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Home Remedies for Nail Problems

While they can’t talk, your hands and feet say a lot about you. When they aren’t the healthiest, your nails sometimes scream at the top of their lungs. From discoloration to brittleness, there are a lot of issues that can call attention to your nails. To improve their appearance, home remedies for nail problems can help.

Fingernails and toenails are subject to a range of changes and conditions that includes [1]:

Trauma – Could come from slamming your finger in a door to dropping something heavy on your foot.
Skin Diseases – HPV, psoriasis, and other skin conditions can cause a change in the shape, color and thickness of nails.
Infection – Infection could come from a hang nail or from fungus trapped under the nail bed.
Nutritional Deficiencies – Severe malnutrition and lack of specific vitamins can cause changes in your nails.
Issues with Appearance – Lifestyle habits, such as nervous tapping of the nails, can cause nails to become brittle, split or dull.
Overall Signs of Aging – Examples include vertical ridging and brittle nails.

Conditions and health concerns that affect fingernails include:

• Horizontal ridges – caused by anemia or malnutrition
• Horizontal white lines – caused by kidney disease, Hodgkin’s disease, or heart disease
• Vertical trenches – caused by kidney disorders, iron deficiency and overall aging
• Vertical splitting – caused by calcium deficiency
• Vertical red lines – caused by rheumatoid arthritis or high blood pressure
• Pitted nails – caused by psoriasis, parasites, or eczema
• Brittle nails – caused by deficiency in calcium, vitamin A, and/or iron
• Blue nails – caused by circulatory and pulmonary issues, such as asthma or emphysema
• Yellow nails – caused by liver problems, diabetes, or lymphatic system issues
• White nails – caused by liver problems, kidney disorders, or anemia
• White spots on nails – caused by a lack of zinc in the body
• Nails curving down at tips – caused by heart or lung problems
• Nails curving up (spooning) – caused by anemia and iron deficiency
• Flat nails – caused by anemia, thyroid disease, or deficiency in vitamin B12

When you have unhealthy nails, it could turn into much more than having to forego a pair of your favorite open-toed shoes or hide your hands. Ignoring signs of nutritional deficiencies or disease can lead to prolonged consequences. However, consider the following home remedies for nail problems to encourage healing and bring back healthy nails:

Since your nails contain no fat, they cannot naturally hold in moisture. To lock in water and moisture, apply petroleum jelly after washing your hands.

The cuticle is naturally protected from moisture and bacteria, but everyday activities can weaken your defenses. Get in the habit of soaking cuticles, and then gently pushing back using a moist towel.

When you have shorter nails, there is less of a chance of suffering damage.

Treat your nails with kindness by avoiding stress and accidents that can cause damage. Injuries, such as slamming your nail in the car door or accidentally hitting it with a hammer, can cause trauma, stop nail growth, bring bruises, and increase the possibility of infection.

When doing housework, wear gloves to prevent coming in contact with the cleansers, detergents, and other chemical-filled products that can make nails brittle.

The majority of nail polish removers on the market contain acetone, which notoriously dries up nails. It is suggested to limit the amount of times your nails come in contact with such powerful chemicals. Aim for no more than once per week.

To treat the soreness of ingrown toenails, soak your foot in a tub of warm water mixed with one to two tablespoons of Epsom salts. Keep your toes in for five to ten minutes – a remedy that should be followed once or twice a day.

Ingrown toenails often serve as an alert that it is time to purchase a new pair of shoes. You need a roomier fit to encourage healthy nail growth.

To enjoy relief from pressure on the toes, slip into a lower heel and keep the high heels in the back of the closet.

When toenails are painful in your regular shoes, choose an open-toed sandal to give yourself time to heal.

When nails are brittle or suffer vertical splitting, it could be a sign that you’re not getting enough calcium in your diet. Increase the number of dairy products and calcium-rich foods (such as sesame seeds, spinach, and broccoli) that you eat.

Not getting enough iron into your system? You may experience brittle nails, nails curving up, and vertical trenches. To increase the amount of iron in your diet, try eating more vitamin-fortified cereal (such as Kellogg’s all Bran), brown rice, oatmeal, oranges, and different kinds of meat.

Flat nails are sometimes caused by a deficiency in vitamin B12. Foods that contain this vitamin include clams, lobster, beef, cheese, eggs, and certain types of fish, such as salmon and tuna.

If you’re not getting enough zinc in your diet, you may suffer from white spots on the nails. It is suggested to increase your consumption of foods, such as pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, dark chocolate and peanuts.

Being deficient in vitamin A can cause brittle nails. Take a vitamin supplement or increase your consumption of foods, such as sweet potatoes, carrots, lettuce, and cantaloupe. When cooking you food, use cayenne pepper, paprika and red pepper to add additional vitamin A to your meals.


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