All you need is a tea bag or coffee filter, along with your usual manicure gear.
After working hard to grow out your natural nails, it’s frustrating (not to mention painful) when one ends up broken or torn. The last thing you want to do is file them all down and start from zero—so, uh, now what?
First, a quick primer on why your nails aren’t playing nice: “Nails can get weak and break easily for a number of different reasons,” says Robin Evans, MD, a Connecticut-based board-certified dermatologist and clinical instructor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. For example, nails are made of keratin, and our body produces less of it as we age—so yes, aging can play a role.
Constantly exposing your nails to the elements can dry them out, too. So avoid over-washing your hands, dunking them in cleaning products, or using acetone-based polish removers.
“Weakened nails can definitely be a sign of something more than external elements,” says Raman Madan, MD, a board-certified dermatologist at Huntington Hospital in New York. “They can be a sign of iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, or Raynaud’s Syndrome (a condition caused by circulation problems).”
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