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Why do my nails curl inwards at sides?

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Who does not like perfectly shaped nails after a manicure? 

Today, when gel and acrylic manicures are all the rage, having beautifully shaped nails is a must. However, good nails are not just a sign of beauty or style. It is also an indicator of your health. 

Just like your hair and skin, your nails are also a vital part of your beauty regime and require time, effort, and attention. 

In case of poor nutrition or neglect, they can change color, form holes, and in some cases even turn on the sides, giving them a curved appearance. 

Let’s find out the answer to – why do my nails curl inwards at sides and what you can do to turn them back to normal, healthy-looking nails. 

Table of contents:

  • Why do my nails curl inwards at sides? 
  • How to identify the problem?
  • What can I do to maintain healthy nails?
  • What products can I use to keep my nails healthy?

Why do my nails curl inwards at sides? 

ingrown nails

Your nails can curl inwards at the sides for multiple reasons. Here are some listed below:

  • Nail psoriasis: Nail psoriasis is a health condition that can make your nails turn inwards. This condition can also make your nails appear thicker or create holes in the nails. 
  • Hemochromatosis: This is a genetic condition that results in over absorption of iron by the body. Hemochromatosis can have many other severe effects on the liver, heart, and other organs. It can also affect the appearance of your nails. 
  • Low iron: Just like high iron, low iron can also make your nails curved from the sides. This can be due to a low nutrient diet, pregnancy, anemia, etc. 
  • Fungal infection: A fungal infection can affect the appearance of your nails and change their shape. 
  • Raynaud’s disease: This is a medical condition that blocks the flow of blood through arteries to specific parts of the body. The disease can turn your nails yellow, make them brittle, and also curl them inwards. 
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus: Another health disorder that can curve your nails, affect your lungs, and result in fever and pain. 
  • Injury or damage: If you have been hurt, the injury may curve your nails. This can be due to the pressure caused by the injury. In most cases, this lasts until the nails grow out. 
  • Deficiency: Vitamin B, calcium, omega 3, etc., are vital for nail health. Deficiencies can result in brittle nails that may curl or appear disfigured. 
  • Extremely long nails: Fingernails also tend to curl when they grow. If you have extremely long nails, they will naturally start to curl inwards. 
  • Chemotherapy for cancer: Radiation and chemotherapy used to treat cancer can curve your nails inwards and lead to poor nail health. 

How to identify the problem?

Curving of your nails is not always the same thing. It can happen in a number of ways and due to a number of problems. 

Some of these have been mentioned below:

  • Spoon nails: Also known as koilonychias, spoon nails can be caused due to anemia and iron deficiency. It may also be present in newborns. Spoon nails are brittle and fragile, as a result of which they curve on the sides. Spoon nails usually curl from both sides. 
  • Curved tips: If the tips of your nails are curved inwards, it may be due to the thickening of the tissue under the nail. This usually happens due to high blood flow. 
  • Curved sides: Curved sides, especially on the toenails, can be due to constant pressure from tight shoes or socks. You may also have curved sides on your fingernails because of improper nail-cutting techniques. 

What can I do to maintain healthy nails?

Here are some things you can do for healthy nails:

Eat well

Eating a well-balanced diet that is rich in iron, calcium, vitamin b, vitamin c, and omega 3 is a must for general nail health. This will ensure that your nails are strong and reduce the chances of health conditions that can affect the appearance of your nails. 

  • Take supplements: If you are not able to achieve the targeted amount of nutrients from your diet, you can consult a doctor and take supplements instead. Biotin, collagen, iron, calcium, etc., are some of the most common supplements that doctors prescribe for nail problems. 
  • Do not bite your nails: Biting your nails can make them brittle. It can also increase the chances of infections that can create severe problems later. So, always use a clean nail cutter to cut your nails. 
  • Moisturize your nails: It is important to moisturize your nails to keep them nourished and hydrated. You can use oils for extra moisturizing for stronger nails. 
  • Drink plenty of water: Drinking water is as important for your nails as it is for your hair and skin. So make sure to stay hydrated throughout the day. 
  • Reduce exposure to chemicals and water: Excessive water and chemicals in soaps, detergents, nail polish removers, etc., can damage nails. Wear a glove whenever you can to protect your nails. 

    Let your nails breathe

    Back-to-back gel and acrylic manicures, fake nails applications, or nail polish can leave toxic chemical residue on your nails. Every once in a while, let your nails be bare so they can recover and heal. 

    Having said this, if the reason for your curved nails is an underlying health issue like the ones mentioned above, it is best to not self-medicate or self-treat. Instead, you should see a doctor at your earliest convinience and take the prescribed course of medicines and treatment as recommended by the professional. 

    What products can I use to keep my nails healthy?

    Here are some products that can help you keep your nails healthy:

    • Castor Essential Oil: Castor oil is a must-have in every skin or hair care routine. It also provides numerous benefits to your nails. 
    • Basil Essential Oil: Besides a pleasant aroma, basil essential oil has many healing and nourishing properties that can help your nails recover from infections and dryness. 

    basil essential oil

    • Eucalyptus Essential Oil: Eucalyptus essential oil can be used to reduce the damage caused to your nails and promote good health in general. 
    • Cedarwood Essential Oil: You can add cedarwood essential oil to your routine to heal flaky nails and moisturize them deeply. 
    • Rosemary Essential Oil: With antibacterial and antifungal properties, rosemary essential oil can be used to soothe nail infections. 

    These, along with many other essential oils, can be a simple way to treat unhealthy nails.

    WOW Skin Science offers many essential oils that can be used with any carrier oil of your choice. 

    Add them to your weekly routine to see a positive change in your nail health. 

    https://www.almondnails.com/why-do-my-nails-curl-inwards-at-sides/

    https://www.self.com/gallery/what-your-nails-can-tell-you-about-your-health

    https://askinglot.com/why-do-my-toenails-curl-inwards-at-sides

    https://www.dailystar.co.uk/health/your-nails-curve-inwards-heres-20659395 

    https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/curved-nails#contacting-a-doctor

    https://www.healthline.com/health/spoon-nails-koilonychia#prevention

    Samina Siddique

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