Causes, Care and Treatment of Brittle Nails
Brittle and weak nails can be a real problem with many men and women. One of the main causes of brittle nails is aging, but poor diet, illness and other factors may also cause this condition. Nails are built with keratin and protein and they protect the fingertips.
Brittle nails can be caused by a deficiency of iron, vitamins or other minerals lacking in the diet. For example, it is known that a low intake of Vitamin B makes nails fragile and brittle. Essential fatty acids will also contribute to healthy nails. Fatty Acids can be found fish oil, flax-seed and borage oil. Vitamins and minerals including Vitamin A, Vitamin B, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, calcium, magnesium, and zinc are all necessary for proper health of nails and skin and the Vitamin D9 has properties to increase calcium absorption as well as the mineral calcium that prevents dry and brittle nails.
If your brittle nails are caused by vitamin and mineral deficiencies then a regular supplement may be in order. Any good calcium supplement will also contain magnesium as well as boron. Zinc helps the absorption minerals and enzymes. A zinc deficiency can cause the formation of white spots in the nails.
Many women complain about splitting, soft, thinning and brittle nails. Most of these cases are caused by what the medical profession terms Onychoschizia a condition which seems to affect women more than men.
Onychoschizia may not be caused by iron or other deficiencies in the diet; in some cases the cause may be external. A good indicator of this is when the fingernails split but the toenails are healthy. There are two types of brittle nails; those that are soft (can be caused by too much moisture) or those that are very dry (not enough moisture).
Medical conditions like poor thyroid function, lung conditions, psoriasis, Lichen planus, endocrine disorders, tuberculosis, and malnutrition, Sjogren’s syndrome and selenium poisoning are some other causes of brittle nails.
Care: There are numerous methods used treat brittle nails and to restore them to normal healthy condition. Keep your nails trimmed to avoid crack or tear or damage. Trimming nails after taking a bath will make them softer and easier to cut evenly. Make sure nails are protected by rubber gloves or other means when working in conditions where they may be frequently around water, chemicals and detergents. Nails expand by absorbing water and contract when they dry and get weak with too much exposure to water. Keep dry nails moisturised with a Solar Oil and hands with a recommended lotion. Polish removers containing acetone can dry out your nails so make sure they are moisturised with Solar Oil or other recommended treatment.
Diet: Include ‘nail-friendly’ foods in your diet like bean, lentils and peanuts, cauliflower, that are rich in biotin and vitamin B. You may take a multivitamin supplement as well. Add some fish to your menu. Fatty acids in fish strengthen the nails. If you take proper care of nails and take a nutritious diet, you can keep your nails healthy and strong. Ask your nail technician for more information and see your doctor if you have any health concerns.