Many women love the look of pretty, polished hands after they’ve been for a manicure, but what they might not realise is that not only can manicures be a source of infection, wearing polish too much can make your nails both yellow and brittle. Granted, you might have weak nails due to, say hypothyroidism, which you can either develop or be born with (the latter is more rare, but it happens), but still, it’s helpful to know what the signs of an unhealthy nail are, so that you can get it taken care of as soon as possible.
After all, unhealthy nails can not only be a sign that your diet is incorrect, but that you may have received some sort of infection from your last manicure trip. The latter shouldn’t happen if your manicurist is diligent about sanitising everything in her shop, but every once in a while, someone slips and re-uses an emery board when they shouldn’t, or doesn’t sterilise everything properly.
Here are some helpful tips for recognising when you might have unhealthy nails and how to get them back to the way you want them to look.
- Infected Cuticles. If you or your manicurist pushes back your cuticles too hard, it can damage them, leading to infection. Signs of infection include redness, pain, and even pus. If you see any of these signs, get it checked out by a doctor. Once everything clears up, start fresh by making sure your cuticles are moisturised.
- Don’t Ignore a Nail Infection. Are your nails brittle or discoloured or thick? You might think it’s just neglecting to remove nail polish, but in truth it might be an infection. It’s not wise to self-diagnose, though. Go to a doctor who can determine more accurately if it’s just post-manicure damage, or a more serious problem.
- Ridged or Bumpy Nails. This condition comes of biting your nails, so if you’re a biter, find a way to break the habit. If nothing else, think of the fact that there is often dirt and dead skin cells underneath, so if you bite your nails, the “disgust” factor might help you break you of the unsightly habit. Alternatively, put on a clear polish. It tastes bad, but it also hides the “edible” part from sight.
There are many reasons why you might have unhealthy nails, but with a bit of due diligence (and some bad-habit breaking), you can get things ship-shape again.