Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein

Hydrolyzed wheat protein is listed in the ingredients of Sally Hansen’s nail strengthener. Does that mean this nail product is not usable since this is not a gluten-free ingredient?

You are right, hydrolyzed wheat protein is not gluten free. But since you do not eat the nail strengthener you can go ahead and use it. Medical experts say gluten protein is too large a molecule to be absorbed through the skin and the same is true of your fingernails. Fingernails are made of a tough protein, called keratin. Only the part of the nail that is under the skin at the base of the nail is living tissue. If you bite your nails, there is a possibility you could swallow some of the nail strengthener. The amount of gluten you would consume would probably be very small. Still, Alessio Fasano, MD, director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland, recommends not using the nail strengthener if you bite your nails. And if worry over this is going to make you bite your nails even more, find a nail strengthener that does not contain hydrolyzed wheat protein.

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