Ways You Didn't Realize You Were Ruining Your Fingernails

Your fingernails can reveal a lot about your health. According to the Mayo Clinic, fingernails are made of several layers of keratin, a protein that helps maintain the strength of your nails. While we can visibly see most of our nails just by looking at our hands, the base of the nail is found underneath the cuticle. Fingernails that are healthy with no issues typically appear smooth, feature the same color, and lack any spots or discoloration. However, there are times when fingernails develop pits or grooves, which can signal an underlying health condition or improper nail care.

Nails can reveal a lot about a person's nutritional intake and digestion. For example, those with poor digestion and nutritional intake may experience weak and brittle nails simply because of a poor diet, Healthline reports. Unhealthy fingernails may also peel and change colors, such as yellow, or develop black or white spots and lines.

How to care for your nails

Leaving nail polish on for too long can damage your nails. According to the Cleveland Clinic, leaving polish on for a few weeks and then removing it is your best bet for proper nail health. While nails are hard and durable, removing polish after so long allows them to breathe, preventing your nails from becoming too dry. In addition to removing nail polish after a few weeks, keep your feet dry throughout the day to ensure your nails stay dry just enough and healthy.

You've likely used your own nails as a tool before, but this also ruins your fingernails. Opening a can of pop or trying to open a key ring can cause your nails to break easily, Today reports. Instead of rushing to use your nail as a tool, look for a real tool or go slowly with your nail to avoid breaking it. Take care of your nails properly by not biting them and wearing gloves when your hands will be in water for an extended period of time, like while washing dishes.