The Top 2 Types of Nail Damage: Causes & Strategies to Repair
By Suzanne Roberta, MBA
Maintaining healthy and beautiful nails is an essential part of self-care for many women. However, various factors can lead to nail damage, causing frustration and discomfort. In this article, we will explore the top two types of nail damage that women commonly experience, their main causes, and effective strategies to heal and restore damaged nails.
One of the most prevalent types of nail damage is brittleness and weakness. This condition is characterized by fragile, easily breakable nails that tend to split and peel.
Nails are made of about one-hundred and twenty layers of Keratin Protein. These layers are formed in the nail matrix (the area between the first knuckle and the proximal edge of the nail). When nails become weak and brittle, the layers begin to break off and peel back, causing thinning and an uneven nail surface. This is one of the reasons nail polish chips.
There are two main causes behind this issue:
- Excessive Exposure to Harsh Chemicals: Frequently exposing your nails to harsh chemicals, such as cleaning agents, acetone-based nail polish removers, and detergents, can strip away the natural oils and moisture from your nails, leaving them dry and brittle.
- Nutritional Deficiencies: Inadequate intake of essential nutrients, particularly biotin, iron, zinc, and vitamins A and E, can weaken your nails. These nutrients play a vital role in maintaining nail strength and health. A lack of these nutrients can lead to brittle nails that are prone to breaking, peeling and splitting.
To heal brittle and weak nails, consider implementing the following strategies:
- Hydration and Moisturization are key: Keep your nails well-hydrated by regularly applying a nourishing cuticle oil such as Sweet Almond Cuticle Oil, intermittently with a moisturizing and strengthening cuticle cream such as Strengthening Bamboo Cream. This helps to restore moisture and maintain flexibility in the nails, reducing the likelihood of breakage. It also improves the cuticles, keeping them soft and nourished, which improves the overall nail health.
- Nail Care Routine: Adopt a gentle nail care routine that includes filing your nails in one direction to prevent splitting. Avoid using metal files and emery boards as they can create micro-tears in the nails. Emery boards also house bacteria that can get under the damaged layers and cause infections. Instead, we recommend using tempered glass files such as Crystal Nail File Duo that shapes, files and buffs the nails. Glass files are durable and anti-bacterial, when regularly cleaned. Additionally, use a non-acetone nail polish remover to minimize the drying effect on your nails.
- Use a Keratin Protein nail serum such as W3 Peptide Nail Serum to protect, heal and protect the nail as it heals. W3 Peptide Nail Serum is formulated with Keratin Pea Peptides that help heal the damaged layers of the nail from the inside out.
- Eat a Balanced Diet: Consume a balanced diet rich in essential nutrients to promote healthy nail growth. Include biotin-rich foods like eggs, nuts, and whole grains, along with iron and zinc sources like lean meats, legumes, and leafy greens. Adding vitamins A and E through fruits and vegetables can also aid in nail repair and maintenance.
Nail Discoloration and Fungal Infections
Nail discoloration and fungal infections are another common type of nail damage that women may encounter. Discolored nails often appear yellow, green, or brown and can be accompanied by thickening, brittleness, and a foul odor.
There are two main causes behind this issue:
- Poor Nail Hygiene: Inadequate nail hygiene practices, such as not keeping nails clean and dry, can create an environment conducive to fungal growth. Wearing products like gel nails and acrylics can trap moisture beneath them, creating the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.
- Exposure to Contaminated Surfaces: Coming into contact with surfaces contaminated with fungi, such as public pools, locker rooms, and communal showers, increases the risk of fungal nail infections. Sharing personal care items like nail clippers or files with an infected individual can also lead to contamination. If nails are already brittle, with uneven surfaces, they become more prone to environmental grime and impurities getting under the layers and causing infections.
To heal nail discoloration and fungal infections, consider the following strategies:
- Proper Hygiene: Maintain good nail hygiene by regularly cleaning your nails and drying them thoroughly after washing. Avoid prolonged exposure to moisture and remove artificial nails if possible. Trim nails short to reduce the risk of fungal growth.
- Antifungal Treatments: Over-the-counter antifungal creams and ointments can be effective in treating mild fungal infections. Use nail polish and products that are 12 Free; free from the 12 most harmful and toxic ingredients such as Adesse New York Organic Infused Nail Color.
- For severe cases, consult a dermatologist who may prescribe oral antifungal medications or recommend other specialized treatments.
One of the easiest ways to get on the path to healthy, strong, beautiful nails is to start with an easy, 2-step routine that heals nails, hydrates cuticles and promotes healthy growth in less than two weeks. To get started, try the Adesse New York Revive & Reinforce Nail Care Duo an easy routine you can do every day to have your most beautiful, healthy nails.
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