By Medicover Hospitals / 28 September 2021

Home | Articles | Brittle Nails

Article Context:

  1. What Are Brittle Nails?
  2. Causes
  3. Symptoms
  4. Treatments
  5. Diet & Nutrition
  6. Home Remedies
  7. When to see a doctor?
  8. Frequently Asked Questions

Overview

  • Brittle nails are the common nail problems it includes cracking, breaking, splitting, weak and thin nails it is most commonly caused due to chemical and environmental challenges such as repeated washing and drying of fingernails. Brittle nails are more common in women than in men. The soft and brittle nails are caused because of excessive amounts of moisture, overexposure to detergents, household cleaners, and nail polish remover. The deficiency of vitamins and minerals in a body can be one of the reasons for brittle nails.
  • What are Brittle Nails?

  • Brittle nails are the most common problem in women than in men when the nails are easily broken, cracked becomes weak then they are called brittle nails. The brittle nails are caused by too much Moisture and due to environmental and chemical challenges. Brittle nails indicate that there is an iron deficiency, anemia, and thyroid diseases in the body
  • How Does It Happen?

  • Everything from aging to poor nutrition can make your nails dry, thin. There also are some treatments and medical conditions which will make them brittle. But you do not need to put up with the problem. The proper care can make all the difference and keep your nails healthy and powerful.
  • Causes

  • Too much moisture or too little moisture due to external factors is the most likely cause of brittle nails
  • Too Much Moisture

  • Brittle nails and soft nails can also occur when the nails have a lot of moisture. It can also happen because of excessive amounts of moisture, overexposure to detergents, household cleaners, and nail polish remover.
  • Too Little Moisture

  • When the nails of a person are hard and brittle their is a lack of moisture in the nails. Washing the hands frequently or doing the other activities in which frequent wetting and drying of nails happen that can strip the moisture from the nails.
  • Aging

  • As the age of a person increases the nails will typically become thinner and the nails naturally decrease in strength in which they cause to break more easily.
  • Thyroid Disorder

  • The thyroid disorder can cause nail problems including brittle nails because the thyroid is responsible for maintaining a person’s metabolism and growing nails.The thyroid disorder also affects the body absorption of minerals
  • Anemia

  • This condition occurs when a body does not produce enough hemoglobin. Anemia is a protein that takes oxygen from the lungs and spread to the rest of the body. Iron deficiency can also cause anemia.
  • Environmental Causes

  • The skin is waterproof but the nails are absorbent and repeatedly washing hands i.e wetting and drying repeatedly can be a cause for brittle nails.
  • Nutritional Causes

  • Iron, protein, and calcium deficiency or poor nutrition causes brittle nails. Excess of dietary selenium most commonly found in seafood, organ food can lead to brittle nails.
  • Signs & Symptoms

    • Low level of thyroid hormone
    • Aches and pains
    • Memory problems
    • Weight gain
    • Brittle and white spots
    • Anorexia nervosa
    • Fatigue
    • Cracking of nails

    Preventing Brittle Nails

    • Use nail products very frequently
    • Using nail conditioner regularly
    • Moisturize nails after washing
    • Avoid the products that contain chemicals

    Treatments

    • Applying a clear coat of nail products like nail polish to increase nail strength and prevent brittle nails.
    • Moisturizing the dry nails, using a moisturizer on hands and nails helps to become less brittle.
    • Wearing gloves while washing the products as dishes and using the chemical products.

    Diet & Nutrition

  • Following the diet helps in strengthening brittle nails:
    • Taking vitamin supplements and minerals are effective in one-third of all cases and strengthen brittle nails.
    • Getting high protein in the diet helps to boost keratin protein as the nails are largely made up of keratin it helps to prevent brittle nails
    • Eating rich iron food such as red meat, seafood and taking iron supplements helps to boost the strength of nails.

