Dry, brittle nails are a problem that many women face. As your nails grow, they often split at the tips or even along the nail plate before reaching the tip. They are often weak and can grow more slowly than healthy nails.
Nails tend to become more dry and brittle as you age. However, there are several other causes of dry, brittle nails:
∑ Nail polish remover. Using nail polish remover more than once a week, especially one containing acetone, can cause your nails to become dry.
∑ Too much moisture and harsh chemicals. If you keep your hands in water for prolonged periods of time, your fingernails absorb too much moisture. In turn, it causes your fingernails to become dry and brittle.
∑ Using harsh chemicals. Using harsh chemicals can have a drying affect on your nails
∑ Nail files and filing both ways . Using a metal nail file or filing your nails in both directions can cause them to split.
∑ Vitamin or mineral deficiency. A lack of calcium, protein, iron, or other vitamins and minerals can cause your nails to become brittle.
∑ Thyroid problems. A more serious cause of dry, brittle nails is thyroid problems.
Preventing and Treating Dry, Brittle Nails
Nail strengtheners are often recommended for treating brittle nails. They may protect nails, but they donít address the root of the problem.
Here are some tips for preventing and treating dry, brittle nails:
Use nail polish remover no more than once a week. Avoid nail polish removers with acetone and remove nail polish at most once a week. You can always touch up your nails during the week if your nail polish chips.
∑ Wear gloves. If youíre doing dishes, cleaning the house, or performing some other task that causes your hands to stay wet for awhile, wear gloves. Also wear gloves if you are using harsh chemicals.
∑ File your nails carefully. Use a glass file or an emery board instead of a metal nail file. Also, make sure you file only in one direction.
∑ Pay attention to your diet. Add calcium, protein, or iron to your diet. If you need extra help, try taking a multi-vitamin.
∑ See your doctor. Nail health can be a sign of your overall health. If you think your finger nails are showing symptoms of a larger health issue, such as a thyroid problem, visit your doctor.
When you face dry, brittle nails, think about how you treat your nails and your body. Being kind to both can help you achieve strong, healthy nails.