The Super-Common Habit That’s Hurting Your Nails

Why this ritual could be doing more harm than good

If part of your daily beauty routine includes filing or trimming your nails, you might want to cross that task off your to-do list—pronto. That’s because a new study finds that shaping your nails on the regular might be doing more harm than good to your tips.

For this study published in the journal Physical Biology, researchers set out to understand the physics of nail growth and how different stressors—like filing and trimming—can cause common nail issues like pincer nails, ingrown nails, and spoon nails. In the study, researchers found that when the nail shape is altered by filing, cutting, or even biting them, the structures that are in charge of keeping the nail stuck to your finger and helping it grow can be damaged and cause some of these pesky and painful conditions.

However, the authors of the study note that filing your nails in a straight line can decrease your risk of ingrown nails. This is especially true for your big toes, which are prone to this problem.

The bottom line: Take it easy with your file and clippers so that you can avoid these common issues.

Curious about what other nail habits could be messing with your mani? Find out the six signs your favorite salon may be hurting you.

More from Women’s Health:
7 Foods That’ll Help You Get Gorgeous Nails
8 Secrets from a Manicurist for Amazing Nails
7 Things You Never Knew About Your Nails

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