    Home Remedies

    Lemon Juice and Olive Oil Soak

  • The mixture of lemon juice and olive oil is an efficient remedy for dry brittle nails It can penetrate the nail cuticles to repair and strengthen the nails. The juice helps in fortifying peeling and damaged nails while removing ugly yellowish stains from the nail surface.
  • Beer Soak

  • Beer is also a powerful natural treatment for brittle nails. Beer has a great source of minerals like potassium, phosphorus, and selenium which are nail friendly and these minerals are essentials for strong and healthy nails.
  • Coconut Oil Massage

  • The oil massage on nails works as an amazing moisturizer for the nails and prevents various types of infections of nails. The coconut oil keeps the nails hydrated and the massage also helps in improving the blood circulation
  • Apple Cider Vinegar Soak

  • Apple cider vinegar has minerals like iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium addition to that it has vitamins that are essential for developing stronger and thicker nails. It also reduces nail infections.
  • Vitamin E Oil Massage

  • Vitamin E is essential for nails. One of the main causes of brittle nails is the lack of moisture and vitamin E oil keeps the nails hydrated and moisturized.
  • Tea Tree Oil Drops

  • Tree oil is a natural medicine for a wide range of skin and nail problems. Tea tree oil helps in treating fungal infections of nails.
  • Lemon Juice Swipe

  • Raw lemon juice is the best treatment for all kinds of skin and nail problems it also helps in removing dark circles. The lemon juice helps in strengthening and brightening the nails and getting rid of the yellow stain.
  • Egg Yolk and Milk Soak

  • The main cause for brittle nails is low nutrients, protein, and calcium. The Egg Yolk and Milk Soak is the best natural source of protein that helps fortify the nails.
  • Herbal Nail Mask

  • A fragrant and nourishing herbal nail mask works nearly as well as a manicure which will provide stronger and thicker nails just after a couple of applications. Add a teaspoon of chamomile and peppermint tea during a cup and pour a cup of boiling water over the tea mixture. Allow it to steep for two hours then strain the tea.
  • When To See A Doctor

  • If there is pain in the nails and shows signs of infection if there is no improvement in 6-8 months or the cracking of nails getting worse, talk to a doctor.
  • Symptoms of infection: Swelling, skin spots, redness etc

  • Nail Health
    Possible Causes
    Additional Symptoms
    Brittle Iron Deficiency, hypothyroidism Weight loss, fatigue, anxiety
    Black lines Nails melanoma, psoriasis Night sweats, nail bleeding
    Ridges Iron deficiency, kidney disease Swelling, weight loss, excessive urine
    Peeling Iron deficiency paleness, fatigue
    Black lines Nails melanoma, psoriasis Night sweats, nail bleeding

    Frequently Asked Questions:

    Less moisture in the body will result in dry and brittle nails. They’re caused due to repeated washing of fingernails. Soft and brittle nails are caused due to too much moisture.

    Nails being too moist and too dry will typically cause brittleness. In very rare cases, anemia and thyroid problems can be one of the causes.

    Mostly, people with iron deficiency, hypothyroidism, aging, regularly and Raynaud’s syndrome can cause some serious health problems.

    For fixing brittle nails apply hand lotions that contain lanolin or alpha-hydroxy acids. After washing your hand, dry it properly and use moisturizer for the treatment of brittle nails.

    Brittle nails are a sign of iron deficiency and hypothyroidism. If brittle nails are not cured through home remedies talk with your doctor immediately.

    For strengthening your nails, eat foods with plenty of nutrients. Try to consume fruits, lean meats, leafy green vegetables, eggs, nuts, and whole grains.

    Anemia is a condition where the body lacks hemoglobin and other deficiency. This can sometimes show the condition of brittle nails.

    For strengthening your nails, eat foods with plenty of nutrients. Try to consume fruits, lean meat, leafy green vegetables, eggs, nuts, and whole grains.

    For fixing brittle nails apply hand lotions that contain lanolin or alpha-hydroxy acids. After washing your hand, dry it properly and use moisturizer for the treatment of brittle nails.

    Dehydration, inadequate diet, using nail polish too often, using fingernails to open soda bottles are the other problems that cause brittle nails.

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