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Is it true that taking biotin is one thing that will help my clients with weak, peeling nails.

July 26, 2011 | Bookmark +

Is it true that taking biotin is one thing that will help my clients with weak, peeling nails. Is it safe? How much should they take?


Biotin is one of the few oral therapies that has shown promise in the scientific literature for the treatment of brittle nails (weak, peeling nails).  Biotin is a B-complex vitamin and because it is water soluble, it is safe because your body will eliminate whatever excess it does not need. The recommended dose for brittle nails is 2.5 mg. daily. Because it takes an average of six months for a fingernail to replace itself, you should be committed to taking biotin for four to six months. Biotin can be found at your local health food store.

— Dana Stern, M.D. is a board-certified dermatologist specializing in nails. She works in private practice in New York City.

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What’s the cause of the pinkish-red oval area on the pad of my client’s toes?

I have a client who has a recurring problem with her fourth toes during the winter months. Both of her “ring finger” toes develop a pinkish-red oval area on the pad. Then a month later, when I see her again, the skin has become dry and hard like a callus, with the layers of skin peeling away to reveal a deeper, dark epicenter.  It’s extremely painful for her and, needless to say, we do not touch it. But it clears up in the summer when she’s wearing open-toed sandals, so I suspect it has to be due to the boots she wears in the winter. Plus she never puts lotion on her feet or uses a foot file in between visits. What do you think causes this?

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What are the big white spots on my natural-nail client’s nails?

I have a client who has been with me for about two years. She used to wear acrylic nails but has been a natural nail client for eight months or so. She has these white spots on her nails — big spots that are dry, but not flaky, right in the middle of the nail. I did try to buff them lightly but they do not come off or grow off. I had a new client come in last week who had the same on her toenails. She said it started after she had a pedicure done at another salon. Can you help?

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