Too often, we take our nails for granted. We think they are strong enough to take just about anything we throw at them, but unhealthy nails can quickly become a problem. I know I’m guilty of neglecting and abusing them far too often. Not only do these things affect our nail health, but many of these signs can also indicate the possibility of other potential health issues. If you’re having problems, it is important to try to get to the cause of your unhealthy nails and make yourself well again. Unhealthy Sign #1: Yellow Nails This is the most common problem people have with their nails. There are a number of things that can cause nails to become yellowed: smoking, fungal infections, ingesting certain strong food dyes, applying henna dye, and repeated use of harsh nail products. You can remedy this problem at home in several ways. First of all, always wear a base coat under your nail polish to prevent it from staining. A good primer is essential to strengthen and repair your nails. You can also mix baking soda and warm water to create a soak that will help to prevent the growth of fungus. Using this periodically can help keep fungus at bay while warding off unhealthy nails. Finally, adding foods that are rich in Vitamin E to your diet can help reduce yellowing. These can include sunflower seeds, avocados, shrimp, spinach, almonds, and kiwi – just to name a few. Unhealthy Sign #2: Brittle, Peeling Nails You may not realize this, but your nails are not actually one solid piece. Instead, each nail is made up of a protein called keratin. If you expose your nails to water too often or you continually use nail products that are loaded with chemicals, you may end up with unhealthy nails that are brittle and begin to peel. Always limit your hands’ exposure to water. Wear gloves when doing dishes or washing your vehicle. Avoid nail products that are harsh, especially those with acetone, found in many nail polish removers. Iron deficiency is another potential cause, so if you aren’t able to clear it up on your own, consider a checkup with your physician. You may need to increase your iron intake through foods or a supplement. Unhealthy Sign #3: Leukonychia (White Spots) For years, people have said that white spots on nails are due to a calcium or zinc deficiency. This is not true! In most cases, leukonychia is nothing to worry about, but it can be helpful to understand what causes these annoying spots. As mentioned before, your nails are much more sensitive than we sometimes realize. Trauma to the base of the nail can cause small white spots to appear. While it may seem that you have unhealthy nails because of this, you’re fine! You just have to wait it out while your nails grow until you can cut away the damaged portion. If the look bothers you, you can always cover it with a favorite nail polish. Just be sure to choose one that will be kind to your nails. Don't forget to venture on over to our lineup at 786 Cosmetics to find the perfect shade. To Conclude... We definitely don’t always pay enough attention to the health of our nails. Because they feel hard to the touch, we bang them and bruise them and cover them with products that aren’t designed for the delicate nature of our nails. Take care of your nails, and be sure to pamper them with products that will make them healthy and strong. Head over to our Instagram page and show us your beautiful, healthy nails!