Finger Nails Problem

Bad finger nail
Q: May I ask about my horrid finger nails, they split, crumble and are ridged, in fact they look dreadful. I am so sick of looking for answers. My nails used to be my best feature long and strong and I miss them.
I have a varied diet and have tried every potion lotion and vitamin under the sun but to no avail. I feel that the nails are too weak and vulnerable to be attaching acrylics. Please, please, have you any other suggestions for me?

A: One question that I need to ask first is while your fingernails are the problem you are writing about, how are your toenails? Do you have similar problems with them? If the problem is only with your fingernails and your toenails are healthy and strong, then it indicates that the problem is environmental. In other words you are exposing your hands to something that is causing damage to your nails.
The key is to discover what the offender is and remove it from the equation. If your toenails are also in poor condition, then you should see a physician to discuss the problem as it could be symptomatic of a more serious health issue.
Additionally, you mention ridges in your nails. If these ridges are vertical (running along the same directions as your fingers) these are normal and not really indicative of anything more then genetics. However, horizontal ridges (that run sideways across the nail) are usually a sign of potentially serious problems, and should be shown to your doctor as soon as possible.
If you cannot identify any possible exterior cause for the nails (provided your problem is only with the fingernails) you should see your physician anyway to make certain that there is nothing more serious at play.
Also, talk to your family about their nails. It could be that your family has traditionally weaker, problematic nails. You may also try simply to keep your nails well conditioned. The keratin-rich lotions available today are often a good product.
If you confirm that there is no medical problem, I can recommend that you try a visit to a salon to have your nails “wrapped”. This process involves having the nails covered with a thin layer of silk fabric or special paper which is glued to the surface of the nail. This gives the nail some extra strength, without the bulkiness of traditional acrylics.
Photo: Sruilk/Shutterstock
See also: Manicures and nail care