Take Breathers Between Manicures
Bottom line: Your nails need to breathe. Constant use of polish, even non-toxic polish, can weaken the nail, says Dr. Solomon. If you find that your nails have become especially fragile , give them a month off from nail polish to allow them to grow and strengthen. Applying a keratin treatment between manicures, such as CND RescueRXx, can help nourish your nails during the hiatus.
Dont Overdo The Hand Sanitizer
Because hand sanitizers are typically alcohol-based, constantly applying the stuff can dry out your nails and leave them super brittle. If you have to use hand sanitizer, try not to get it on your nails, and dont overdo it, says Dr. Solomon. Using hand sanitizer wipes can make it easier to avoid the nail area during applicationor if you prefer the liquid variety, make sure to slather on moisturizer afterward to balance the scales.
What Are Brittle Toenails
When your toenails look cracked, dried up, and they peel at the edges, then these are considered brittle, which is a common affliction, especially in women and the elderly.
As we grow older, our body struggles to produce and maintain the natural proteins that keep our bodies looking and feeling healthy.
However, just like your skin, hair, teeth, and eyes can alert you of any anomalies in your body, brittle toenails can be a sign that says much more about you and your habits than age alone.
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Moisturize Your Hands Regularly
Apply moisturizing lotion to your hands every time you wash them. This will help keep your nails hydrated and prevent chipping and breaking. Use an organic product to avoid the harsh chemicals that dry out your nails. Thick lotions and hand creams are more effective than thin, watery lotions at moisturizing nails.
When To See A Doctor
Brittle nails are not necessarily a major cause for concern. However, a person may wish to see a doctor if they notice additional accompanying symptoms.
For example, fatigue could be a symptom of iron deficiency or anemia. Weight gain or loss could indicate a thyroid issue.
A person may also want to see a doctor if home remedies to strengthen their nails are not working. They may be able to suggest additional treatments or determine the cause of the brittleness.
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What Causes Brittle Nails
According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology , brittle nails fall into two categories: dry and brittle or soft and brittle.
Dry and brittle nails are the result of too little moisture. Theyre most commonly caused by the repeated washing and drying of fingernails.
On the other hand, soft and brittle nails are caused by too much moisture, often a result of overexposure to detergents, household cleaners, and nail polish remover.
Other causes of brittle nails include:
- Age. Nails commonly change as people age, often becoming dull and brittle. While toenails commonly get thicker and harder, fingernails often become thinner and more brittle.
- Iron deficiency. This condition occurs when the body doesnt get enough iron, which leads to low red blood cell levels. Your doctor may measure your ferritin level and provide supplementation if its found to be low.
- Hypothyroidism. Along with brittle nails, symptoms of low thyroid levels may include hair loss, fatigue, weight gain, constipation, and depression. Your doctor can treat hypothyroidism with the synthetic thyroid hormone levothyroxine, which can be taken orally.
- Raynauds syndrome. Characterized by circulation problems in the extremities, this condition can affect nail health. Your doctor may prescribe calcium channel blockers, such as amlodipine or nifedipine, or alternatives, such as losartan, fluoxetine, or sildenafil.
Moisturize Your Hands And Nails Regularly
Frequently moisturizing your nails and the surrounding skin with a hand cream can prevent further impairment of the integrity of the nails, says Philadelphia-based dermatologist Rina Allawh, MD. Ointments, such as Aquaphor Healing Ointment and Vaniply Skin Protectant, pull a double-duty by nourishing your nails and protecting them from future damage by locking in moisture.
Cuticle oil helps to repair, nourish, and moisturize weak nails as well, says North Carolina-based board-certified dermatologist Sheel Desai Solomon, MD. I recommend LOccitane Shea Nourishing Nail & Cuticle Oil, she says. Its formulated with a high concentration of shea oil to help soften cuticles and nourish nails.
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Knowing Your Type Of Brittle Nails And Treatment Options
Brittle nails can appear cracked, chipped, broken, split, peeling, and thin. They do not look very attractive and can sometimes hurt. They can range from mild to severe with different brittle nail treatment options.
- Mild and most common
- More Severe
Brittle nails, or nail psoriasis, can alter the way your nails appear dryness and a slight discoloration of the nails to a white or light yellow. Your nails can also feel a little thinner than normal and the skin underneath may thicken.
MILD BRITTLE NAIL TREATMENT
Treatment for your brittle nails requires patience because nails grow slowly. For minor symptoms, avoid drying out your nails by wearing protective gloves when using cleaning chemicals or moisture-stripping soaps. Be sure to moisturize and condition with DermaNail Nail Conditioner, which works to rebuild your nails.
In more moderate to severe cases, a higher level of discoloration, including a darker yellow, brownish red, and/or green, may occur. You may also see nail debris at the base, ridges on the top, and/or signs of slight peeling or cracking in your nails.
MODERATE BRITTLE NAILS TREATMENT
In addition to the treatment of mild cases of brittle nails, you also want to avoid creating further damage to your nails. Be gentle with them keep them trimmed and file them daily to avoid any further splitting or breaking while they try to heal.
