Everyone has their own unique nails and just like skin everyone has their own unique nail issues. Not everyone can be blessed with amazing strong nails that have zero issues. So here are some solutions I myself have used and now will continue to swear by.
1. Peeling nails
After I stopped biting my nails I found that for a long time I suffered from horrific peeling. I’ve actually found several solutions to this particular problem, the first being cutting your nails. If the nail plate is peeling at the tips and not further up, try cutting past the damage. It may be that the peeling is spread from the damaged tips to healthier/stronger cells further back. Also, invest in some nice nail oil. Hydrated nails are much less likely to peel. My more favourable solution is to simply buff the surface of the nail over the peeling to prevent the separation and harsh divide between nail layers from spreading the peeling. Be careful not to make the nail too thin though as this can cause broken tips and splitting.
2. Splits at the end or side of the nail.
Splitting of the nail can be very painful, especially if the split is allowed to travel upward towards the nail bed. To prevent the split reaching that far you can opt for one of two methods, either cut the nail or use the teabag and nail glue method which I have explained in my previous post on fixing broken nails. To prevent future breaks make sure to file in one direction only so you do not create fractures in the nail or snags. Both of the above methods can be adopted to fix side splits too, however preventing side splits is a lot more hit and miss. For myself I simply have no sides to split, by allowing my nubs to grow from short points to long ones I have removed the risk of side splits as there are no sides. On square nails however I would suggest having gel polish applied or a layer of builder gel to reinforce your natural nail.
3. Dry hands and cuticles
This is my biggest bugbear, I have always had super dry cuticles and hands. However, the fix to this is really quite simple. Invest in a high quality hand cream and cuticle oil. Oil the cuticles whenever possible (I usually forget) and apply hand cream regularly. My personal favourite is the OPI Avoplex hand cream however I have also found that the soap and glory hand food smells great and does a good enough job too.
4. Brittle nails
Brittle nails can really be quite painful. Broken tips and softness of the nails can cause painful nail beds and really quite sore fingers. Unfortunately the solutions for this problem take time. Start by cutting down or reinforcing the nails you do have. Now ensure you are following a good diet and you are consuming all your required vitamins and minerals, consult your doctor about consumption of multivitamins and your diet to make sure you are doing the best for you. Iron deficiency (anaemia) is a common cause of brittle nails. Allow them to grow in healthy over time and eventually you will see the benefits of the dietary changes and sufficient vitamin and mineral intake.
As with brittle nails, ridged nails can be caused by dietary insufficiency. First visit your doctor to ensure you are getting everything that you need. To fix the ridges at hand (pardon the pun) simply take a nail buffing block and follow the steps and sides to smooth out the surface of the nail. They will be gone in no time. Larger ridges may be required to be grown out.
6. Fungal Nail
Fungal nails can present themselves in many different ways, see a more complete guide from the NHS Here! If you believe you have a fungal nail infection you have two options, either visit your doctor and obtain a prescription to treat the infection or buy a over the counter solution to do the same job. Follow the full course of treatment even if the infection appears to have disappeared. Once treatment is complete follow any steps required to deal with the after effects of infection such as dryness, peeling or the loss of a nail (it will grow back I promise).
7. Ingrown nail
Ingrown nails are something I regularly have to deal with myself, more often so on my feet. Ingrown nails can be incredibly painful and occur when the nail has deviated off of its designated path and grown inward to the flesh. In order to solve this you can either visit the doctor where they can have it removed for you or for regular occurrences you can self treat at home. Take a small pair of nail scissors and a pair of tweezers. Have some antiseptic wash or a wipe on hand. Use the tweezers to life the corner of the nail out of the flesh, using the small scissors cut the excess nail off. file the edge if possible and then clean the site with antiseptic to prevent infection.
8. Infected/sore cuticle
If the cuticle area is red, warm and inflamed you most likely have an infection. If the infection is severe you must go see a doctor however smaller infections and inflammation can be easily dealt with at home.