Posts Tagged ‘Nails’

How to Treat Brittle Nails

If you have brittle nails caring for them can be a lot easier than you may think. Everyday tasks can have an effect on the condition of your nails however by taking note of the following, you can have your nails back to top condition pretty quickly.

How to Prevent and Treat Brittle Nails

Nail Polish Remover – If you like to paint your nails, be very careful about what you use to remove the paint. Many products contain very harsh ingredients such as acetone which strips moisture out of your nail. Look for products that are acetone-free.

Water – Simply being dehydrated can have a big affect on your nails. You can deal with this by drinking more water and rubbing moisturiser or olive oil on your nails.

Biotin – Many years ago researchers found that Biotin (one of the B vitamins) improved the strength of horses’ hooves. It turns out it not only works on horses but humans too! If you have very brittle nails you’ll need to take it in supplement form in order to get enough. 2.5mg per day is the suggested amount.

Thyroid – One symptom of an under active thyroid is brittle nails. Check with your doctor for further advice and/or have a look at the other symptoms of hypothyroidism to see if you have any.

Protein – Protein is made up of amino acids which are said to be the “building blocks” of our body. They are absolutely essential to our health because they create our cells and repair tissues. Not only will they reward you with strong nails but a healthy body in general.

Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) – We all know that EFAs are vital to our diets the problem is that most of us don’t get enough and we’re taking the wrong types of fat instead. Evening Primrose Oil contains Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA) which has been shown to offer a huge range of health benefits including helping with brittle nails, hair, arthritis and PMS. Fish Oil is also supposed to very beneficial.

Vitamin Deficiencies
– Other vitamins which you may be short of include zinc, iron, calcium, vitamin A, vitamin E and selenium. Brittle nails can be an indicator of poor diet and potentially other health problems. It’s always a good idea to improve your diet by eating more vegetables and/or taking a multi-vitamin or supplement specifically for improving nail strength.

OPI Nail EnvyOPI have a range of products which you paint on your nails to help if they are thin, brittle or ridged. My mum used it a while back to get rid of a very deep ridge on one of her nails. It worked amazingly well and would definitely recommend it to anyone.

How to Treat Fungal Nail Infections Naturally

Let’s face it, nail fungus probably isn’t one of the nicest health topics to talk about but it is certainly one which affects a lot of people. The condition is caused by micro-organisms called Dermatophytes. It lives on the nail bed and eats the keratin which is the protein in your nail. Normally it will start at the end of the nail and work its way down to the base if left untreated. The end result is a nail which is thick and deformed and in some cases can affect the surrounding skin. Typically the big toe is affect first, spreading to the other toes later.

What Causes Fungal Nail Infection?

  • Dermatophytes love warm and moist conditions such as sweaty socks and shoes. Buy cotton socks instead of nylon and used an anti-fugal powder if you suffer from sweaty feet.
  • Sometimes the fungus can infect the nail via the skin. This can happen due to an ingrown toe nail or damage to the nail.
  • If you have circulation problems, diabetes or HIV you have an increased chance of infection.
  • If you suffer from athlete’s foot make sure you treat it quickly to prevent it turning into a fungal nail infection.

Treatment of Fugal Nail Infection

First of all before deciding what treatment to go for, please understand that it can take at least 3 months for the problem to go away. It can take 18 months for a nail to replace itself so this is not going to be a quick fix.

  1. Tea TreeTea Tree is a wonderfully potent natural antibacterial essential oil. Simply apply a few drops to the affected area a few times per day.
  2. Hydrogen Peroxide – Either apply Hydrogen Peroxideto your nail with some cotton wool and allow to dry or soak in a mixture of 50% HP and 50% water.
  3. Vinegar – soak your feet daily in 50% vinegar, 50% water. Soak your feet for at least half an hour and it’s recommended you do this three times per day. There is a surprisingly large selection of vinegars available including wine vinegar and coconut vinegar. You can use any of them but generally it is Apple Cider or white vinegar which is used for nail infections. The reason vinegar works is because it is acidic and fungi don’t like acid conditions.
  4. Saprox Saprox is a natural mud which is high in sulphur. Apply liberally to the toe and allow it to dry in. It is suggested that combining with another treatment will help speed up results.
  5. There are a number of other natural treatments to try including: Vitamin E Oil, Oregano Oil, Thyme Oil and Essential Oil Cinnamon Leaf.

If you are bothered by fungal nail infection it is definitely worth trying natural remedies first. Although there are a number of prescription drugs you can take they are not always effective and can be harsh on the liver. If you are at all unsure please always consult with a doctor or chiropractor.

Soy Protein and Your Skin, Hair and Nails

Many people are resigned to fact that wrinkled skin comes hand-in-hand with old age. One of the major problems with aging skin is that your body’s production of collagen declines. It’s not just aging which causes this but also diet, menopause symptoms, sunlight, smoking and stress.

So What can You do to Keep Your Skin Looking Healthy?

First of all, protect your skin from the sun’s rays. Make sure you use a high sun factor and use fake tan instead of sunbathing. Secondly, if you’re a smoker you must stop now. You don’t need me to tell you why smoking is bad for your health, I’m sure you already know. Thirdly, you need to improve your diet. You should be eating plenty of good quality protein and antioxidant-rich foods. This will give your body the nutrients it needs for building and repairing you cells.

Is Soy a Good Source of Protein and Antioxidants?

According to studies it would seem that soy is an indeed an ideal source of protein and antioxidants. You can take soy internally to benefit your general health as well as applying it directly to your skin to reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

Revival Soy who sell a number of soy products did a survey of 40 postmenopausal women of ages 50-65, to find out what the real benefits of soy are when taken over a six-month period. Some of the women took 20g of soy whilst the others didn’t take any.

Skin – 93% of those taking the soy found that skin discoloration and flaking reduced after only 3 months, whilst wrinkles improved after 6 months.

Nails – Improvements in nail quality took longer to be noticeable. After 3 months no improvements were experienced however after 6 months ridging, nail roughness, splitting and flaking were greatly reduced.

Hair – Hair quality was greatly improved after 3 months with continued benefits experienced after 6 months.

It would seem that soy taken as part of your healthy diet will help with not only your skin but also hair and nails. Although benefits are evident within 3 months, you should continue taking soy for 6 months to really see what it can do for your body.