin.

Doctors warn of gel nail polish dangers

Fri, 2015-05-08

Doctors warn of gel nail polish dangers Posted 3:41 pm, May 4, 2015, by TribuneMediaWire GREENVILLE, S.C.

Doctors are warning that artificial gel nail polish may be dangerous to your health. The polish itself is not the main cause for concern, but the way nails are dried could potentially cause skin cancer. Doctors say the chemicals used in gel manicures could have other health risks, according to WHNS.

But for many women, having their nails professionally done is a part of their beauty routine.

While a visit to the nail salon may seem like a safe way to unwind, dermatologist Dr. John Humeniuk cautions the potential dangers associated with gel nail polish.

“Some concerns were raised several years ago about the possibility of skin cancers from using ultraviolet lights,” Humeniuk said. He says a gel manicure consists of hardening a gel on top of the nail using a light. “These ultraviolet units are actually the same kind of bulbs essentially that you see in tanning beds,” Humeniuk said. “Which does cause wrinkles and skin cancers if you do use it for a lot of exposure.”

If you want to get a gel manicure, the doctor recommends going to a salon that uses LED lights instead.

“They produce very little UV,” Humeniuk said. In addition to using potentially harmful UV lights, the doctors said gel manicures require fingers and nails to be soaked in strong acetone to remove the excess gel residue. “The use of these gels these acrylics the light will actually cause the original nail plate to actually separate from the bed and now you have a gap where moisture or bacteria and yeast can grow, so this actually is more of the bigger problems,” Humeniuk said.

Despite the potential dangers associated, gel nail polish is very popular because it lasts longer than other polishes, resists chipping and it’s quick.

“The LED light is a very fast cure. It’s a 30 second cure. For us as a therapist, we need to get you in and out,” MG Grand Day Spa owner Manisay Gabbard said. Some salons are now moving toward more organic polishes that are less dangerous.

“It dries just like the gel nail without using any light. It cures by natural light,” Gabbard said.

10 Nail Polishes You Seriously Need to Throw Away

Thu, 2014-07-17

10 Nail Polishes You Seriously Need to Throw Away

by Hayley Hoover

Admit it: somewhere in your house, there’s a basket or a caboodle or a box that’s overflowing with nail polish that you never, ever use. You have your favorite shades, you have your go-to colors, and you have your junk pile. In case you need that final push to finally clean out your collection, here’s our list of ten polishes that you seriously need to throw away.

1. That glitter nail polish that comes out in gloopy globs and sticks to your fingers like tar. You’ve never worn it. You’re never going to wear it. Why is it still in your room?

2. Those 2-dollar bottles that the Wet Seal cashier convinced you to throw in your bag at the last minute. They’re either going to chip off immediately or get fused to your nails and leave stains on them forever. Not worth it.

3. Anything neon. Unless you’re attending a Spring Breakers-themed party, you’re Clarissa from Clarissa Explains It All, or you spend a lot of your free time under a black light, those lime green and street-sign-yellow bottles probably haven’t seen the light of day in a very long time.

4. Those half-empty bottles that you can barely scrape any polish out of. It’s hard to say goodbye to an old friend, but it’s a lot easier when you could just go buy another one.

5. That bottle that’s clearly expired. Leaving it on your shelf for a few more months isn’t going to bring it back to life. If the chemicals are separating and the sides of the glass are getting covered with crusties, it’s time to let go.

6. The bottles you’ve filled with acetone in an attempt to thin out the polish. Not only does this barely ever work, but it smells horrible and makes a mess. Move on.

7. Any color you bought because you felt like you were supposed to. Just because Lauren Conrad walked around Laguna Beach with black nails doesn’t mean you have to. Even if Seventeen declares lavender to be this year’s color, you don’t need to buy it. If you don’t like it, don’t keep it.

8. Thousands of the exact same color (that you keep pretending are different). Big Apple Red and Red Light Ahead are identical. They are.

9. Fad nail polishes. The reign of Crackle is over. It’s probably not coming back.

10. The one that you imagine you’d wear if you were a slightly different person. I know what you’re telling yourself: If you didn’t have an office job, you could totally wear that sparkly orange. If you weren’t a mom, that glow-in-the-dark yellow might work. If you weren’t a shy person, you could pull off that gold. That dumb. Either wear it or throw it out.

