Nail Health 101 - Understanding common problems and solutions

Written by: Angela



Time to read 5 min


Today, we're delving into the common issues that can affect your nails, how to prevent them, and practical solutions to maintain your nails' health and beauty. Because at Nail Reserve, we prioritize your nails' health.

Interested in discovering the key points?

 Here's what we'll cover: Nail Health Basics, Common Problems, Solutions and Prevention Tips, and Seeking Professional Help. 

Let's get started!

Need to know

Being aware of your nails’ health is a very important aspect and you might wonder why? Nail health can indicate general wellness, while a weak or brittle nail can cause pain and put you at risk for infections.

Our nails protect our fingertips and mirror our overall health. 

By maintaining them in a robust and well-kept state, we are taking a proactive step towards self-care in terms of health, aesthetics and functionality.

nail care

Common Nail Health Problems

Chipping & Peeling

As a gel polish company, we see and hear all sorts of situations caused by wrongful gel application or removal. We think it is important to touch this subject in order to help our audience learn from past mistakes or to be aware of things that might happen. So, with no further ado, here are some Common Nail Problems:

a. Chipping and Peeling: Chipping and peeling are some of the most frustrating issues when it comes to gel manicures. It can occur due to improper application, excessive exposure to water, or everyday wear and tear.

Insufficient nail preparation prior to gel polish application is a leading cause of chipping and brittleness. If the nail surface isn't properly cleaned, buffed, and dehydrated, the gel may not adhere properly. Additionally, excessive exposure to water or moisture, such as frequent hand washing or swimming, can weaken the bond between the gel and the nail, causing it to lift and chip.

Another factor could be applying the gel polish too thickly or unevenly, which can create weak spots prone to chipping.

(Courtney Crosbie. (2018, January 28). How to get long lasting gel polish & all the reasons its chipping. [Blog post]. big cee little cee.

nail chipping

Weak & Brittle

b. Weak or Brittle Nails: Weakness of the natural nail bed leads to brittleness and breakage. This is often a result of improper removal or overuse of gel polish. (Remember to let your nails rest some days when you have been using gels for an extended period.)

Frequent gel polish application without allowing the nails to "breathe" and recover in between can lead to increased brittleness and susceptibility to damage. Lastly, if the gel polish is applied too thickly or if the nails are excessively filed during the preparation process, it can compromise the integrity of the natural nail, making it more prone to weakness and breakage. (Courtney Crosbie, 2018).

The process of applying and removing gel polish involves some level of nail manipulation, which can weaken the natural nail structure over time. Improper removal techniques, such as peeling off the gel polish or aggressive buffing to remove it, can cause thinning and weakening of the nails. Additionally, prolonged exposure to the chemicals present in gel polish, such as acetone during removal or the ingredients in the gel itself, can contribute to nail dehydration and weakening.


brittle nails

Choosing a gel polish brand with a 21- free formula such as ours, will protect your nails from 21 harmful chemicals commonly found in nail products. 

By eliminating harmful chemicals such as formaldehyde, toluene, and DBP, our gel polish allows your nails to thrive, remaining strong and resilient with each application.

Yellowing Nails

c. Yellowing of Nails: Some individuals may notice their nails turning yellow. This discoloration can result from not using a good base before applying the gel colors.

"Be careful not to confuse the yellowing of your nails due to gel pigmentation with the presence of fungus."

Nail fungus, medically known as onychomycosis, is a common condition affecting many individuals. It's often characterized by yellowing or discoloration of the nail, thickening, brittleness, and sometimes a foul odor. Identifying nail fungus involves observing changes in the appearance and texture of the nails, such as unusual discoloration or debris under the nail. 

yellowing nails


Prevention is vital in combating nail fungus. The most common areas where the nail fungus appears are the toes and that’s why It's essential to keep the feet clean and dry, wear breathable socks and shoes, avoid walking barefoot in public places like gyms or swimming pools, and regularly trim nails straight across to prevent ingrown nails. Additionally, using antifungal powders or sprays in shoes can help reduce the risk of fungal growth. If a nail fungus is suspected, it's crucial to consult a podiatrist for proper diagnosis and treatment to prevent further complications.

(American Academy of Dermatology Association, twelve ways to prevent another nail infection, )

More serious situations like yellow nail disease, lung syndrome and rheumatoid arthritis can also cause yellow nails. So, if you are not a person who frequently uses nail polish, gel polish etc, make sure you discuss these changes with your doctor as prevention is essential.

nail care prevention

Solutions & Prevention Tips

At Nail Reserve, we understand the struggle of maintaining a perfect manicure. But fear not; we have some diva-worthy tips to help you! Curious to find these? Let’s dive right in:

a. Proper Application Technique: Ensure that your gel polish is applied correctly to prevent chipping and peeling. This includes thorough nail prep, proper curing times, and adequate edge sealing. Make sure you always read & follow the instructions thoroughly.

b. Hydration and Nail Care: Regularly applying cuticle oil and moisturizing hand cream is a simple yet effective way to keep your nails hydrated and healthy. This routine helps prevent dryness and brittleness and boosts your confidence in maintaining your nail health. Also, don’t forget that a hydration from within is also important, so make sure you stay hydrated at all times.

cuticle oil

c. Use Protective Measures: When exposing your nails to water or harsh chemicals, such as cleaning products, wear gloves to protect them from damage. You might think this is no big thing, but on the long run, this aspect is very important.

d. To prevent nail yellowing: Use a proper base and high-quality products. Such a 21-free formula (Remember the products and application technique is the key to having a perfect manicure). Be patient with the process and take the necessary steps to maintain your nails healthy.

nail protection

Seeking Professional Help

If you are dealing with persistent nail problems despite following these tips, remember that seeking professional help is a necessary action. A qualified nail technician, podiatrist, or dermatologist can assess your nails' health and provide personalized recommendations for treatment and maintenance, giving you peace of mind about your nail health.

Gel nails are a fantastic way to achieve beautiful and durable manicures, but we need to keep in mind that not all nails are the same (we are not the same! Come to think of it, it makes sense, no?). Some nails are stronger and more resistant, others are weaker and more prone to breakage, infections, etc. By understanding common nail problems and implementing practical solutions, you can enjoy stunning nails while keeping them strong and healthy.

Remember to practice proper nail care techniques, stay informed about potential issues, and don't hesitate to seek professional assistance. You can maintain gorgeous gel nails with the right approach while promoting overall nail health.

nail tech