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Truths and Myths About Growing Our Fingernails

By Michele Blacksberg RN HERWriter
 
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Everyone knows your fingernails can indicate whether you are in good health or not. Right?

Well actually, there are plenty of people with health issues that have normal looking nails, so that is not entirely true.

And there can be a significant number of ways that fingernails of healthy people can look different as well. So while paying attention to changes in your nails is valuable, assuming that there is a health problem may be premature.

Let’s discuss other myths and truths about our nails.

Supplements can help grow strong fingernails.

According to WebMD, studies show taking biotin will help strengthen brittle nails. There is no recommended daily dose of the supplement but if taken regularly, it may help grow stronger nails.

Garlic on the other hand (couldn’t resist) has not been found in studies to help grow longer nails.

Some women swear that rubbing garlic on their nails or brushing on clear nail polish containing chopped up garlic has helped their nails grow longer. That simply is not true.

WebMD suggested that since garlic contains selenium and low selenium levels have caused nails to weaken, that this is how this myth might have come along.

Moisturizers will help keep fingernails long.

Keeping nails moist can help prevent them from breaking, particularly in the fall and winter months when the air is dryer and nails tend to crack or split.

Painting on a thin coat of clear nail polish can also help hold in moisture. So giving your nails increased moisture will help with their growth.

It is a good idea to use hand cream on your hands and fingernails after washing them. Using rubber gloves when washing dishes and wearing mittens or gloves when outside in the cold will offer more protection.

Eating a high protein diet will help grow your fingernails faster.

Being deficient in protein may cause weakened and slow growing nails but boosting your protein intake will not make them grow faster. Here in the United States, there are few people who are truly protein deficient.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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