SEVERE BRITTLE NAIL TREATMENT
Beautiful Nails With Nutritional Cures
Your diet affects your entire health and well-being. If youre not eating well, youre not going to feel or look good. Your hair, nails, skin, and eyes all show when youre not eating well. A diet rich in whole foods is best when addressing any type of chronic health problem, even something as seemingly-minor as brittle or breaking nails.
Get rid of the junk in your diet, such as processed food/fast food and sugar, and load up on lots of nutrient-rich fresh organic vegetables and fruit, protein-rich organic chicken, turkey and fish, and legumes and nuts to stay healthy and feel great.
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What Lifestyle Changes Can Help With Brittle Nail Syndrome
There is a small amount of clinical research suggesting that our food and water intake diminishes as we age, which can make BNS worse, so a healthy diet and adequate hydration are key. Also, one study showed that overwashing and over- drying hands and nails can increase the risk of BNS . Other tips for reducing your risk of BNS include: filing nails in one direction only, wearing gloves to reduce trauma to the nails or exposure to harsh chemicals, keeping nails short, and limiting the use of nail polish removers and artificial nails.
Best Nail Strengtheners To Treat Brittle Nails
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Having your nails look and feel good isn’t just important for aesthetic reasons. Their condition could also be tell-tale signs that something is amiss with your overall health. If youre suffering from thin, breaking or brittle nails, there are simple steps you can take to understand and gain control over them.
To find out why your nails weaken and how to strengthen them, Shop TODAY called in Dr. Angela Lamb, a certified dermatologist and associate professor and director of Westside Mount Sinai Dermatology, to explain more.
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Quick Cures For Brittle Toenails
Mixing olive oil and lemon is a quick and easy way to restore your nails.
The moisture of the olive oil and the acid of the lemon will kill any and all bacteria hiding away in your nails while supplying much-needed moisture.
Apply the mixture on your toenails every two or three days. You should notice an improvement after the second week.
Dr Hauschka Neem Nail And Cuticle Pen
Packed with nail and cuticle-strengthening ingredients, this pen from Dr. Hauschka will give you that fresh-from-the-salon manicure feeling from the comfort of your own home. Neem leaf extract gets to work strengthening your nails and preventing breakage, while apricot kernel oil moisturises. There are also extracts of chamomile and anthyllis in the formula that have skin-softening benefits. The handy pen applicator allows you to pop the product into your bag for a touch of nourishment on the go.
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Keep Them On The Shorter Side
If youre having trouble with weak nails, consider cutting down the length while you build up their strength, suggests Dr. Solomon. Shorter nails are less prone to breaking because there are fewer exposed edges to tear, and less surface area where water and chemicals can be absorbed. Once trimmed, prevent snags by gently rounding the edges with a nail file.
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Top 5 Foods To Help Brittle Nails
Brittle nails are a recurrent problem for countless women, but during times of hormone imbalance, such as menopause, it is common for this problem to become more frequent or more intense. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help brittle nails recover their former health. Continue reading to discover five top foods to eat to improve the strength of your nails.
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What Is The Best Way To Harden Your Nails
Sunflower oil, being rich in Vitamin E, is an excellent natural nail hardener. All you need to do to have strong, healthy nails the natural way is soak your bare nails in a small bowl of the oil for ten minutes. Alternatively, olive oil works just as well. A common ingredient found in nail hardeners in formaldehyde.
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Biotin 1 To 3 Milligrams Daily
Farmers and ranchers have used biotin for years to treat abnormal horse hooves and pig claws, so researchers decided to test its effectiveness in several small human studies and noticed a benefit. Based on the research, daily supplementation for 6 to 15 months with doses ranging from 1 to 3 milligrams resulted in stronger, thicker, and smoother nails with fewer ridges. Brittleness generally returned within about 10 weeks after quitting, and the only side effect most subjects experienced was mild stomach upset. In horses and pigs, biotin supplements correct a nutrient deficiency, but researchers arent sure if it works the same way in humans. Biotin deficiency is rare today, but it can be caused by a limited diet, regular consumption of large amounts of raw eggs , intestinal absorption problems, and some medications . Keep in mind that all the good research has been conducted with oral dietary supplements topical biotin has not been proven to work.
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Causes Of Brittle Nails
Some health conditions can cause brittle nails. They include:
- Raynauds syndrome: This disorder causes circulation problems in the extremities, according to the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases. When the smaller arteries in the hands and feet narrow, those extremities might feel numb or cold. Not surprisingly, this can affect nail health.
- Hypothyroidism: Low thyroid levels can cause more than just brittle nails. You might also notice fatigue, weight gain, dry skin, thinning hair, memory problems, depression, and constipation, according to Harvard Health Publishing.
- Anemia: Low iron levels can cause your nails to be brittle, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. You also may experience fatigue, shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, cracks in the side of your mouth, or frequent infections. If blood work shows low iron, your doctor may recommend iron supplements.
