Nails make it easier to pick up small things and scratch an itch. They also provide an external sign of your health, with weak, brittle nails often signaling some nutritional deficiency, and ignoring them all together could lead to painful ingrown nails or annoying fungal infections. Unexpected changes in the fingernails could even be a sign of several types of cancer.
Follow these 14 tips for not only well-groomed, but healthy and strong nails on all 20 fingers and toes.
Jupiterimages/ThinkstockKeep your nails hydrated. Rub a small amount of petroleum jelly or lotion into your cuticle and the skin surrounding your nails every evening before you go to bed or whenever your nails feel dry to prevent breakage. Not a fan of petroleum jelly? Substitute castor oil, which contains cuticle booster vitamin E., or head to your kitchen cupboard and grab the olive oil. MayoClinic.com even suggests wearing cotton gloves to bed to seal in moisture if you have weak nails that need toughening.
Next: Wear rubber gloves when cleaning