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Ask Dr. Nair Your Own Question
Dr. Nair
Dr. Nair, Dermatologist
Category: Dermatology
Satisfied Customers: 9190
Experience:  MBBS, MD (Dermatology, Venereology & Leprology)
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I have had I believe to have been acrylic nail polish (UV

Customer Question

I have had I believe to have been acrylic nail polish (UV light) for over a year. I tried for 2 months gel nail polish with LED light. Looked like something didn't look good. So, I removed everything myself as carefully as I could. My nails have always been very thin. So all of the above was done to try to keep them short and harder. However, I purchased a new Sally Hansen nail polish that does not require LED either, is supposed to last 2 weeks.
Problem: Nails continue to split either on the sides or straight in the middle. If I remove the said polish. What can I do to repair the damage and secure harder and healthier nails. Because of the present condition, I need something to protect them from further damage until they improve, or the situation is corrected. I use my hands a lot. HELP!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dermatology
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. My name is***** and I will do my best to provide a useful input.
Would a photograph of the affected nails be possible at your convenience? Do let me know if this is a problem.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I photo each nail. To what e-mail address do I send the photos?
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 1 year ago.

If you can transfer these photographs to your computer then the fastest way to get a picture to me is to upload it to the question box by clicking on the paper clip or tree icon in the question box toolbar. This toolbar does not display in google chrome and safari so an alternate browser may be required. You can also upload them to any free photo hosting site like picasa or photobucket and send me the link if you prefer.

Or you can email the photographs to***@******.*** with my name (For Dr Nair dermatology expert) in the subject line but they usually take a few hours to forward these to me. If you choose this option please make sure you ask for an acknowledgment from JustAnswer that they have received your mail, and let me know that you have sent it

Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 1 year ago.
Good Morning,
Thank you for the photographs (I am on Asia time and they reached me over the course of the night).
Yes I see the cracking and brittleness of the nails. Age related thinning of the nails is a common phenomenon but your nails additionally look like they have chemical damage - acrylic is a common culprit.
I would recommend starting Tablet Biotin in a dose of 5 mg once a day on a long term basis can really help make the nails stronger. Omega-3 on a daily basis is helpful as well. Both Biotin and Omega-3 do not require a prescription.
As far as application goes there are a variety of nail hardeners on the market ranging from ones based on formaldehyde to others based on organic silicon or synthetic hardeners. I ask my patients to use a product called Si-Nail Varnish on a daily basis for a few months. You might not be able to get this in the US though but there are numerous other options that you can buy over the counter or online at
. Here is a formaldehyde based product that works well:
It is only to be used once a week and exactly as directed in the instructions that will come with the product. You should not have a history of allergy to formaldehyde if you want to use this product. Ideally I would recommend the oral supplements alone for 2-3 months along with just a bland moisturizer like Aveeno used frequently on the hands and nails. The nail hardeners should only be started after that.
Please feel free to ask if you have any queries. I will be happy to continue further and do everything I can to provide you with the service you seek.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If my goal is to help the nails grow HEALTHIER and stronger, and to find something NOW that can help the problem, sending for a product that is not available in the USA doesn't help my immediate problem. Also, I know that formaldehyde is not supposed to be good for nails. I have stayed away from products that contain it. Is it your opinion that the product you suggest good for my condition???? I have always had thin nails but never had this problem of splitting from the tip down toward the rest of the nail. Biotin may help in the long run....but what can I do NOW for the splitting that is safe and won't damage the nails further. ( I did access the other product you suggest, but it has formaldehyde) I will appreciate your help...
Expert:  Dr. Nair replied 1 year ago.
Hello again,
I'm afraid there is no quick fix for your nail problem - it took time for them to get like this, it will take time to get them back to normal.
I realize this may not be what you want to hear so I am opting out of the question to open it to other experts in case any of them have anything to add.
I wish you all the best. Regards.