During the cold season there are additional stresses on the body, which weaken the immune system and leave people susceptible to bacterial infection. Skin and nails are exposed to cold temperatures and harsh winds, which often results in dry hands and brittle nails. According to the American Academy of Dermatology, even nail growth is impeded during the winter. Fortunately, you can prevent damage and protect your nails during every season.

Five Main Parts of Your Fingernails

It is helpful to understand the main parts of your fingernails, so you know how to best take care of your nails. Nails are made up of keratin layers, which are proteins found in your skin and hair. The goal is to keep the proteins healthy by taking care of the nail plate, nail folds, nail bed, cuticles, and lunula. Excessive moisture can cause the spaces in between layers of keratin to swell, which results in nail breakage. In some circumstances, brittle nails can be a sign of a more serious health concerns. If dry and brittle nails persist even after treatment, contact your doctor for additional information or guidance.

Prevent Nail Damage Before it Happens

Your nails help to protect the tips of your fingers and toes, so it is important to make sure they are healthy and can assist you with everyday tasks. You have a number of preventive tools to use in order to stop nail damage before it happens. Keep your nails clean and dry to prevent bacteria from growing under the nail and causing damage. Drinking water helps to support overall health and healthy nails. Hydration is one of the most important aspects of caring for your body, especially during the cold season when people often forget to drink water. It is recommended that people drink at least eight full glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, which will help prevent nail breakage.

In addition, apply a moisturizer to your nails at least once a day, to protect your skin and keep your nails healthy. Moisturizers may include Vaseline or natural oils. Instead of applying nail polish during the winter, which may have chemicals that may dry out your nails, allow your hands a few days rest and apply a moisturizer. If you are spending time outside in cold temperatures, cover your hands by wearing gloves and dry off your feet after returning home.

Prevent and Treat Nail Damage with Nuvail™ (poly-ureaurethane, 16%)

Nuvail™ is indicated for managing signs and symptoms of nail dystrophy (i.e. nail splitting and nail fragility). Nuvail coats and adheres to the nail surface, preventing abrasion and friction on the nail surface while also providing protection against the effects of moisture. Nuvail is available by prescription only. To try Nuvail today, find a Nuvail-prescribing physician in your area.

Find a Nuvail Prescribing Physician



Important Safety Information: Do not apply directly to deep, open, or profusely bleeding wounds. Product is flammable in liquid form; avoid using near open flames and sources of ignition. Use in well-ventilated area. Keep out of reach of children.  Store at room temperature away from heat. Do not allow product to come into contact with floors, counter tops, furniture or other finished surfaces – will stain. May temporarily sting upon application. Persons sensitized to isocyanate should not use this product. Should redness or other signs of irritation appear, discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.