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 YouBeauty.com 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:
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.
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."
Tips For Stronger Nails
nail_careSplitting, peeling fingernails can not only be unattractive, but unhealthy. Improving your nail health requires special care and attention on both the inside and out. Following these tips on both diet and nail care can make your nails stronger and help keep them that way.
Experts will say that one of the most important keys to proper nail health is a healthy eating plan. A diet rich in vitamins A, E & Biotin is believed to make nails stronger. Vitamin A can be found in green, yellow and orange vegetables, while good sources of vitamin E include nuts and leafy green vegetables. Biotin is a B vitamin found in eggs, almonds, soybeans and sweet potatoes.
Drinking the recommended allowance of eight to ten glasses of water each day will help keep nails from drying out and peeling. Gelatin dietary supplements, available in a drinkable form, can also help build nail strength from the inside out by thickening weak nails.
Nail Treatments and Care
healthynailsThere are a variety of nail strengtheners and treatments on the market today. Each uses different ingredients to build a strong nail surface to protect against breaks. Nail “fortifiers” made with protein and calcium, are meant to infuse the nail with supplements, making it stronger. Strengtheners with panthenol are designed to lock moisture into nails so they will be more pliable and less likely to break. Nail treatments are even available with a Teflon additive, creating a hard nail surface to withstanding peeling and splitting. These treatments all tend to prescribe a daily use regimen. Make sure to follow directions and apply only a thin coat each day — too much can cause a heavy buildup that will actually backfire and weaken the nails.
Using a daily moisturizer specifically designed for hands and nails will help keep nails properly moisturized. Cuticles should also be well-cared for – keep them moisturized with a cuticle oil and in good shape. Don’t pick at nails, cuticles or the skin around them.
Occasional buffing gives nails a healthy shine and can stimulate growth. Place a small drop of conditioning cream on the nail bed and buff until shiny with a chamois cloth or special nail buffer. Don’t use any other type of file on the nail bed as it can wear down the nail surface.
Some experts will even recommend tapping your nails on a table regularly to increase blood flow and circulation, thereby stimulating nail growth.
nail_polishWhile regular manicures can help keep nails and cuticles in a healthy shape, take care to follow proper nail care guidelines. Don’t file down the side of the nail too much or keep them in an unnatural shape, as this make your nail tips prone to breakage. To avoid infection, don’t allow cuticle to be totally removed, only trimmed. Never pick at chipping nail polish — peeling polish layers can take off layers of protective coating from the nail itself. Heavy layers of nail polish and treatments used in manicures can actually weaken nails, so take a week-long break from nail color once a month to let nails “breathe.”
Protecting your nails during everyday tasks will go a long way in keep your nails strong. Although moisture can help keep nails pliable, water itself can actually weaken them dramatically when your hands are soaking in it. Household cleaners can be just as damaging, as most chemicals can be drying to the nails and hands. Wear rubber gloves when washing dishes or using harsh cleaners.
Don’t use your nails as tools to pry open lids or packages or scrape labels – this will almost always result in a nail break. Don’t clean underneath your nails with any sharp object – orange sticks or specific nail tools are rounded and less likely to split your nails. Use a pencil or pen to dial a phone or push buttons to avoid cracking your nails on impact.
In case you have been busily working and have not read this article our "Learn From Us" team has reproduced the following article.
Nail Salon Lamps May Increase Skin Cancer Risk
APRIL 30, 2014, 4:00 PM
Marko Skrbic/Getty Images
Nail salon dryers, which use ultraviolet light to speed the drying and hardening of nail polishes and gels, emit varying levels of radiation that can lead to risky skin damage in as few as eight visits to the manicurist, a new study shows.
The nail dryers emit primarily UVA light — the same kind of ultraviolet light used in tanning beds — and are used to dry nail polish or to harden a gel manicure. Gel manicures are popular because they create long-lasting, shiny nails through a chemical gel that is painted on the nail in layers and cured under UV light after every coating.
Case reports of two women who developed squamous cell skin cancers on their hands have suggested an association between cancer and the UV nail light devices, but most doctors agree the risk is low.
In the new study, researchers from Georgia Regents University in Augusta conducted a random sampling of 17 different UV nail lamps found in salons to determine how much ultraviolet radiation is being emitted when clients dry their nails under the lights.
The study, published as a research letter this week in the journal JAMA Dermatology, found wide variation in the dose of UVA light emitted during eight minutes of nail drying or hardening. The dose, measured in joules per centimeter squared, ranged from less than one to eight.
“There is a vast range in the amount of light coming out of these devices,” said Dr. Lyndsay R. Shipp, the study’s lead author and a postgraduate resident at the university’s Medical College of Georgia. The amount of UV exposure ranged from “barely” to “significant,” she said.
DNA damage that can lead to skin cancer is known to occur around 60 joules per centimeter squared, and none of the nail lamps came close to that number. However, the researchers estimated that for most of the lamps tested, eight to 14 visits over 24 to 42 months would reach the threshold for DNA damage to the skin.
The study authors noted that the “risk from multiple manicure visits remains untested,” but the study suggested that “even with numerous exposures, the risk for carcinogenesis remains small.”
Dr. Shipp said, “There is a theoretical risk, but it’s very low.”
