Like HowStuffWorks on Facebook!

Nail Treatment: Fast Facts

  1. Exposure to household products like detergents and cleansers can cause nails to become weak and brittle. To keep your nails healthy and strong, wear gloves while cleaning whenever possible. Learn more about the effects of chemicals on your nails.
  1. When it comes to your nails, shorter is better. Short nails are less likely to become damaged and break. Learn more about avoiding nail damage.
  1. Be careful not to injure your nails. Slamming your fingers in a door or using your nails to scrape objects can hurt your nails, lead to infection, stop nail growth or cause bruising under the nail. Learn more about protecting your nails.
  1. Just like the other areas of your body, your nails require moisture to stay healthy. Always use a moisturizer after washing or bathing to lock in moisture. Learn more about the importance of moisturizing your nails.
  1. On the other hand, if your nail becomes infected, keep it as dry as possible -- infecting organisms thrive in warm, moist environments. Learn more about treating nail infections.
  1. Never cut your cuticles. Instead, soak cuticles in warm water and use a moist towel to gently push them back. Learn more about managing your cuticles.
  1. The worst thing to do if you have a hangnail is to tear it or pick it. Use fine scissors to clip the hangnail, and apply an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to prevent infection. Learn more about treating hangnails.
  1. Everyone wants long beautiful nails, but buyer beware: Sculptured nails and nail wraps can cause permanent damage to the nail bed and root. Learn more about the risks of fake nails.
  1. Some nail polishes and hardeners contain formaldehyde, which can cause an allergic reaction or irritation that may lead to nail separation. Learn more about formaldehyde.
  1. Avoid using nail polish remover more than once a week; it contains acetone, which dries out nails. Learn more about the effects of nail polish remover.
  1. You may have heard that eating gelatin helps to build strong nails, but it doesn't. Learn more about gelatin and nails.
  1. Contrary to popular belief, your diet has little effect on the condition of your nails. While calcium is important to building strong bones, it does nothing for your nails. Learn more about nails and diet.
  1. Apply baking soda to a nail brush to clean nails and soften cuticles. Learn more about cleaning your nails.
  1. If you have an ingrown toenail, try soaking your feet in a warm saltwater solution to ease pain and reduce swelling. Add 1 tablespoon (15 milliliters) of salt for every quart (0.95 liters) of water and soak for 30 minutes. Learn more about treating ingrown nails.
  1. Wear vinyl gloves, not latex or rubber, to protect your nails from harsh chemicals during wet work. Learn more about the effects of chemicals on your nails.
  1. To protect your nails from damage and injury, use cotton gloves when performing dry work. Learn more about protecting your nails.
  1. The B-vitamin biotin has been shown to help weak, brittle nails. Learn more about biotin.

Here are some helpful links: