2. Wear rubber gloves whenever you do housework or wash dishes. Most household chores, from gardening to scrubbing the bathroom to washing dishes, are murderous on your nails.
3. Dry your hands for at least two minutes after doing the dishes, taking a bath/shower, etc. Also dry your toes thoroughly after swimming or showering. Leaving them damp increases your risk of fungal infection.
4. Air out your work boots and athletic shoes. Better yet, keep two pairs and switch between them so you’re never putting your feet into damp, sweaty shoes, which could lead to fungal infections.
5. Wear 100 percent cotton socks. They’re best for absorbing dampness, thus preventing fungal infections.
6. Add a glass of milk and a hard-boiled egg to your daily diet. Rich in zinc, they’ll do wonders for your nails, especially if your nails are spotted with white, a sign of low zinc intake.
7. Make your nails as strong as a horse’s hooves, and take 300 micrograms of the B vitamin biotin four to six times a day.
8. When pushing back your cuticles (it is not necessary to cut them) come in at a 45-degree angle and be very gentle.
9. Trim your toenails straight across to avoid ingrown toenails. This is particularly important if you have diabetes.
10. File your nails correctly. To keep your nails at their strongest, avoid filing in a back-and-forth motion—only go in one direction. And never file just after you’ve gotten out of a shower or bath—wet nails break more easily.
11. Massage your nails to keep them extra strong and shiny.
12. Avoid polish removers with acetone or formaldehyde. They’re terribly drying to nails.