At one time or another, most adults have experienced a broken or damaged nail. Such damage can occur anytime, particularly because of the stress we put our nails through every day. Nails are even more prone to damage if we do not take good care of them. Unfortunately, it is hard to live a full and confident lifestyle if your nails appear damaged or unhealthy. You can return your nails to a better appearance, however. You just need to understand their condition and how to restore better health.
Why do nails break or split?
Stress to your nails, such as they experience as part of daily wear and tear, can split or break them. But sometimes such damage is a sign of a health problem that causes weakness. This can include an absence of important nutrients your nails need to stay strong and healthy looking, such as keratin. Keratin is a protein that makes up your nails and provides them with strength and durability.
Besides lack of keratin, other common causes of broken, brittle or split nails include:
- Extended moisture exposure
- Health problems
- Yeast or fungal infections
- Nail picking or nail biting
- Poorly performed manicures
- Overuse of nail polish remover or chipping away at nail polish
How can I repair my damaged nail?
If you split a nail, you can certainly find plenty of social media “hacks” for repairing it. But these so-called solutions can also cause more damage to your nail health, irritating them or otherwise injuring them beyond the original problem. This is true if you apply fake nails over a split or break, for example.
You should always treat damaged nails as carefully as you would other injured parts of your body. You do not want to introduce germs or substances that can irritate the region. This means using nail repair products designed specifically to repair the nail surface and protect against additional damage. Your nail repair gel should contain ingredients proven to provide strength and nutrition.
Benefits of Using a Quality Nail Repair Gel
Gel designed specifically for nail repair treats cracked, split, broken, damaged and fungal nails to improve strength and overall health. That is, when you use a quality repair gel product from reputable manufacturers. Your best bet is to choose a product designed by licensed dermatologists who understand nail health.
You can restore damaged nails on your hands and feet by using a good repair gel. Toenails more commonly experience nail fungus than fingernails. But a quality repair gel should feature nutrients and fungus-eradicating ingredients delivered transdermally, meaning through the nail and skin to the source of the health issue. A good gel product revives your nail appearance, rapidly eliminating the telltale signs of dryness, brittleness, cracks and yellowing. Your chosen gel should restore healthy color and shine to your nails, too.
Choose a quality repair gel that moisturizes the nail and surrounding skin. Moisture helps strengthen the surface to prevent future chips and damage, such as that occurring from extensive use of nail polish and salon manicures or even frequent hand washing. With ongoing use as directed, your nail gel should strengthen weak and damaged nails. It can smooth ridges and reduce nail fungus, yellowing, onycholysis and paronychia conditions.
Ingredients of a Quality Repair Gel
Essential ingredients in your nail gel should include:
- Purified water
- Docusate sodium, for nail condition treatment
- Urea, proven to treat nail and skin conditions
- Lecithin, an essential fat
- Isopropyl myristate for absorption into the skin and nail
- Propylene glycol, a skin conditioning agent
- Polysorbate, a thickening agent
- Triethanolamine, thickener and pH adjuster
- Carbomer, a non-toxic substance used to make gel
Of course, it is critical that you find a nail gel that is proven to work, one causing no adverse side effects. Other things you should look for in your gel include:
- Environmentally friendly
- Vegan friendly
Maintaining Healthy Nails
While using your nail gel and after restoring them to good health, maintain them by following some simple care tips. These tips include:
- Keep your nails trimmed and clean
- Do not bite your nails
- Do not pick at the nails or cuticles
- Never remove gel or acrylic nails yourself
- Moisturize daily, including the cuticles
- Use a nail strengthener that promotes keratin