Apply These 6 Secret Techniques to Improve Brittle Nails
If you have brittle nails, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the American Academy of Dermatology, brittle nails are one of the most common nail disorders. Characterized by dry, flaking, and fragile nails that break easily, brittle nails can be unsightly and frustrating. Although brittle nails are not typically a serious health concern, they can be a sign of an underlying condition. Luckily, there are some things you can do to improve the condition of your nails. Here is everything you need to know about the causes and treatment (including DIY tips) for brittle nails.
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Common Brittle Nails Symptoms
One of the most common symptoms of brittle nails is dryness. If your nails are frequently dry and flaking, this could be a sign that they’re brittle. Dryness can cause the nail to become weak and break easily.
Splitting or Cracking
Another common symptom of brittle nails is splitting or cracking. This usually occurs when the nail is dried out and damaged. Once the protective barrier of the nail is disrupted, it can become susceptible to splitting and/or cracking.
Brittle Nails That Peel
If your nails are peeling, this could also be a sign that they’re brittle. When the nail is dry and/or damaged, it can peel away from the bed in layers—kind of like sunburned skin. Peeling nails can also be a sign of an underlying medical condition, so if you notice this symptom, it’s important to see a dermatologist or other medical professional for a diagnosis.
Brittle nails may also develop white spots—a condition known as leukonychia. While not technically a symptom, leukonychia is often associated with nail brittleness. There are several possible causes of leukonychia, including zinc deficiency, injury to the nail matrix (the area beneath the nail where new cells are generated), and certain diseases or disorders (such as psoriasis). If you have white spots on your nails and think they might be due to brittleness, it’s important to seek medical attention from a dermatologist or other medical professional for diagnosis and treatment options.
Ridges running vertically down the length of the nail are another common symptom of brittle nails—although they can also be caused by aging or trauma to the nail bed. If you have vertical ridges in your nails that appear suddenly or without any obvious cause (such as injury), it’s important to seek medical attention from a dermatologist or other medical professional for diagnosis and treatment options.
Brittle Nails: 5 Fun Facts
- Brittle nails are a condition characterized by dry, weak, and breakable nails.
- The condition is often accompanied by ridges, splitting, and peeling.
- Brittle nails are more common in women than men and usually affect people over the age of 40.
- Common causes of brittle nails include dehydration, nutritional deficiencies, exposure to harsh chemicals, and certain health conditions.
- There are several treatments available for brittle nails, including moisturizing creams and dietary supplements.
Common Causes of Brittle Nails
Brittle nails are a common problem that can be caused by many things. Some people have brittle nails as part of their genetic makeup, while others may develop them due to certain medications or medical conditions. If you’re experiencing this condition, it is important to know the underlying cause so you can treat it effectively and prevent further damage. The 5 main causes of brittle nails include;
- Moisture exposure
- Raynaud’s Syndrome
- Exposure to harsh chemicals
The Dangers of Moisture Exposure for Your Nails
Did you know that exposing your nails to too much moisture can actually be dangerous for them? That’s right – too much moisture can lead to brittle nails that are more susceptible to breaking and peeling. When your nails are exposed to water for extended periods of time, the cells within the nail begin to absorb the water. This can cause the nail to swell and ultimately become weak and brittle. In addition, repeated exposure to water can also strip away the natural oils that help keep your nails healthy and strong. As a result, your nails become dry, dull, and more prone to breaking.
So how can you prevent moisture damage to your nails? Start by limiting your exposure to water as much as possible. If you must wash dishes or take a bath or shower, make sure to wear gloves to protect your hands and nails. You should also avoid biting or picking at your nails, as this can further damage the nail bed and leave your nails vulnerable to infection.
All about Age and Brittle Nails
As we age, our bodies produce less oil, including the oil that keeps our nails healthy and strong. In turn, this can cause dryness, ridges, and breakage. Additionally, age can also make our nails more susceptible to fungal infections. When left untreated, these infections can cause even more problems like inflammation, swelling, and pain.
So what can we do about it? First, let’s start with simple tips to help keep your nails healthy:
- Wear gloves when cleaning or doing dishes to protect your hands (and nails) from harsh chemicals
- Moisturize regularly, paying special attention to your cuticles
- Eat a balanced diet rich in vitamins A, C, and D
- Limit exposure to acetone-based nail polish removers
- Avoid using artificial nails or nail hardeners if possible
- Use a fine-grade emery board instead of metal nail files
- Soak your nails in warm olive oil for five minutes every day
- Apply a few drops of vitamin E oil to your cuticles before bedtime
Age shouldn’t stop you from having beautiful, healthy nails! And there’s no need to despair if your nails aren’t as strong as they used to be. With a little TLC, you can keep them healthy and looking great at any age!