Photos via Shutterstock by Taboola

Strengthen Your Weak Brittle Nails

Wed, 2014-07-09

By Dr Oz Show

Posted on 11/18/2013 | By Amy Marturana


Strengthen Your Weak, Brittle Nails By Dr.Oz show By Amy Marturana for Posted on 11/18/2013 | By Amy Marturana With nail art frenzy in full force, chances are you are paying more attention to your fingertips than ever before and how they measure up against the latest DIY manicures your friends are Instagramming. Which means you’re probably very in tune with the imperfections that make your canvas not so ideal for your newest paint job. Splitting, breaking, peeling – there’s a lot of things that can go wrong.But why?

A quick science lesson: Nails are composed of very small cells called onychocytes, which are mainly made up of keratin, says Dana Stern, M.D., a New York City-based dermatologist who specializes in nails and nail disorders. "If you were to look at the nail under a microscope, it actually looks almost like layered roof shingles. So these cells are very delicate and the nail is actually extremely absorptive," she says. "It’s about 10 times more absorbent than skin." Which is why when you take a long bath, your nails get super soft and bendy.

It’s important to note that if your nails become extremely brittle out of nowhere, it could be a sign of a health issue, such as anemia, or a thyroid condition, says Stern. If that’s the case, you should see your doctor. In addition, those who suffer from an eating disorder or are undergoing chemotherapy may have chronic brittleness due to severe protein deficiency. If you don’t have any of these health woes but have had weak nails for as long as you can remember, it could be genetic. "If your mother has brittle nails there’s a good chance you’re going to have them, too," Stern notes.

Nails’ absorbent nature also makes them susceptible to many external factors, all of which can cause them to break and split. Here are the three biggest culprits that Stern notes could be messing with your nails:

Water Exposure

When you wash your hands or take a bath – or even get a manicure – water is absorbed into your nails. Then eventually, that water diffuses back out. This constant change in water content causes the cells to expand and contract, straining them as they continually change size to accommodate more or less water. Seasonal Weather Changes In the winter, your days are spent going from a 70-degree indoor environment to a cold, below-freezing outdoor environment. And with the changing temperature comes varying levels of humidity. Just like your body temperature adjusts to these dramatic temperature fluxes, so do your nails. "The water content of the ambient environment is in flux, and so is the water content of our nails," Stern says, which causes the same type of strain and weakening that water exposure does.

Chemical Exposure

From this point forward, consider nail polish remover the enemy. "Polish remover is really a solvent – it’s strong, almost like a paint thinner – and it really dries out the nail," Stern says. The most offensive chemical is acetone, but that doesn’t mean non-acetone removers are a whole lot better. "The non-acetone version requires more of the liquid and more exposure time," she points out. So although it’s not as harsh, drenching your nails in more product and rubbing more aggressively to remove stubborn polish is still damaging. No formal study has been done on which is actually better, but Stern suggests that forgoing acetone might be the better route. As for polish itself, Stern says that it can actually help hold the delicate nail cells together, preventing the tips from peeling. The problem is that eventually you have to take it off. And you should never ever pick it off. "The problem with picking off polish is you’re not only taking off the polish but you’re also taking off the top layer of nail cells," says Stern. Which can be an issue with gel manicures if you’re not going into a salon to get them removed properly.

Regain Your Strength

Luckily, it’s pretty easy to protect nails against these damaging factors. Try Stern's simple suggestions that can help create a healthy environment for your nails to grow long and strong:Wear gloves when handling any chemicals, doing the dishes or hand-washing clothes to avoid water exposure.

• Steer clear of alcohol-based hand sanitizers. They’re very drying. Instead, wash hands with moisturizing soap.

• Keep your nails short to minimize surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed.

• "The only supplement that has any scientific evidence [to improve nail health] behind it is biotin," Stern says. Nails take six months to replace themselves, so she suggests taking biotin supplements for at least four to see if it works.

• Use cuticle oil or cream to avoid dry skin and hangnails. Cuticles help prevent water from getting into your nails, which can create an environment for bacteria to grow. So don’t cut away at them – keep them moisturized and simply push them back to avoid infection and let them do their job.

• Take a nail-polish holiday. If you’ve tried other precautions and still are suffering from brittle nails, take a break from polish to give your nails some time to get back into shape. How long is appropriate? "Nails grow slowly so unfortunately it takes time," Stern says. "I’d say consider a three-month holiday."