Fingernails are not just object of beauty; they have an important function of protecting the finger tips. Weak and brittle fingernail is a common nail problem faced by many people. It is a universal problem that can affect any individual, at any age and in both the genders, though more common in females. Usually a brittle nail means a weak nail that breaks and peels off easily from the anterior end in layers.
When a person has brittle fingernails, it means there is some fault in nail structure. Normally with growing age, fingernails turn brittle and soft.
Brittle Fingernails Symptoms
Following are the symptoms that indicate the fingernails have become brittle.
- One or more fingernail may be affected.
- The nails lose their natural shine and turn dry.
- Fingernail breaks and chips easily.
- Nail growth slows down.
- The nail may lose its curvature and bend from the anterior side.
- The color of nail changes from white to yellow.
- There may be tiny depressions on the nail surface. The nail also crumbles at times.
What Causes Dry Brittle Fingernails?
- As a person becomes old, his hairs and nails lose natural shine and sheen, they become brittle. The color and texture of the fingernail as well as toe nail changes in elderly individuals. It is due to lack of flow of the natural oils and nutrients to the nail bed.
- External factors such as constant interaction with soaps and detergents, chemicals and solvents can cause damage to your fingernails and turn them brittle.
- Frequent use of nail polish remover is one of the main triggering factors for brittle nails in young females.
- Too much dry air or too much moisture can also lead to fingernail brittleness. In addition to cosmetic products, nail brittleness in woman can be due to abnormal changes in hormones during menopause.
- Besides hormones, there are several other factors responsible for brittle nails. Anemia, poor circulation of blood, liver disease, hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, psoriasis, alopecia areata, dehydration and eczema are few other reasons for brittle fingernails.
- Vitamin deficiency such as biotin, folic acid and other B vitamins can lead to brittleness of the nails. Calcium and zinc deficiency is also one of the causes for brittle nails.
Home Remedies For Brittle Fingernails
Brittle nails can be treated with home remedies. Some of the home cure methods used can make the nails strong and fast growing.
- Since brittle nails are caused due to vitamin and mineral deficiency, try to replenish the deficiency of vitamins either with supplementary vitamins or with dietary source. The following important vitamins are necessary for healthy nails such as; vitamin C, vitamin B2 and B6, biotin, folic acid and niacin.
- Minerals necessary for nail are iron, calcium, zinc etc. Soy milk is considered as the best source of biotin.
- Besides this, foods that contain essential minerals and vitamins for nails include walnut, peanut, cauliflower, lentil, and almonds that contain essential fatty acid for nail growth.
- A well groomed nail remains healthy and strong. Cut your nails regularly in medium size. Do not grow the nails too long. This is a thumb rule for maintaining and caring your fingernails.
- Moisturize your nails with avocado oil or any other oil such as coconut oil. The oil nourishes and retains the moisture which is necessary for dry and brittle nails. Apply avocado oil on your nails; it helps to bind the nail layers. This makes the nail structure strong. You can also mash some avocado and apply the content on the nails for maintaining its strength.
- Prepare a mixture containing honey, lemon juice and coconut oil. Apply it on the nails while going to bed. Regular application of the solution helps to cure the brittleness of the nails.
- Wear hand gloves when you are working in water or handling chemicals and detergents.