Different individuals have a variety of ideas about the best ways to keep fingernails healthy and beautiful. Some are doing it right, but if you’re one of those who are doing it wrong, you may actually be making your nails weaker.
So, which category are you in? Find out in this article, where we reveal the truth behind five of the most common popular beliefs about nail care.
The Myth: To encourage nail growth and healthy cuticles, keep your cuticles pushed back.
The Truth: Actually, most dermatologists would advise against pushing back the cuticles, as well as discouraging cutting them. The cuticle is there to protect the roots of your nails and the skin around them.
Pushing your cuticles back can not only damage the cuticle, but can expose the folds of skin around your nail (called the paronychium) to harmful bacteria, which may cause an infection.
The Myth: Applying gelatin, or nail polishes that contain hardening ingredients, makes your nails stronger.
The Truth: Polishes with these ingredients can indeed make nails less vulnerable to splitting, they also make nails stiffer and less flexible – which means they’re more likely to break when exposed to a sharp, sudden impact.
Although many people attribute the strength of their nails to regular immersions in gelatin, this claim has not been investigated scientifically.
The Myth: If you need to treat a fungal infection of the nail, topical fungus treatments will work fine.
The Truth: There are lots of products available from drugstores that supposedly get rid of fungal nail infections. However, the truth is that very few of them do, because very few of them are able to penetrate the nail.
The most effective way to treat a fungal nail infection is to fight it from the inside by obtaining an oral prescription medication from a dermatologist.
The Myth: If you have problem nails, getting artificial nails will solve all your problems.
The Truth: This is true, but only if your definition of “solve” is “cover up.” Hiding a nail problem under an artificial nail will not make it go away. If anything, it’s likely to make it worse.
Therefore, if you have brittle nails or are prone to fungal infections, artificial nails are not a good option for you.
The Myth: You shouldn’t use dark-colored nail polishes, because you’re likely to end up with discolored nails.
The Truth: Actually, we fibbed in the title – that one is true. Some regular users of darker polish shades have discovered that their nails have turned yellow over time.
However, if your nails have not yellowed, you can prevent them from doing so by applying a layer or two of base coat to your nail before putting on nail polish.
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