There are some people who suffer from brittle nails, a condition where your nails become weak and are prone to chipping, splitting or breaking. While most of the time brittle nails are nothing more than a minor problem that usually occurs because of normal wear and tear, our fingernails can tell us a lot about our health.
Medically, brittle nails are known as Onychoschizia, and women are much more likely to suffer from this than men are. When you have brittle nails you will usually notice your nails begin to peel at the tips, they chip or crack easily, grow slowly, or have vertical ridges on them.
You may also experience pain around the nail area while you are out and about your everyday activities if you have brittle nails. Sometimes, you may notice your skin around the cuticles may be ripped or that you have developed hangnail.
There are certain things that you can do to fix the problem of brittle nails, but one of the first things we need to do is find out the causes of brittle nails.
What Causes Brittle Nails?
There are many causes of brittle nails. Here we discuss some of them:
1) Excessive Hand Washing
When our nails get wet, they will absorb the moisture around them and expand. When they dry, this moisture is lost, causing dry and brittle nails. Those who wash dishes without gloves, wash clothes by hand, or those who are around water a lot, such as swimmers and lifeguards, are more prone to developing brittle nails.
2) Frequent Manicures
Nail art is a thing, but unfortunately, those who always use chemical products such as nail polish, nail polish remover, chemical solvents, nail polish primers and others are more prone to developing brittle nails due to the constant drying out of the nails as a result of the chemicals. Studies have shown that the different nail treatments available can cause many problems with the nail.
When your body does not produce the right amount of haemoglobin, your nails can also suffer, and you will end up with brittle nails. This is because haemoglobin is responsible for bringing oxygen to the root of the nail, promoting healthier nails.
4) Thyroid Disease
When the nail splits right from the nail bed, it is more likely that this is caused due to thyroid disease. Both hyperthyroidism and hypothyroidism are linked to brittle nails. When the thyroid is under-performing, it will not have sweat and sebaceous glands that function well either. This will cause dry and brittle nails.
As we age, the body is not able to retain moisture as well as in a person’s youth. This is why many age-related beauty problems are related to dryness. Your nails will also suffer from dryness as you age; some even become hard and yellow on the toes. The rate of nail growth will also reduce, especially in women who suffer from hormonal problems and those who have gone through menopause.
Brittle Nails Due To Vitamin Deficiency
Here are some ways in which vitamin deficiencies can cause brittle nails.
1) Iron Deficiency
The most common cause of brittle nails when it comes to internal causes is a deficiency in iron. Iron is very important when it comes to nail health, and so if the body is not getting enough, the nails usually show signs of becoming brittle.
2) Biotin Deficiency
Biotin, or Vitamin B7, is important for the health of nails, a lack of which will cause brittle nails. Brittle nails due to biotin deficiency are more common in those who are heavy drinkers and smokers, consume too many processed foods, suffer from problems with the liver, are pregnant or suffer from Crohn’s disease.
How To Make Nails Stronger?
Here is how to cure brittle nails:
1) Avoid Excessive Hand Washing
Washing your hands too much causes brittle nails, so make sure that you wash them only when you need to and that you dry them well and apply moisturizer after you are done.
2) Avoid Sanitizers
Waterless hand sanitizers are often high in alcohol, an ingredient that dries out the skin and nails.
3) Use Gloves
When washing dishes or using your hands in water for a long time, try to use gloves so that you can protect your hands and nails from becoming too dry and developing brittle nails. This is especially important if you use hot water since it is more drying.
4) Shorten Your Bath
Whether you like having a long shower or soaking in a hot tub, regular exposure to heat for such long periods of time will cause brittle nails. This will happen due to the heat and the moisture that your nail absorbs during this time.
5) Reduce or Avoid Manicures
Manicures look great, but they use many chemical products that cause damage to your nails in the long term. You may need to take a complete break until your nails heal.
6) Choose Better Nail Polish
Water-based nail polishes that come with ingredients that promote nail health are better options than the regular nail polish. The downside is that the nail polish takes a much longer time to dry, but if it helps you to avoid brittle nails, it is worth it.
7) Watch Your Diet
Consuming a plant-based diet will ensure that your nails remain healthy and strong as it will get all the required minerals and vitamins needed from the various vegetarian foods out there.
8) Apply Cuticle Oil
Using cuticle oils that contain natural ingredients are the best way to keep your nails moisturized. Oils that contain jojoba oil, almond oil, vitamin E, flaxseed oil and beeswax are the ones that will give you the most benefits.
Now that you have seen the causes of brittle nails and how to cure brittle nails, you may want to give some of these tips a try for better nail health.
You can also try Purayati Multivitamin for Hair, Skin, and Nails with Biotin.