- Cancer treatment: Brittle nails can be a side effect of cancer treatment, especially chemotherapy and other targeted therapies. If youre undergoing cancer treatment, talk to your oncology team about how to keep your nails and skin healthy and moisturized.
Vitamins And Minerals To Prevent Brittle Nails
Brittle nails are a remarkably common problem, and a woman’s risk of developing the condition increases as she enters menopause. However, there are some vitamins and minerals that can help to strengthen nails and restore them to their original luster.
Continue reading below to learn about four vitamins and minerals to prevent brittle nails that every woman should include in her diet.
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Nails Can Act As An Indicator Of Other Health Problems Have You Ever Wondered How Our Nails Function And What Is It That Stimulates Their Growth An Overall Healthy Diet With Some Basic Tweaks Can Actually Help In Making Your Nails Strong
- Sarika Rana
- Isnt it annoying to see your nails constantly chipping
- Did you know bones and fingernails are closely connected
- Nails are made up of layers of a protein known as keratin
Nails are made up of layers of a protein known as keratin this protein is also known to be found in your skin and hair. Changes and discoloration to any part of your fingernail may indicate that something is wrong with your nail health or even your bone health.
Symptoms that indicate your nails are unhealthy
Look out for these symptoms in case your nails are unhealthy:
- Discoloration of nails
- Nail separating from the skin
Nails are made up of layers of a protein known as keratin
It is imperative to add important nutrients to your diet in order to avoid weak nails and further strengthen them.
1. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is fat soluble vitamin that is known to be effective in growing nails, strengthening bones, tissues and teeth. It acts as an antioxidant that prevents free radicals from damaging cells of the body. Many foods including eggs, milk, citrus fruits, spinach, apricots, apple, yam, et al are great sources of vitamin A that you can add in your daily diet.
Zinc deficiency may also lead to slow growth or abnormal discolorations of your nails3. Omega-3 fatty acids
4. Folic acid
Also known as vitamin H, biotin encourages nail growth Photo Credit: twitter/daolabs
Essential Vitamins For Brittle Nails
Are you nails dry, thin and easy to break? If yes, then youre likely to have brittle nails, which is also known as Onychoschizia
Indeed, brittle nails is a very common problem that occur for a variety of reasons. They may be a normal sign of ageing or the result of too much or too little moisture. Weak nails can also be signs of underlying health conditions, for example anemia and hypothyroidism.
Therere many ways to improve the health of your nails, which often depend on the factors that originally cause your nails to become fragile.
However, the easiest, most accessible way to strengthen your nails is through mindful nutrient consumption. Read on for The Nail Bar list of 5 essential vitamins for stronger, healthier nails.
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Ditch Nail Polish Removers That Contain Acetone
A nail polish remover loaded with acetone is harsh on weak nails and can dry them out something fierce. This can cause peeling, splitting, and those unsightly white, mottled marks, says Dr. Solomon.
Her rec? Tenoverten Non-Acetone Polish Remover. Its essential oil-based, removes polish in a matter of seconds, and feels very gentle on nails and cuticles, she says.
Nutritional Approaches For Flaking Nails
Include a protein source with every meal, such as poultry, fish, lean meat, eggs, beans and nuts. Macadamia nuts are an especially good snack for nail health, as ten percent of their weight is protein, including all the essential amino acids, and they contain beneficial oils which are often added to hair and nail treatments.
As with brittle nails, silica can strengthen thin peeling nails by increasing the cross-linking of nail proteins in the nail, increasing their strength and is found in a nuts, seeds and a variety of vegetables, including bean sprouts.
Garlic is a rich source of sulfur-containing amino acids from which cystine is made, to increase nail strength, so add garlic to your diet or take garlic supplements. Taking garlic supplements also increases blood flow to the nails by as much as 55 per cent to improve the delivery of oxygen and nutrients needed for healthy nail growth.
If thinning nails are associated with a lack of oestrogen after the menopause, eat more soy products such as edamame beans, tofu and miso soup. Soy isoflavones help to maintain oestrogen levels after the menopause and can improve nail quality as well as reducing hot flushes and night sweats. These are best taken with a probiotic source to boost their conversion to the most active forms.
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Brittle Toenails: Home Remedies
Home remedies can go a long way in aiding the treatment and easing the appearance of unsightly nails. Home remedies for brittle toenails include:
- Always keeping your toenails clean
- Trim your toenails regularly and properly
- Apply a hardener to the toenail to keep it strong
- Make sure you moisturize your toenails to keep them moist. Good moisturizers include coconut oil or almond oil
- If toenails are dry, try soaking them, and apply a moisturizer when done
- Ensure you are eating a diet rich in vitamins and nutrients. If your diet is missing essential vitamins, then consider taking a multivitamin
- Avoid chemicals on your toenails
- Wear fitted shoes, but not too fitted where your toenail becomes crushed or hits the front of the shoe. An ill-fitting shoe causes your toes to bang up against the front of the shoe
- Follow instructions on antifungal creams if prescribed or recommended