Chosing a Nail Treatment: Advice from a Nail Technichian


Jun 3, 2001


The Bottom Line Take care of your nails. Become aware of conditions and treatments to help prevent problems later on.

The first step to choosing a nail treatment is to determine the reason for needing one. Many people consider “NAIL TREATMENTS” a product that you put onto your nails to make them look or feel better. This is only half correct though. A “NAIL TREATMENT” is actually a service or product for your nails to either heal, maintain or correct a problem. Once you do this, then naturally your nails will look and feel better!

There are several nail disorders that may cause reason for a “NAIL TREATMENT”. I will list several disorders, their definition and how to correct or cover up this problem. Keep in mind this applies to fingernails as well as toenails.


~ Discolored Nails ~

This is a condition in which the nail turns a variety of colors. Colors may include green, yellow, blue, red and/or purple. Discoloration can be caused by a heart condition, poor blood circulation or many types of medications.

Sometimes, the discoloration can be lightly buffed off with a soft file, but many times the discoloring is deeper than the surface. The only way to correct this problem is to cover up the nail with polish or artificial nails.


~ Eggshell Nails ~

Eggshell nails are very thin and fragile. This condition causes your nail to curve dramatically over the tip of your finger. Eggshell nails may be caused by medication, diet or even a nervous disorder.

The only treatment for this disorder is to keep your nails short and trimmed at all times. If this condition was caused by medication, it may or may not go away if you discontinue using the medicine.


~ Furrows ~

Furrows are corrugations, or long ridges, that run either up and down or across your nails. These ridges may be caused by poor blood circulation, psoriasis, medication, a deficiency in zinc, or even frostbite. Sometimes the furrows get deeper over time.

The only way to correct this condition is if the furrows are not extremely deep. Lightly buffing the top of the nail and applying any type of ridge filler will help conceal the ridges.


~ Hangnails ~

Ah, the infamous hangnail! Hangnails, also know medically as agnails, is when the cuticle (skin) around your nail becomes dry and cracks. Hangnails care caused by dryness or cuticles that have been cut too close.

We’ve all had one at some point in time in our lives, and they are more annoying than a problem. Although, a hangnail can become infected and then you may need to seek treatment from a doctor. A simple fix for an uninfected hangnail is to apply any type of cuticle oil to the area and trim away the hanging skin.


~ Onychauxis ~

Onychauxis may sound unusual but it is VERY common. Onychauxis is when your nails become abnormally thick. This is usually found on toenails, but can appear on fingernails as well. This may be caused by and imbalance, infection or hereditary.

There is no permanent fix for this condition, but it can be treated by filing and buffing the nail to reduced the thickness.


~ Ingrown Nail ~

The medical term for ingrown nails is onychocryptosis. An ingrown nail is a nail that grows into the sides of your skin around the nail. Wearing shoes that don’t fit properly or improper use of a nail file may cause this.

As long as there is no infection, you can trim the nail so that it is rounded to relieve pressure. If the nail has grown too deep into the skin though, you will need to go to a doctor.


~ Bitten Nails ~

Also known as onychophagy, bitten nails can become deformed if you continue to bite them or if you bite them down too far.

Simply STOP BITING YOUR NAILS to fix this problem!!! Weekly manicures or artificial nails will help stop the biting and will also improve the look AND FEEL of your nails.


~ Pterygium ~

This is also a very common disorder. Pterygium is when your cuticles (skin) grow forward over the nail. If you continue to let this go untreated, the skin will grow out over your nail, possibly to the edge.

Treatment for pterygium is to use oil to soften the skin, a cuticle pusher to push back the skin and cuticle clippers to trim away the loose and overgrown skin. If you keep up with your cuticles, you will not only prevent this disorder, but you will help prevent hangnails as well!


~ Products ~

There are many different types of products to choose from when looking for an oil or lotion. You need to find out for yourself what product works best for you and then make your decision. I’ve found that even the cheapest oils work just as good as the expensive ones. Ridge fillers, on the other hand, are different. One ridge filler that I’ve used, and works well, is O.P.I. Ridge Filler. But again, you need to decide what works best for you and go from there.


~ Take Care of your Nails! ~

Maybe some of these disorders don’t sound serious to you, but they can become quite painful and PERMANENT if you don’t take care of your nails. If you take care of your nails now, you may be helping to prevent many, if not all of these conditions.


~ Disclaimer ~

I am a licensed nail technician, but NOT a doctor. If you feel you have any type of infection, inflammation, sores or swollen skin, I highly recommend going to a doctor.

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