Sometimes, we notice that our nails are easily broken, cracked, split or peeled. This can be referred to as brittleness of nails. It can be due to aging, use of chemicals or excessive nail filing, and also health abnormalities. Some of the major causes of brittle nails includes:
1.NAIL BITING: Excessive biting or chewing of nails can expose the layer of skin under the nails to infections that can result in dryness or brittleness of the nails. Chewing the fingernails makes it uneven and can promote splitting and breaking.
2.LOW IRON LEVELS: This is also referred to as anemia. Insufficient iron in the blood can lead to dryness and breaking of nails.
3.NAIL POLISH: Leaving nail polish on your nails for too long can result in nail breakage and dryness because nail polishes contain certain drying chemicals. These chemicals draw up moisture from the nail plates and leaves them dry and hard.
4.PROLONGED EXPOSURE TO WATER: Constant contact with water can lead to nail brittleness due to the fact that nails are water absorbent, they become soft when kept in water for too long and can result in splitting or breaking. Harsh chemicals such as detergents, industrial chemicals, cleaning fluids are bad for nail health.
5.FREQUENT MANICURES: Getting your nails done frequently can be the reason you have brittle nails. Chemicals and equipment used in manicure can be harmful to the nails when used excessively. Polishing, filing and even glue can cause dehydrating effects on the nails.
6.AGING: As we grow older and the bonding of keratin filaments in our nails becomes weaker, our fingernails naturally become drier and brittle, however toenails may become thicker and even gets harder.
PREVENTION OF NAIL BRITTLENESS:
You can prevent nail brittleness by taking proper care of your nails and avoiding harmful nail practices. You can also use toe fungus treatment if needed.
APPLICATION OF MOISTURIZERS:
Dryness can lead to splitting or nail breakage. Use of moisturizers or hand lotions directly on the nails can help keep the nails hydrated and healthy. Ensure to use moisturizers that contains Lanolin or use nail oils.
Protection of the hand from excessive water or moisture, as well as from chemicals can help prevent nail brittleness. Use of water-resistant gloves while washing or using detergents can help to safeguard the nails. Do not use your fingernails to pick or open objects such as cans. Also, do not expose your nails to harsh weather conditions.
HEALTHY NAIL PRACTICES
Healthy nail practices involve avoiding certain activities that can be deterrent to your nail health and doing things that will promote and enhance your nail health. Not leaving nail polish on for too long and staying away from nail polish removers that contain acetone is an important step to preventing nail dryness. Nail hardeners can be used to make soft nails stronger.
Biting or chewing of nails should be avoided as much as possible, trimming the nails and keeping them short can help you stop nail biting. When trimming nails ensure to trim them evenly and in one direction to prevent irregularities at the nail tips. There are some over the counter nail fungus treatment available. You can try them out if fungal infection is an issue.