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Can your nails get stronger with calcium? (includes 10 nail care tips)

written by Vidya Sury June 14, 2011
Can your nails get stronger with calcium?

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Ever wondered if your nails get stronger with calcium?

If your nails feel brittle and keep breaking, you are probably wondering whether taking calcium supplements might help. Thing is, while Calcium is great for the body in many ways, stronger nails is not one of its benefits.

Just like hair, nails are composed of keratin, the hard protein. So food that helps develop beautiful healthy hair should also keep your nails strong. Remember:

  • To keep nails growing and strong, you need protein
  • To keep nails from growing weak, you need zinc
  • To stop your nails from becoming spoon-shaped, you need iron

If you get too much selenium, you could start losing hair and nails.

Does calcium help nails grow?

While it is a common belief that nails get stronger with calcium and that calcium supplements ought to keep nails strong, research shows that that is not true.

Remember, also, that your nails can tell your doctor about your overall health and diet, so stick to a nutritious and healthy diet that includes all those colors, whole grains, proteins and low fat dairy products.

Read: What your nails can tell you about your health

Can your nails get stronger with calcium can you grow your nails faster

Can you make your nails grow faster?

Nothing can make your nails grow faster. They have a fixed rate of growth–usually a millimeter a month. The important thing is to ensure that they do not break easily.

There are studies to show that biotin supplements can strengthen brittle nails, reducing breaking or splitting, so check with your doctor to find out if you need to take them. Biotin, as a dietary supplement or as an ingredient in vitamins is available as a supplement and improves skin, hair and nails. These supplements also include calcium and silicon.

Also keep your nails stronger by using moisturizer regularly. This will also prevent breaking, especially during winter when the air can get drier and cause the nails to crack or split more easily. Keeping the nails lubricated with hand cream after you wash your hands helps a great deal. In cold weather, protect your nails by wearing rubber gloves while doing housework as detergents and dish soap are known to dry nails.

Nails mirror our overall health and we must take good care of them. The American Academy of Dermatology suggests the following nail care tips to keep nails healthy:

  1. Keep your nails clean and dry.
  2. Cut your nails straight across. Use sharp nail scissors or clippers. Round the nails slightly at the tips to keep them strong.
  3. Keep your nails shaped and free of snags by filing with an emery board.
  4. Do not bite your fingernails or remove the cuticle as this will damage the nail.
  5. Do not use your nails as a tool, such as opening pop cans.
  6. Trim toenails regularly. Keeping them short will minimize the risk of trauma and injury.
  7. When toenails are thick and difficult to cut, soak your feet in warm salt water. Mix one teaspoon of salt per pint of water and soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
  8. Avoid “digging out” ingrown toenails, especially if they are infected and sore. If you are suffering from an ingrown toenail, see a dermatologist for treatment.
  9. Wear shoes that fit properly. Also alternate which pair of shoes you wear each day.
  10. Wear flip flops at the pool and in public showers. This reduces the risk of infections caused by a fungus that can get in your toenails.

If your nails change, swell, or cause pain, see your dermatologist because these can be signs of serious nail problems. If you have diabetes or poor circulation, it’s especially important to seek treatment for any nail problems.

Read Foot care for diabetes

If you have questions or concerns about caring for your nails, see a board-certified dermatologist.

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