How to Treat Common Nail Problems

Learn about the most common nail problems and ways to fight them in this article.
How to Treat Common Nail Problems
Valeria Sabater

Written and verified by psychologist Valeria Sabater.

Last update: 27 May, 2022

How can you strengthen your nails and remedy the most common nail problems? Keep reading to find out!

You and your hands are best friends, never to be parted. We use our hands all day long to communicate and work, among so many other things.

And of course, our nails are an indispensable part of them. But sometimes they don’t look as healthy as we want them to.

Learn about the most common nail problems and ways to treat them below.

Common nail problems and diseases

It’s important to take good care of our hands, as they’re a sign of both health and beauty.

But sometimes, because of a poor diet, lack of vitamins, or a fungal or other type of infection, they appear weaker every day and start to cause us to worry.

That’s why we’re here to tell you about the most common nail problems and diseases, as well as how to remedy them.

1. Onychomycosis

Has this ever happened to you? It’s painful and annoying.

Mycosis is a type of infectious disease caused by micropscopic fungi that particularly affects our nails. The most common is onychomycosis.

Onychomycosis has several symptoms: you can lift the end of the nail to see a grey shadow below, or white marks appear to put you on alert.

Another characteristic is a thickening of the skin bordering the nail fold. The nails suddenly become thick, brittle or grooved.

Visit the doctor for an analysis to find out what type of fungus is causing the disease, whether it’s a dermatophyte, a yeast or a mold.

If it’s a dermatophyte, for example, what you need is a chemical dressing that softens the nails to remove the problem. You can also take an oral antifungal medication.

While taking the prescribed medication you can also try the following simple home remedies:

  • Mix three drops of tea tree oil with one tablespoon of olive oil and apply with cotton to the affected nail, every day for 20 days. Really easy. You can find tea tree oil in pharmacies or health food stores.
  • Squeeze the juice from a lemon so you can submerge the affected hand or foot, also for 20 days.
  • Use half a cup of apple cider vinegar to soak the nail on the affected hand or foot. Do it for 10 days, drying the fingers or toes well afterwards – it’s very effective.

2. Ingrown nail

How to Treat Common Nail Problems

Ingrown toenails are undoubtedly one of the most common nail problems. The condition occurs when the side edges of the nail (usually the big toe) sink into the skin, causing pain and even infection.

This can be caused by an accident, something falling on your feet, wearing the wrong shoes or practicing certain sports. Or you may have a slightly complicated nail that always causes problems.


  • Treatment of ingrown toenails almost always requires a small medical intervention to remedy and cure, since infections can become quite serious.
  • To prevent ingrown nails, it’s important to cut the nail straight across and never curved, since in this way it can become embedded into the skin. Always leave the skin parallel to the outer edges.
  • As for home remedies to deal with ingrown toenails, start with products that act as natural antibiotics to lower inflammation and treat infections. Take note: place a clove of garlic on the ingrown nail and wrap with a bandage at night. You can also soak the affected nails in onion juice for at least 20 minutes. Do this every day over a period of a week, drying the fingers or toes well. Also, salt water baths are always effective. Fill a bucket and drop in 5 tablespoons of sea salt to soak your feet, leaving for about 20 minutes.

3. Flaking nails

How to Treat Common Nail Problems

Many people suffer from flaking nails. But what is it exactly?

This is a condition where nails transform into thin layers similar to flakes. It’s annoying, the nails get stuck in your clothes… and may signal a health problem.

What type of disease or condition could it indicate? Thyroid problems, lack of hydration, contact with chemicals, poor diet, lack of sleep, anxiety and even stress.


You should visit the dermatologist and also your doctor for a checkup and to find out what is causing the flaking.

Meanwhile, if you see that you’re suffering from this condition, increase your intake of calcium, vitamin A, B and D, and avoid foods that prevent its absorption, such as coffee.

It’s also best to consume plenty of liquids, fresh fruit and vegetables to prevent the condition, as well as follow this advice:

  • Don’t use cheap or bad quality nail polish that contains products that can damage your nails.
  • Use special nail polish to avoid flaking nails, at least three times per week. You can find these in pharmacies.
  • Avoid cutting the flakes so you don’t damage the nails more.
  • Submerge the fingers in apple cider vinegar for three minutes, at least twice a week.
  • To seal the flakes and hydrate the nails, a simple solution is to hydrate nails with olive oil. It’s both effective and all natural.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.