Lamps with higher-wattage bulbs emitted the highest levels of UV radiation, but it would not be easy for a salon client to check the wattage before using a machine. Dr. Shipp said she sometimes uses the nail lamps and will continue to do so.
“I do use them every couple of months,’’ she said, noting that “you can get that amount of exposure when driving down the road in your car.”
Clients who are concerned about the risk but want to continue getting gel manicures, which require UV light, have a few options. They can skip the lotion-and-massage portion of the manicure and instead coat their hands with sunscreen before having gel nails applied. Another option is to wear UV-protective gloves with the fingertips cut off so only the nails are exposed to the light. Users of regular nail polish can try fans or air-drying if they want to avoid the devices.
In case you have been busily working and have not read this article our "Learn From Us" team has reproduced the following article.
Nail Salon UV Lamps Red-Flagged by Scientists
UV Lamps Pose Skin Cancer Risk
Nail salon UV lamps have been red-flagged by scientists due to growing concerns regarding UV rays causing possible cancer. Gel manicure’s are “set” by nail salon lamps. They are also used to dry acrylic nails as well as nail polish. The concern has to do with the emission of Ultra Violet rays. These rays can cause premature aging of the skin and in some cases skin cancer.
Dr. Melissa Pillang, a Dermatologist with the Cleveland Clinic says, there is concern for worry if hand’s are being exposed for 10 minutes one time per week. But if going to the salon is a one to two-times-per-year event, then no worries.
Testing was done by Researchers at Georgia Regents University and found that there were a variety of bulbs emitting differences in wattage output. Multiple visits to the salon per year creates a much higher risk for skin damage and potential cancer. Researchers recommend sun screen as a protective measure against the UV rays. Putting it on before going into the salon would be of no benefit, as it would be washed off during the manicure; however, sun screen could be applied after the manicure just before nails are to be polished.
The concern is growing regarding photo aging promoted by the UV nail lights. These nail lights do pose a risk factor for skin cancer development. The key to prevention of such cancer via UV light is education. This is the same light used in tanning beds.
Other nail salon concerns are irritants to contact dermatitis, such as nail solvents, formaldehyde, toluene, and acetone polish remover. Nail cosmetics are also known to cause cancer. Toluene in nail polish has been linked to liver cancer. Toluene in nail polish has been linked to kidney and liver damage. Acetates are neurotoxins and coloring agents are assuredly linked to various forms of cancer.
According to Georgia Regents University, Medical College of Georgia, Dr. Lyndsay R. Shipp feels that due to misinformation, nail salon lamps could achieve a public enemy status in the near future. There are other factors that are of greater concern to Dr. Shipp. Those real concerns point toward fair skin because of less pigment, and the susceptibility to freckles. Another red flag is childhood blistering which does create a significant risk factor. Over exposure to sun, tanning beds, and nail salon UV lamps definitely increases risk. Reality speaks that a skin tan is an injury to too much sun exposure, or UV radiation. A sunny climate increases risk as do higher elevations. Moles need to be watched carefully. Weakened immune systems are at greater risk. Family history should not be taken lightly. Radiation exposure does increase your cancer risk. Substance exposure, such as arsenic, also increases risk.
UV rays can break down DNA strands, causing premature aging. Dr. Alina Markow did point out that just because DNA strands break down does not necessarily mean that the end result will be cancerous. Many variables come into play.
Although nail salon UV lamps deeply concern scientists with all of the red-flags that are currently known, general consensus would be to limit usage. Education about exposure to the different elements that could cause premature photo aging and potential cancers will continue to drive scientists into deeper research.
By Jill Boyer-Adriance
DIET & HYDRATION
• Similar to skincare, where it is important to keep your body hydrated, it is also important to drink plenty of water to maintain healthy nails.
• The color of your finger nails also tells you about your general health.
• It is always good to keep your hands and fingers moisturized by using cuticle cream or cuticle oil, especially after your hands come in contact with water.
• We all know that a good diet with balance nutrition contributes to good health.
• Research has indicated that a diet rich in protein and iron are important to promote healthy nails.
• Biotin, a water soluble vitamin B, may help strengthen nails.
GENERAL TIPS FOR STRENGTHENING NAILS
Generally thin, brittle and weak nails tend to split and crack easily. Here’s some tips to help you prevent these occurrence.
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO
• Keep your finger nails short since longer nails are more brittle.
• Apply regular nail lacquer since it acts as a protectant and enhances moisture.
• It is important to ensure that the formulation does not contain toluene, formaldehyde, dibutyl phthalate and camphor.
• It is also important to apply nail treatment products which contains protein and silica.
• You need to avoid products that tend to dehydrate nails, eg; acetone-based nail lacquers.
• It is always good to wear gloves when your hands and nails come in contact with harsh household cleansing liquids.
WHAT YOU SHOULD NOT DO
• Most of us have gone through life biting our nails or peeling our cuticles.
• So remember not to bite your nails or peel your cuticles.
• When you are trimming your nails it is always advisable to soak your nails in a soapy solution before trimming your nails.
• This additional step soften your nails, which can help prevent cracking and splitting.
• It is recommended that you use a nail file instead of nail clippers. But if you prefer to use nail clippers, make sure they are perpendicular to the nail plate to avoid layering.