Sculptured nails can hold in too much moisture. The glues used in nail wraps can cause reactions resulting in permanent damage to the nail bed and root. The most common problem is separation of the nail from the bed. But if you notice any pain or tenderness, you're probably reacting to the glue, and you need medical attention.
Forget formaldehyde. Although most fingernail polishes and nail hardeners are not supposed to contain formaldehyde, some still do. And if they cause an allergy or irritation, you can end up with nail separation.
Cut down on polish remover. Nail polish remover contains acetone, which dries nails. Use these powerful solvents no more than once a week. The less, the better.
For more information about nail care and common nail problems, see the links below.
About the Author
David J. Hufford, Ph.D., is university professor and chair of the Medical Humanities Department at Pennsylvania State University's College of Medicine. He also is a professor in the departments of Neural and Behavioral Sciences and Family and Community Medicine. Dr. Hufford serves on the editorial boards of several journals, including Alternative Therapies in Health & Medicine and Explore.
Today it's second nature to paint your fingernails and toenails. But it's been a long road to here. HowStuffWorks breaks down the colorful history.