Q: Will cutting my nails really short affect they way they grow?

A: No, says Lenora Felderman, MD, assistant clinical professor of dermatology at Weill Cornell Medical College and New York-Presbyterian Hospital. The health and integrity of the nail bed (the tissue under the hard nail plate) and the nail matrix (the part of the nail under the cuticle) determine how the nails grow. Cutting your nails short shouldn't influence their growth or shape.

Keep in mind: Never cut your nails below the white tips; doing so could expose the nail bed to infection.

Ask Val a question or get another answer.


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