Long gone are the days when I had time to worry about the tragedy of a broken nail in my quest for 10 perfectly manicured ones. Now so long as they are clean and relatively well groomed I consider myself ahead of the game. The only time I really worry about my nails is when something happens to them that will cause me pain or aggravation.
I have been finding solutions to these nail problems though.
1. The painful hang-nail. Sometimes you have a hangnail and it is killer, sometimes you can't even see it but oh! the Paaaaiiinnnnnnnnnn. Even if you can't see, you can tell when this has happened when the finger on the side of your nail bed is sore and or swollen. This means something around there has gone awry and become infected and as well as being super sore it can also quickly become a problem worthy of big horse pill antibiotics and none of us want that. Sometimes, if you are doing a lot of housework you can also get a crack in the skin just to the edge of the nail bed and it gets infected. For something so tiny it is incredibly painful.
So this is my fool-proof solution. At the first sign of a hang nail, soften it by putting your hand in warm water for a few minutes (never cut it when it is hard, it will make it tear more!) then clip it with sterile clippers- short enough so that it does not get pulled and stuck in things (eeuw), THEN: slather the area with Neosporin + Pain relief.
Really, really massage it into the area in liberal amounts and often. It will hurt to massage it in thoroughly, but the cream needs to get into all those little invisible cracks and crannies so rub all around the area and do so often. Cover it with a band-aid. This has healed my most throbbingly painful hangnail situations in as fast as just a few hours. The pain relief component of the Neosporin gives you instant relief and instant is always awesome when it comes to pain.
2.The nail that breaks half way down the nail bed. Oh man. That sinking feeling when you notice that a nail has cracked and broken half way down your nail bed. What are you supposed to do? The crack is going to keeping getting bigger and snag on everything all the time (shudder). Covering it when a bandaid doesn't help much. And you can't clip it. It is going to take weeks for the nail to grow long enough to clip without problems and the band aid is just going to keep sliding off and making your finger and your nail all white and mushy.
Your friend here is SUPER GLUE. Have you ever stopped a run in your hose with a little dollop of nail polish? Same concept. Get the super glue out, preferably with the help of a trusted friend. It needs to be placed carefully and judiciously. You can't be getting all willy nilly with super glue or you will have a whole different issue on your hands (no pun intended). Stick a dollop of glue from the side of the nail right up to where the tear ends and let it dry, try to push your nail together from from the tip downwards as it dries to "knit" the nail back together. Problem solved. The nail will then feel as good as new, no snagging, no pain and because the nail is stabilized, the tear will stop where is. I'm sure there is a nail glue designed for just this purpose but the super glue has held up very well through all sorts of gloveless housework, and it's something I had on hand. Again, with the puns not intended. Super glue! Don't use Crazy Glue, I did not find it worked for long.
3. And this one my mom will have to forgive me for sharing with you all. Years ago, she was dealing with that icky toenail fungus thing that makes your toenail get all thick and ugly. The Dr- prescribed cream for such a condition costs a fortune and has some super scary side effects listed so she decided to find a natural way.
Every day she soaked her toesies in vinegar and voila. Problem solved. The fungus was eliminated and her toenails returned to their former glory as they grew out. Vinegar my friends, is a marvelous thing. Incidentally, my mom would rinse our hair every time she washed it with diluted apple cider vinegar to make it shine. And we had famously shiny hair. She also believes it is why none of us ever got lice.