Brittle Nails Treatment

What Are Brittle Nails?

Common nail problems include chipping, cracking, breaking, brittle, peeling, splitting, thin, and weak nails.  The medical term for this is Onychoschizia and is more common in women.

Brittle nails are most commonly caused by chemical or environmental challenges, such as repeated wetting and drying of the nails.  This is caused by frequent hand washing, dishwashing, and/or swimming. Less frequently, brittle nails can be caused by deficiencies or underlying diseases.

Nails that are overexposed to chemicals, such as cleaners, detergents/soaps, and nail products can also become brittle.  Nail polish removers can severely dry out your nails.

Your environment can affect your nail quality.  In the low humidity of the winter, where there is dry heat, it is more likely that your nails can experience some of these more common nail problems.  Consider using a daily moisturizing lotion that is good for brittle nails treatment, like Cutemol or Moisture-All  when in these environments and conditions.





Wellness Tip


Wear protective gloves when cleaning or doing other work with your hands. This will help reduce the amount of chemicals or moisture-stripping soaps that come into contact with your nails.






Knowing Your Type of Brittle Nails and Treatment Options

Brittle nails can appear cracked, chipped, broken, split, peeling, and thin.  They do not look very attractive and can sometimes hurt. They can range from mild to severe with different brittle nail treatment options.

Mild and Most Common


Brittle nails, or nail psoriasis, can alter the way your nails appear – dryness and a slight discoloration of the nails to a white or light yellow. Your nails can also feel a little thinner than normal and the skin underneath may thicken.


Treatment for your brittle nails requires patience because nails grow slowly. For minor symptoms, avoid drying out your nails by wearing protective gloves when using cleaning chemicals or moisture-stripping soaps. Be sure to moisturize and condition with DermaNail Nail Conditioner, which works to rebuild your nails.

Moderate to Severe


In more moderate to severe cases, a higher level of discoloration, including a darker yellow, brownish red, and/or green, may occur. You may also see nail debris at the base, ridges on the top, and/or signs of slight peeling or cracking in your nails.


In addition to the treatment of mild cases of brittle nails, you also want to avoid creating further damage to your nails. Be gentle with them; keep them trimmed and file them daily to avoid any further splitting or breaking while they try to heal.

More Severe


In severe cases of brittle nails, or nail psoriasis, you may experience tenderness and pain along with breaking, pitting (small pin-like holes), loosening, and/or complete separation of the nail from your finger.


If the direct treatment of your brittle nails does not improve your situation over time, then a different underlying condition may be responsible for your nail condition. You should seek a medical opinion to explore other possibilities.

Symptoms of Brittle Nails

Symptoms of brittle nails are:

  • Dryness
  • Chipping
  • Cracking
  • Breaking
  • Peeling
  • Splitting
  • Thin
  • Weak
  • Separation or Delamination from the nail bed

Symptoms of brittle nails can be embarrassing and painful. If treating your nails directly does not improve, or if you notice more extreme symptoms, then a different underlying condition could be at the root of your nail problems. If this is the case, be sure to check with your dermatologist.





Wellness Tip


When buffing your nails, do so in the direction that the nail grows and not a back and forth motion, which can cause splitting.  Avoid metal instruments for nail care.






Preventing Acne

While your acne treatments are very important, it is just as important to keep your skin healthy and clean.  Here are a few suggestions towards making that happen:

Whether you have acne or not, it’s important to wash your face twice a day in order to remove excess dirt, dry skin, and oils that can clog your pores – and promote breakouts.

During a breakout, avoid wearing foundation, powder, or blush.

Some studies link stress with the severity of your acne. Getting in the habit of mindfulness and self-reflection can help reduce the presence of acne. If it’s the stress of acne that’s increasing its severity, let us help you with that.

Moisturize your skin frequently. Use products that are “non-comedogenic” (meaning they should not cause acne).

Avoid touching your face. Your hands can have bacteria that can be easily spread to your face, which can cause a breakout. In all cases, avoid picking at current acne on your face. This can irritate the already inflamed facial skin.


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