Is it possible to strengthen your nails' natural strength?
Gender: Female / Age: 30 - 39
Question: My nails have always been very weak and experience a lot of splitting and breaking. I try to file my nails regularly and push back my cuticles after using a cream. I have used a couple products to strengthen my nails, but I feel like many of them are just coating them which isn't actually improving my nails' natural strength. Is there any way I can improve my nails' natural strength?
Dr. Schultz: Since the nail plate is dead tissue, you can't strengthen it from the inside; it's natural strength is determined by genetics just like your height. You can only strengthen it by products that coat and protect it, and equally importantly, by minimizing exposure of the nails (i.e., avoiding over-use) to products that weaken the nail plate (e.g., nail polish remover). Of course you'll need to use nail polish remover from time to time, but using it every day or several times a week can begin to cause problems, depending upon your nail's natural strength.