How to Spot Brittle Nails
Taking care of our nails is important, especially if we are washing our hands more frequently. Sometimes, our nails can become a bit soft or brittle, whether it’s from overwashing, environmental, or even nutritional reasons. Brittle nails are pretty easy to spot. They usually show signs of cracking, peeling, splitting, or just being thin and fragile in general. If you notice that your nails are starting to look a little worse for wear, or that they split easy, or even hurt at times, it may be good to treat them with a nail conditioner or hardener.
Don’t worry, brittle nails usually aren’t usually a sign of something serious. However, if you have other symptoms along with brittle nails, it may be a sign of psoriasis or liver disease. If you have concerns about your health, please consult your doctor.
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What Causes Brittle Nails
There is not a singular cause for brittle nails. Let’s walk through a few of the common underlying reasons, and then find ways to fix them.
Nails are made from the protein keratin, which is produced by your body and also composes your hair and parts of your skin. The keratin in your hair and skin is softer and is assembled in fibers, whereas the keratin in your nails is arranged into sheets, like layered pieces of paper. Nails become brittle when something disrupts the natural state or formation of these keratin sheets. For example, continuously wetting and drying your nails can cause the protein to become soft and to peel more easily. If you have a nutritional deficiency, your body won’t create keratin as effectively as possible, which can make your nails weak and brittle.
One of the most common reasons for weak or brittle nails is the use of strong cleaning agents. If you get harsh cleaning products on your nails, it can sometimes lead to a slight separation of keratin, which can weaken them. If you paint your nails a little too often, your nail polish remover might be overpowering, which can cause brittleness as well.
Brittle nails can also be caused by an underlying disease, such as psoriasis, kidney disease, or liver disease. In cases like these, though, the nails are usually the least of your worries.
How to Treat Brittle Nails
The good news is that treating and strengthening nails can be painless and easy. The not-so-good news is that it may take a few months to see improvements, since your nails are some of the slowest growing parts of your body. The important thing is to be patient and remember that, even though it may not look like it at first, your nails are hard at work healing and getting stronger.
In order to heal your brittle nails, you must first find the underlying cause. There are a few methods you can use to do this. For example, if your fingernails are brittle, but your toenails are fine, you can rule out a nutritional deficiency. A nutritional deficiency would affect all of your keratin the same way, so your toenails, hair, and skin would be affected too.
If your toenails are ok, then you know to look for external factors. Try to remember if you’ve been washing your hands frequently, swimming, washing dishes or using cleaning products without gloves, painting your nails often, or doing anything else that might affect nail health. Once you know what the culprit is, you can mitigate the brittleness by taking preventative measures by limiting the behavior that is causing brittle nails. If you think household cleaning products or general scrubbing action is causing your weak nails, consider wearing gloves when you clean. If you think your nail polish remover is the cause for your brittle nails, try using lower-intensity alternatives like isopropyl alcohol or vinegar. If your toenails or other keratin areas are affected as well, then it’s time to start investigating internal causes. Has your diet changed substantially in the last few months? If it has, your brittle nails may be caused by a vitamin or mineral deficiency.
Remember, if you have other symptoms along with brittle nails, or you think you may be ill, see a medical professional.
Protecting your nails is the only way to prevent them from becoming brittle in the future. If you don’t, they will continue to be brittle, even after you treat them with supplements or lotions. Once you’ve taken steps to prevent further damage, you can start healing the damage that has already occurred. There are a number of ways to do this.
First, if your brittle nails are caused by a nutritional deficiency, you’ll need to ensure you get the right vitamins. Taking calcium and biotin supplements are a great way to improve nail health. The best treatment is, of course, eating a healthy, balanced, and consistent diet.
If you believe this condition is caused by external factors, one of the best ways to strengthen your nails is to try a lotion or thick cream like Cutemol Emollient Cream, which is great for cuticle health, or DermaNail nail conditioner. Summers Laboratories has a great range of treatments for brittle nails that are formulated to help heal your nails and get them looking healthier than ever! All of the products offered come with a 100% money-back guarantee. Your nails will look much better if you take care of them regularly, use the right product(s), and have a little patience.