When you are dealing with brittle nails, not only do your nails suffer, but your confidence does as well. When meeting people for the first time, people often look at the hands. Brittle, broken, splitting, or peeling nails can give someone the wrong impression about you.
While also looking outright damaged, unsightly nails make it seems like you don’t take good care of your fingernails. And dealing with weak nails can be frustrating to overcome. Luckily, brittle nails can be easily treated at home in several ways.
But the first step to restoring your nails is figuring out what is making your nails so weak.
What Causes Brittle Nails?
There are many reasons that you may have peeling, weak, or brittle nails. Don’t worry; brittle nails is not a permanent problem. First, you need to figure out why your nails are so weak, and then you can quickly remedy the situation.
Do you frequently visit the nail salon and request acrylic nails? Are you exposing your precious digits to harsh chemicals?
Maybe you lack necessary vitamins, or you have an underlying health issue. It could even be as simple as too much or too little moisture.
Too much or too little?
Are your fingernails soft and easy to bend? Maybe your fingernails are receiving too much moisture. Living in regions with cold, wet climates can cause brittle nails. And too much moisture causes the nails to become weak and prone to breaking, splitting, or peeling.
Just as cold, wet climates damage your nails with an excess of moisture, dry regions can also damage your nails. Desert-like areas with arid climates can desiccate your nail’s moisture levels. Harsh chemicals can also dry out your fingernails and cause them to crack or chip.
And not only that: Over-washing your hands can strip your skin and nails of their natural oils, leaving them too dry.
What are you lacking?
An iron deficiency may be the culprit when it comes to brittle nails.
is essential for bodily function because it is necessary for a healthy blood cell count. Iron is required to make hemoglobin. And hemoglobin is a protein in red blood cells that allows them to carry oxygen around the body.
Without proper iron levels in the body, your body’s cells don’t have enough oxygen to function correctly. When you lack iron, your hair, skin, and nails become brittle and weak.
Lacking biotin and other b-complex vitamins in your diet can also cause weak nails. B-vitamins play a key role in iron absorption and are essential for growth and healthy nails.
Being a regular at your favorite nail salon could be causing your onset of brittle nails. Acrylic nails, gel nail polish, and a few other services that are provided at nail salons can damage your fingernails due to the harsh chemicals.
Detergents, cleaning supplies and acetone may also be to blame for the state of your nails.
Underlying health issues
Not all nail issues are from chemicals, moisture, or lack of vitamins. Some underlying health issues can impact the health of your hair, skin, and nails. If you have hypothyroidism or anemia, brittle nails can be a side effect of living with the condition.
Cancer treatments, such as chemotherapy can also cause weak nails. If you are currently undergoing treatment for cancer, talk to your oncologist about steps you can take to keep your nails healthy and strong.
Symptoms of Brittle Nails
Brittle nails can cause your fingernails to decline in appearance. Losing their luster and natural shine, your nails may begin to grow slower.
Weak nails tend to chip easily, and it may seem like your nails are taking forever to improve. You may notice that your fingernails are splitting at the ends, or to your horror, peeling.
Longitudinal ridging may be a symptom of brittle nails. Longitudinal ridging is the verticle lines on your fingernails. While not necessarily damaging to your nails, they can cause your fingernails to break or split easier.
But don’t fret, we’ve got you covered. There are several ways to deal with brittle nails from the comfort of your own home.
Preventing Brittle Nails
Here’s what I do, and it might help you too.
Before bed, I apply a heavy-duty all natural moisturizer. Castor oil worked well for me and was a real game changer when combatting dry skin and brittle nails.
I don’t like using lotion. Something about the greasy feeling on my hands after applying cream makes me want to wash it all off.
I prevent that “get this crud off of me” feeling by applying right before bed. And I’ve noticed that using a natural moisturizer before bed has helped me prevent my brittle nails from coming back. As a bonus, the skin on my hands no longer cracks and bleed.
If your nails are brittle from receiving too much moisture, then it is paramount that you find ways to limit the moisture your nails are being exposed to. Cut down on the frequency you are applying creams.
And if your nails are becoming waterlogged from doing the dishes, be sure to wear rubber gloves.
As mentioned, vitamin deficiency may cause brittle nails. You may want to take an iron supplement for improved skin, hair, and nail function. You can also use supplements such as biotin and other b-complex vitamins for hair, skin, and nail health.
But be sure to check with your doctor first.
If underlying health issues are to blame for your brittle nails, consider seeing a dermatologist or general practitioner that can help alleviate your condition.
Curing Brittle Nails
Curing your brittle nails isn’t as complicated as you may think. There is no need to splurge on expensive nail creams and oils. A lot of the remedies that are proven to work are inexpensive and easy to come by.
If dry nails are the reason you’re battling brittle nails, find a moisturizer that works well for you. Choose all natural moisturizers that don’t contain chemicals and artificial fragrances. After all, chemicals and synthetic products are likely to blame for your brittle nails in the first place.
If over-washing your hands is to blame for your brittle nails, cut down on washing your hands as frequently. If avoiding washing your hands often isn’t an option, try using a good quality moisturizer after you wash.
There are some excellent nail hardening topical creams on the market. Most of them that I have had success with, you can find at your local convenience store.
These topical creams are inexpensive and show results within a few days to a few weeks. Not all formulas are the same. So, be sure to read the ingredients before you buy the product.
Not only do strengthening creams restore your nails, but they also condition and soften your cuticles.
Iron, biotin, and other B complex vitamins can help restrengthen nails and help your nails begin to grow again.
Better safe than sorry
Repeated injury or trauma to your fingernails can cause them to weaken or become brittle. Because of your fingernails’ declined condition, be sure to be gentle and take care when using your hands.
File your nails to a gentle curve to prevent your nails from chipping and snagging on fabric. Keeping nails neatly filed can prevent your nails from snagging and chipping further.
If you are working in the garden, be sure to wear gardening gloves to protect your fingernails from the abrasive and drying effects of the soil. And, as mentioned, be sure to use rubber gloves when cleaning, using detergents, or using harsh chemicals.
So you’ve tried all the potential cures for your weak nails, and they still aren’t recovering. It may be time to visit the doctor. Make an appointment with your local dermatologist or a general practitioner if you think an underlying illness is to blame for your weak nails.
Your doctor can determine what is ailing you by running simple diagnostics or simply by assessing your current symptoms. After deciphering what is causing your brittle nails, your doctor can point you in the right step to recovery.
Don’t feel intimidated when dealing with splitting, peeling, or damaged nails. Keep in mind it’s not forever, and there is a solution for you right around the corner.
With time and proper care, your nails will harden, and the overall health of your nails will improve. What do you use to cure and prevent brittle nails? Tell us all about it in the comments section below.