What causes brittle fingernails? Brittle nails characterized by dryness, change in color, and formation of ridges on their plates or splitting, breaking or peeling easily can mean a lot. Treatments for this problem will, therefore, depend on the causes or factors which lead to such changes.
Some factors will cause brittle nails whereas a few more of these issues have to do with care or beauty such as frequent manicure or treatment. The following are the factors to show how they become brittle.
Exposure to environmental stress
One of the common factors or cause of brittleness is chemical exposure. The chemicals may comprise specific cleaning products or washing agents. The delicate cells in nail plates easily absorb these chemicals leading to them losing the natural quality. They may become dehydrated or lift off the nail bed.
Also, they may start to peel suddenly from their tips.
Excessive water exposure
How often do you let your hands come into contact with water? Coming in contact with water excessively another cause of potential brittleness in nails (both fingers and toes). It is not only the fingernails that may be affected in that sense but also the cuticles and the skin on your hands.
Water, especially cold water acts as a weakening agent where cells are robbed of their permeability. If this happens frequently, nail peeling, as well as breakage, will start.
Many people who love swimming can also begin to complain of similar problems including nails becoming weaker and weaker). Cleaning the dishes or doing laundry every other moment can also cause them to become brittle and weak.
These include certain products for purposes of hand use. They include hand sanitizers, nail cosmetics, and polish.
For instance use of a hand sanitizer with alcohol can lead to their dehydration. This will make them brittle
When applied frequently, manicures or cosmetics can equally lead to them drying out. These include nail polish and polish remover. We are saying that not every product will cause brittleness but if you kind of use them in an aggressive manner.
For instance, nail polish removers which are non-acetone could be used by many but solvents which aid easier removal can potentially make them be dry.
Trauma or frequent treatments
In addition to drying out, trauma to your fingernails may result if you are used to applying and removing polish more frequently.
Consequently, this can lead to nail splitting. Clients who remove the polish more than once a week may complain that they have begun to split.
Aging is another considerable reason for brittleness. Although it is something that we totally are out of control, the fact is that as we age our skin and nails lose the ability to keep sufficient moisture.
This problem is more likely to start being real at around the age of 30 years and above.
Even though, use of hand moisturizer can generally slow down the drying out effect.
According to Dr. Lawry, an underlying condition such as Raynaud’s syndrome can be responsible for brittle thin and weak nails which are also prone to splitting.
This syndrome is normally marked by poor blood flow to the fingers and toes. The lips, ears, and nipples may also be affected.
It may be symptomized by feeling cold in fingers, change in nail color, tingling or stinging pain in fingers after warming near a source of heat.
Though the real cause is unknown, physicians link this disorder with exposure to cold environments such as water and freezing air. Sometimes emotional stress can lead to Raynaud’s syndrome.
Prior to treatment of brittle fingernails, it is necessary to go to a physician to examine your condition. This gives a better chance to find a treatment which is more appropriate.
Use of supplements for purposes of nail treatment i.e brittleness is one of the specific treatment methods where a B vitamin is given to adults who have this problem.
Biotin is one of the supplements. This supplement is given in doses as Dr. Paul Thomas notes that it is kind of using
According to studies, it is was found out that patients who had brittle nails had greatly shown improvement. About 2.5 grams of biotin supplement per day helped in strengthening and growth of brittle ones.
Biotin is a water-soluble vitamin and vitamin B co-enzyme that helps the body use carbohydrates, fat, and protein from most foods. In addition, this supplement should be used for at least 6 months or time taken for nails to grow.
Prescription treatments for brittleness are also available for clients who experience similar this problems. These are mainly offered by nail techs or experts
These treatments do no only address brittleness but also weak or split ones. Such treatments contain according to drdanabeauty.com “hydroxypropyl-chitosan (HPCH), which penetrates intercellular spaces and nail surface ridges, providing physical support and creating a barrier against external agents.”
Another prescription treatment which provides a barrier against the drying agents is Nuvail.
Unfortunately, most of these products are often very expensive.
This is another optional treatment for clients who have such problems and have no best alternative in the market.
Use of strengthener as a treatment should be approached with a lot of caution.
Home remedies to help fix brittle nails
For home treatments, these natural procedures can be helpful.
Soak in paraffin wax + heated mitts
Soaking your brittle fingernails in paraffin wax or heated mitts remedy will make then become stronger and further offer protection to the cuticles. You can also consider a cuticle cream.
Wear protective gloves
It is recommended to use hand gloves when handling chemicals and household cleaning agents. If you have no individual skin problem, consider rubber gloves when you want to do the dishes.
Use of a fragrant-free hand moisturizer will keep the cuticles in good shape while preventing them from peeling. Additionally, this reduces excessive drying out of the nails.
Vitamin A diets
This can help in ensuring your fingernails are in good health. It also reduces the risk of acquiring certain diseases that may compromise effective brittleness treatment.
The ideal foods rich in vitamin A include:
- Most leafy green vegetables such as spinach
- Sweet potatoes
Moisturizing hand cleanser
Instead of using hand sanitizer opt for a moisturizing cleanser or body wash such as Dove.
Caution and tips on brittle nails treatments
These are guiding tips as you are trying out various nail products to help fix this problem.
- Avoid acrylic nails when your physician has explained to you about the condition.
- Calcium deficiency may not be a cause of brittleness but can put your nail health at risk
- Certain therapeutic treatments, especially those marketed for brittle or weak fingernails, can even worsen brittleness or cause further nail damage
- Though on rare occasions, if you notice sudden dryness accompanied by brittleness, peeling or cracking and splitting seek nutritional help first
- Rarely, these problems are a manifestation of an internal health issue
- Sometimes nail strength and quality is a factor that may be inherited
- Good health in terms of diet and environmental factors can positively enhance their strength
When to seek professional medical attention
Brittle nails, cracking and peeling are amongst the cosmetic concerns most complained.
If you notice they have started to become discolored or start to form yellowish to brownish spots or split suddenly, start with consulting a physician before trying out any treatment or remedy.
It is also important to consult your doctor when you start experiencing hair thinning and fingernail breakage or weakness.