Brittle Nails and Raynaud’s Syndrome
You may have noticed that your nails have been looking a bit different lately. They may be thinner or more brittle and easily broken. If you suffer from Raynaud’s syndrome, this change in your nails is likely due to the condition.
Raynaud’s syndrome is a condition that affects blood vessels, particularly in the hands and feet. People with Raynaud’s have overly sensitive blood vessels that constrict when they are exposed to cold temperatures or stress.
Raynaud’s Disease and Brittle Nails
One of the common symptoms of Raynaud’s syndrome is brittle nails. This happens because the constriction of blood vessels decreases the amount of oxygen and nutrients that reach the nails. Without these essential nutrients, nails become weak and frail. In addition, the lack of oxygen can cause changes in the nail beds, which can lead to nail shedding or brittleness.
If you think you might have Raynaud’s syndrome, it’s important to see a doctor. There is no cure for Raynaud’s, but there are treatments that can help improve symptoms and prevent complications like ulcers or gangrene. For example, doctors may recommend taking medications to dilate blood vessels or wearing warm gloves when exposed to cold temperatures.
Brittle Nails? Blame it on Your Diet
When it comes to brittle nails, vitamin deficiency may also play an important role. Yes, what you put (or don’t put) into your body can have a big impact on the strength and health of your nails. Here’s a closer look at some key nutrients that are essential for strong and healthy nails.
Protein is an essential nutrient for overall good health, and that includes the health of your nails. Your nails are made up of keratin, which is a type of protein. So, if you’re not getting enough protein in your diet, that could lead to weak and brittle nails. Good sources of protein include meat, poultry, fish, beans, tofu, nuts, and eggs.
Another important nutrient for strong nails is iron. Iron helps carry oxygen to all the cells in your body, including the cells in your nails. If you’re not getting enough iron, that can lead to anemia, which can lead to brittle nails. Good sources of iron include red meat, dark leafy greens, legumes, nuts, and fortified cereals.
Zinc is another important mineral for healthy nails. This mineral helps keep the cells in your nails nice and strong. Zinc also helps with wound healing—so if you’ve got a nail that’s cracked or split, zinc can help it heal up quickly. Good sources of zinc include oysters, beef, pumpkin seeds, cashews, and chickpeas.
The Nasty Truth about Harsh Chemicals and Brittle Nails
We all know that harsh chemicals can wreak havoc on our hair—think of what pool water does to your locks after a long summer of swimming. But did you know that exposure to harsh chemicals can also contribute to brittle nails?
There are a few ways in which exposure to harsh chemicals can damage your nails.
- For one, chemicals can cause the nail bed—the fleshy part of the nail underneath the hard, protective coating—to become dry and flaky. This can lead to the development of hangnails (ouch!) or, in extreme cases, an infection.
- Another way in which harsh chemicals can damage your nails is by causing them to become weak and breakable. This is because when the nail bed becomes dry and flaky, it loses its ability to grip onto the hard coating of the nail—kind of like how tires lose their grip on the road when they’re low on air.
- Finally, exposure to harsh chemicals can cause your nails to yellow or discolor. This usually happens when you use cleaning products without gloves, but it can also be a side effect of using nail polish removers that contain acetone or other harsh chemicals.
Protecting Your Nails from Harsh Chemicals
Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to protect your nails from damage caused by exposure to harsh chemicals. One is to wear gloves whenever you’re going to be using cleaning products or nail polish removers. This will help create a barrier between your nails and the harmful chemicals.
You should also make sure that you’re using gentle, (preferably) natural nail polish removers and cleaning products. These won’t be as effective as their harsher counterparts, but they’ll be much better for your nails in the long run. Finally, be sure to moisturize your nails and cuticles regularly with a good quality hand cream or cuticle oil—this will help keep your nails healthy and strong.
5 Quick DIY Remedies to Stronger, Healthier Nails
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is rich in fatty acids, which help to keep nails hydrated and prevent brittleness. To use this brittle nails treatment, simply massage a small amount into your nails and cuticles 2-3 times per week.
