Weak, soft, or brittle fingernails may be caused by hereditary factors, illness, regular contact with strong household cleaners, or too-frequent use of nail polish remover. To strengthen nails naturally, use rubber gloves for household chores, and keep hands out of very hot water. Rub in cuticle cream daily. Apply hand lotion after F
washing hands and before bedtime. Try not to use your nails for digging and prying, and keep them filed and snag free.
If a nail starts to tear, repair it with a drop of instant-bonding nail glue. Keep the glue away from your eyes. If any glue gets on your skin, remove it at once with polish remover. After the glue dries, file the area smooth.
For nails that tend to peel or snag, try tape wraps that come in kits. Stick the tapes on the ends of your nails, cut the tapes to size, then wrap the edges around the tips and under your nails. Secure them with the finishing liquid in the kit, then polish your nails.
Liquid hardeners, plastic tips, nail wrapping, and artificial nails can cause severe allergic reactions and even injury to nails. Some dermatologists recommend against their use. Should you decide to try such a nail strengthener, be sure to do a patch test following the package instructions. If redness, swelling, or itching develop, do not use the product.
Nail enamel may also cause an allergic reaction, but not always in the vicinity of the nail. Reddish, itchy spots may appear on delicate skin areas, such as the eyelids or sides of the neck and face, touched by the nails.