Nail down the problem
By Colette Warbrook
It's said the eyes are the windows to the soul, but another part of the body – the nails – also has much to reveal. Natalie Goodwin, aged 27, of The Beauty Boutique, in Brown Edge explains more
What are the white spots you may see on your nails?
They are normally caused by damage to the nail. A lot of people say it's about being calcium deficient, but that is a myth.
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These marks aren't chalk spots, at all.
They are likely to have been caused by a mild trauma, such as knocking a nail.
There is a part of the nail called the matrix, which is underneath the cuticle, and as it grows out, you see it on the nail plate.
They do grow out eventually, as the nail grows up.
The white spot will either disappear or grow out completely.
Does a person's health show in their nails?
Beauticians and beauty therapists aren't doctors, but people having chemotherapy or on new medication may have nails which are dry and peeling.
What treatments can help?
In the salon I use nail proteins for different types of nails from a brand called Nailtiques.
If someone has soft nails there is a strong protein which can be used and there is also a protein for harder, thicker nails.
I put this on as part of a manicure or pedicure.
The protein works with the nails to give them what they need.
What else can you suggest?
I would recommend a manicure about once every four to six weeks, which does nails the world of good.
Just by having your nails cut and filed, and your cuticles pushed back, helps the nails to grow.
I believe your nails will get a lot stronger by doing this.
What about dry cuticles?
Use cuticle oil or a nice hand cream.
I know that with people's busy lives it's not the main thing they think about, but I'd say to people to keep these products on their bedside table and use them as part of their bedtime beauty routine. It can then soak in overnight.
Nailtiques have a cuticle oil, but to be honest any sort of moisturiser is better than nothing.
Why is biting your nails a bad habit?
It's easier said than done for someone to stop this, but one of the things to point out is there are lots of germs under the nails.
Can nail polish damage nails?
It's important to apply it carefully with a nice base, and when you remove it, make sure you take it off properly.
You need something which is acetone-free and isn't harsh, so it protects the nail while still removing the polish.
What can you say about ridges?
They can be caused by damage to the nail bed, or someone may have a ridge on the nail plate which should eventually grow out.
If the ridge is caused by damage, it could have happened, for example, if someone has caught their finger in a car door.
That damage could be left for a longer period of time.
How can diet affect nails?
Bad diet, such as eating junk food, can cause brittle nails. You should eat a diet rich in fruit and vegetables.
What else can you advise?
Wear rubber gloves when washing up to protect your hands and nails.
You could also wear cotton gloves at night after putting on lots of moisturiser.
To find out more about The Beauty Boutique, visit www.thebeautyboutiquestaffordshire.co.uk or call 01782 763728.