Everything from old age to poor nutrition can make your nails dry, thin and brittle. There are also treatments and medical conditions that can make them brittle. But you don't have to accept the problem. The right care can make a world of difference in keeping your nails healthy and strong.
What are possible causes?
Too much moisture: When your nails get wet, they swell. When they dry up, they shrink. If your hands are often in water, especially if you also use harsh soaps or detergents, this constant change can dry out your nails and leave them soft and easy to crumble.
As you age, your nails can dry out and grow more slowly. Toenails tend to get thicker and harder, while fingernails get thinner and break more easily. There is no specific age when this happens and it doesn't happen to everyone, but it could be the cause of your brittle nails.
Raynaud's syndrome is a condition that affects the blood vessels and prevents your hands and feet from getting enough blood. This makes it difficult for your nails to stay healthy. Brittle nails are a common symptom of Raynaud's syndrome.
Not Enough Nutrients : Brittle nails can sometimes mean you're not getting enough vitamins and minerals. For example, low calcium levels (hypocalcemia) can cause flaky skin, dry hair, and brittle nails, along with muscle cramps.
What are possible solutions?
Wear gloves : An easy way to protect your nails from too much moisture or harsh chemicals is to put on gloves when you do the dishes or clean the house . Choose rubber gloves lined with cotton to reduce sweating.
Don't use your nails as tools : Do you like to use your nails to open soda cans or other containers, for example? Give them rest. Instead, use other objects to avoid damaging your nails or reducing their strength.
Dietary supplements : Some small studies show that taking biotin daily can make your nails thicker and stronger. Biotin and other amino acids contribute to the production of more keratin in the body, which helps to improve nail thickness and accelerate nail growth. Biotin is also associated with the prevention of certain nail conditions, such as fungal infections.
Keep your nails short: Trim and file your nails regularly to prevent and repair nail hooks. You should cut them straight with sharp nail clippers or nail scissors. In addition, file them in a slight curve at the ends.
Pharmacist Dirk Christiaen
Founder of Metis Supplements