Gelatin is high in protein and helps to promote nail growth. To use gelatin as a nail treatment, mix 1 tablespoon of unflavored gelatin with 1 tablespoon of milk. Soak your nails in the mixture for 10 minutes, then rinse with warm water. Repeat 2-3 times per week for best results.
3. Olive Oil
Olive oil is rich in nutrients that help to keep nails strong and healthy. To use olive oil as a nail treatment, massage a small amount into your nails and cuticles 2-3 times per week.
4. Lemon Juice
The citric acid in lemon juice helps to exfoliate the nail bed and promote healthy growth. To use lemon juice as a nail treatment, soak your nails in freshly squeezed lemon juice for 10 minutes 2-3 times per week. Rinse with warm water afterwards.
5. Vitamin E Capsules
Vitamin E is essential for healthy nails (and skin!). To use vitamin E as a nail treatment, break open 2 capsules and massage the contents into your nails and cuticles 2-3 times per week. You can also keep the used capsules in a small dish near your sink to use throughout the week as needed!
Can Biotin Supplements Really Help with Brittle Nails?
You’ve probably seen biotin supplements being advertised as a way to improve the health of your hair, skin, and nails. But can biotin supplements really help your nails?
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin that’s part of the B-vitamin family. Biotin helps the body metabolize fats and proteins. Biotin is also important for cell growth, and it helps maintain healthy hair and nails.
There’s no conclusive evidence that biotin supplements can help improve the health of your hair, skin, or nails. However, some people may experience benefits from taking biotin supplements, including thicker and healthier hair, strong nails, and clear skin.
If you’re considering taking biotin supplements to improve the health of your hair, skin, or nails, it’s important to speak with your doctor first. Biotin supplementation is generally considered safe for most healthy adults. However, there are some potential side effects associated with biotin supplementation, such as skin rashes, digestive upset, and a weird taste in the mouth.
Additional Tips for Preventing Brittle Nails
1. Use a Nail File
A nail file is an inexpensive tool that can be used to remove any rough edges from your nails. Using a nail file helps to smooth out the surface of your nails so that they look shinier and stronger.
2. Apply Moisturizer after Washing Your Hands
After washing your hands, apply a small amount of moisturizer to your fingertips. This will help to soften the skin around your nails and protect them from drying out.
3. Keep Them Clean
If you notice that your nails are starting to chip, clean them with a cotton ball dipped in acetone. Acetone is a chemical solvent that dissolves oil and grease without damaging the nail itself.
4. Don’t Wear Nail Polish That Is Too Dark
When applying nail polish, choose colors that match your skin tone. Avoid dark colors as they tend to accentuate the brittleness of your nails.
5. Protect Your Cuticles from Chipping
Cuticles are the soft tissue surrounding your fingernails and toenails. They provide protection against injury and infection. However, if your cuticles are chipped, they won’t do their job properly. Instead of wearing nail polish, consider keeping your cuticles protected with cuticle cream.
6. Get Regular Exams by a Dermatologist
Dermatologists specialize in treating conditions related to the skin, hair, and nails. They can diagnose and treat problems like fungal infections, psoriasis, and other disorders. If you notice any changes in your nails, schedule an appointment with a dermatologist right away.
Frequency asked questions
What Deficiency Causes Brittle Fingernails?
There are many possible causes of this, but one possible culprit is a deficiency in vitamins and minerals. While you can take supplements to correct a deficiency, it’s always best to get your nutrients from food first.
Vitamin A, for instance, is an important vitamin for healthy nails. This vitamin helps the body produce collagen, which is a protein that gives nails strength. Vitamin A also helps keep the nails moisturized and prevents them from becoming dry and brittle.
What Does it Mean if your Fingernails are Brittle?
Fingernails are made of a protein called keratin. This protein is also found in your hair and skin. It’s what gives your nails strength and flexibility. As we age, our bodies produce less keratin. This can make our nails weaker and more prone to breaking. Additionally, exposure to harsh chemicals can also damage the nails and make them brittle. Certain medical conditions can also cause brittle nails. For example, thyroid problems can interfere with the body’s ability to produce keratin, which is a key protein in nails (and hair). Vitamin deficiencies can also lead to brittle nails, so it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough vitamins A, B, and C in your diet.
What are your thoughts concerning brittle nails? Kindly let us know in the comments section below.
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