Brittle nails or onychomycosis can affect almost anyone. This is a common problem that causes soft, thin or cracked nails. According to the American Academy of Dermatology and Orthopaedics (AOCD), brittle nails are more common in women than in men.
In many cases, people with weak nails can take measures to strengthen the nails to prevent future problems. This article discusses the causes of brittle nails, some treatment methods and self-care techniques.
1. Causes of brittle nails
Too much or too little moisture, usually due to external factors, is the most likely cause of brittle nails. Due to moisture issues, AOCD divides brittle nails into two categories: hard and brittle and soft and brittle.
Too little moisture. When a person's nails are hard and fragile, the nails lack sufficient moisture. Nails are often wetted and dried due to activities such as washing hands or washing dishes, which may remove moisture from the nails. People are also more prone to dry nails in hot, dry environments or in winter.
Too much moisture. When there is too much moisture in the nails, the nails will become soft and brittle. This may be caused by using too much moisturizer on the hands. This may also be the result of removing nail polish with harsh chemicals such as acetone.
2. Treatments and home remedies
There are limited treatments and medications for brittle nails. The doctor may just recommend taking supplements to strengthen them. However, the following home care tips may help strengthen the nails.
Moisturize. Try to use special nail polish or hand sanitizer containing alpha hydroxy acid or lanolin. If the nails are soft but brittle, the nails may be too wet, please cut off the moisturizer.
Limit manicures. In order to enhance the brittleness of nails, please limit the number of nails to prevent nails from being affected by chemicals in nail polish and polish. Especially avoid using acetone-based nail polish remover. For soft and fragile nails, you can actually polish a layer of nails.
Avoid alcohol-based sanitizers. When soap and water are not available, hand sanitizer is a convenient way to remove bacteria. But alcohol can dry nails and skin.
Get a paraffin wax bath. As an indulgent nail care, using a paraffin wax bath at home can soothe and moisturize nails and hands. Soak your hands in the bathtub for 10 to 20 minutes; then allow time for the wax to dry before peeling it off.
Wear gloves. When washing dishes or doing housework, please wear rubber gloves to protect your nails.
3. Diet and nutrition for brittle nails
Making some of the following changes to diet may help strengthen brittle nails.
Taking supplements. Spa Nails recommends taking biotin vitamin supplements. They said it may take up to 6 months to take effect, but in all cases, about one-third is effective. Other supplements to consider include colloidal minerals, gelatin and calcium.
Getting adequate protein in the diet. Nails are mainly composed of keratin. A proper amount of protein is essential to promote keratin production and maintain healthy nails.
Eating iron-rich foods. If a person is iron-deficiency or anemia, one should consider eating iron-rich foods such as red meat or spinach. They may also consider taking iron supplements, but they should consult a doctor first because they can interact with certain medications.