Published: 12/30/2013 - Updated: 02/10/2016
Manicured nails are a sign of beauty, which give a healthy look to our hands. However, nails may be affected by the use of cleaning products, poor nutrition, certain diseases and other causes. It is important to identify the symptoms and treat them in time to maintain healthy nails.
Nails are easily damaged: They suffer from hormonal changes and other illnesses, so it is important to be aware of the health of our nails.
Lines or streaks in the nail
The longitudinal striations usually occur mainly in older adults, and are associated with aging; however, the cross known as Beau's lines usually indicates stress. In this case the fingernails have more sunken lines.
Option: You can use oral amino acids that are precursors of protein or you can also use creams that contain vitamin B6 and cystine which you can apply before bed.
Discoloration of the nails
There are many reasons why a nail might change colour. If they are brown, it may be a mole; If they turn yellow, it may be due to nicotine. Another cause of yellow nails is fungus.
They can also be caused to change colour from the trauma of constantly biting them. This habit can also deform them, generating ribbed lesions.
Option: If it is a mole, it is likely that it will need to be removed, for which it is recommended that you consult a specialist.
If nicotine is the problem, undoubtedly the strategy is to stop smoking, and avoid cigarette smoke reaching the nails (when holding a cigarette).
If the nail assumes a greenish color, is very likely to be a bacterium, requiring it to be addressed with an antibiotic.
This occurs mainly by frequent hand washing.
Option: Typically, it improves with oral amino acid supplementation, although it may be necessary to use a local product recommended by a specialist.
Menopause, enamel or genetics are the main causes of brittle nails.
Option: It is recommended to soak the nails in warm olive oil. A diet rich in protein is also important.
Also, you can apply a product on the nail surface, vitamin B6 and cystine.
Fungal infection (onychomycosis)
A fungal infection can occur in both the hands and feet, thus affecting the nails too. The most common symptom is thickening of the nail, peeling and changes in the colour of the nail. It is recommended to consult a specialist for appropriate treatment.
Option: Onychomycosis is usually treated with lacquer, tablets and drops. A newer option is laser treatment, which acts specifically on the fungus without affecting the surrounding healthy tissues.
Ingrown toenail (onicocriptosis)
This may occur due to several factors, such as badly cut nails, genetic causes and inadequate footwear.
Option: It is important to correctly cut your nails but should this occur, a popular remedy is to place some cotton under the ingrown nail to avoid further injuring the area while waiting for it to grow to cut properly. It is recommended to go to a podiatrist for advice on cutting ingrown toenails.
Puff pastry nails
This condition occurs when the nail plate is separated into layers. It can be caused by thyroid disease, poor nutrition, stress or neglect of the hands; it is more common in women.
Option: You can use warm olive oil to soak your nails, or creams with vitamin B6 and cystine in them. It is advisable not to file, or use enamels or acetone on the nails if you have this condition. It is necessary to balance our food and rule out conditions such as those mentioned above.