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Nail treatment products have grown from simple nail polish and remover. Today, a handful of nail products penetrate the market and we are all guilty to be clueless on how to use most of these new formulas. Why not try asking the experts?

EMedicine online has elaborated some pros and cons on a couple of nail treatment products.

Nail polish

Of course, nail polish has always been and will always be top of our list for nail care. Although there is still an ongoing protest about the fumes, we have to admit, manicure is nothing without the polish. Not only does it adds beauty on our nails, but it also protects our nail plate from harmful detergents.

The myth about polish making nails brittle and dry is so busted. EMedicine claimed that polish decreases vapor loss from which helps keep moisture and adds flexibility. The real culprit for nail dryness is the nail polish remover. Its harsh acetone-based solvent is proven to damage nails.

However, there are still several nail problems associated with this product. Aside from the common nail discoloration, which is the yellowing of the nail plate, the individual can also contract allergic contact dermititis.

Discolorations often appear when deep red nail polishes that contain D&C Reds No. 6, 7, 34, or 5 Lake are applied. The stain is said to fades without treatment after 14 days. Scraping the nail plate with a scalpel blade could also be done to confirm the magnanimity of the stain.

On the other hand, allergic contact dermatitis result to proximal nail fold erythema and edema, fingertip tenderness and swelling, and/or eyelid dermatitis.

Nail Hardener

Nail hardeners are used to strengthen brittle nails. Brittle nails are dehydrated nails, and this dehydration often is caused by excessive exposure to solvents, detergents, and water.

Emedicine claimed that nail hardeners is just another nail product, which sprang and branched out of nail polish formula. It is a modification of clear polish with different solvent and resin concentrations. It is best recommended to use nail hardeners as the base coat for any polish.

Some hardeners may contain the same toluene-sulfonamide-formaldehyde resin found in nail polish. It is expected to have same dermatological risk as its predecessor.

Nail Enamel Remover

What is nail polish without a remover? Albeit the strong solvents, such as acetone, alcohol, ethyl acetate, or butyl acetate content of polish removers, we cannot easily let go of its ability to neatly srip off the nail polish from our nails.

There are some conditioning polish removers, which promised not to dry the nails. This product is made from fatty materials, such as cetyl alcohol, cetyl palmitate, lanolin, castor oil, or other synthetic oils. However, oily substances are said to be occlusive nail moisturizers. It further lessens water evaporation and has minimal effects.

Also, nail polish remover tend to irritate and dry the nail plate and the surrounding skin. It contributes to nail dryness and brittleness.

Cuticle Remover

Dermatologists firmly adhere to the procedure of removing the cuticle. Usually, paronychial inflammation with secondary bacterial infection or yeast colonization can occur. These formulated liquids or creams contain an alkali which destroy cuticle keratin.Cuticle removers also damage the nail plate through softening.

If unavoidable, cuticle can be removed mechanically by pushing and trimming.

Nail Moisturizer

Nail moisturizers are recommended for those with dry, brittle, fissured, and/or splitting nails. These are usually creams or lotions containing occlusives, such as petrolatum, mineral oil, or lanolin.

This best applied after soaking the nails for 10-20 minutes in lukewarm water. The moisturizer then be applied under occlusion with a light cotton glove or sock. It is said to take effect after 3 months of continuum application.

However, some chemical ingredients like Alpha-hydroxy acids, lactic acid, and urea, are said to bring stinging and irritant contact dermatitis in susceptible individuals. Wounds or fissured cuticles can burn if the product has a high concentration.

Nail Elongators

Nail elongators is the technique of creating the illusion of longer nails. Acrylics/ sculptured, photobonded and preformed nails fall under this category.

No doubt that these nail extensions add flair and fierceness to our hands however, the debated effects of the adhesive used and the thorough thinning or filing of the nail plate goes an endless path. It could damage the nail plate, its growth, hardness and texture, and irritates the surrounding skin.

There still remains a handful of products with no approved dermatological claim. So better research first before purchasing any product to avoid any unwanted effects.

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