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How Do I Treat Brittle Fingernails?

Some fingernail polishes are formulated to nourish nails.
Wearing rubber gloves while cleaning can help prevent fingernails from becoming brittle.
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  • Written By: Diane Goettel
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 11 October 2014
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Brittle fingernails may be the result of a number of different problems, so there are many solutions. Some of the common causes of brittle fingernails include weather, exposure to the elements, and vitamin deficiency. For each cause, there is a different course of treatment.

If you live in a very cold climate, or in a region that experiences harsh winters, then brittle fingernails may be a result of the weather. The cold weather can lead to brittle, and even peeling, fingernails. Furthermore, the heated air in your home, vehicle, and workplace is likely to be quite dry, which can also lead to nail problems. The best way to counteract these effects is to keep your hands and nails moisturized as much as possible. Also, be sure to wear gloves outside at all times to keep the hands and nails warm.

Brittle fingernails can also be cause by working with your hands, especially if your hands are exposed to chemicals. Regular submersion in water can also lead to brittle fingernails. Protect your hands while working by wearing rubber gloves and be sure to keep your hands and nails moisturized with a good emollient.

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Finally, brittle fingernails might be the result of a vitamin deficiency. Simply taking a multivitamin may help to improve the strength and thickness of your fingernails. If you already take a multivitamin, then you may want to take a calcium supplement. In fact, some companies that manufacture vitamins produce formulas specifically for the strengthening of fingernails.

Another way to improve the health of your nails is to use a polish that is specifically intended to nourish the nails. If you don't already regularly use nail polish, then it is best not to start, as any kind of polish, even those that are supposed to be better for nail health than others, can leave them brittle. If you do, however, use nail polish on a regular basis, then you should consider switching to a polish that is formulated for better nail health.

All treatments for brittle fingernails will take some time to show results. This is because nails that have been damaged need to grow out, giving way to new, healthy nails. It can take weeks, even months, to see a complete change in your fingernails. Once you know how to take care of your fingernails and keep them healthy, you won't have to worry about brittle fingernails again for a long time.

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burcidi
Post 3

@SarahGen-- You might want to change your hand soap. And are you using a hand lotion regularly?

Most of us don't realize how drying hand soaps can be. Liquid hand soap usually has alcohol in it and on top of it, I use hand sanitizer frequently. If you also wash dishes by hand, that will dry out nails too. All of this adds up to dry, brittle fingernails that break very easily.

Try to use hand soap with a moisturizer in it and use hand cream after washing your hands. Don't use hand sanitizers too much and wear gloves when washing dishes and so forth. See if all this makes a difference. It has made a difference for me.

SarahGen
Post 2

@ysmina-- I have brittle nails too and I started taking a supplement a month ago. But it has not made a difference. I don't know what to do. My nails break constantly.

ysmina
Post 1

I used to have brittle nails and then I started taking a nail, skin and hair supplement. It's a multi-vitamin with calcium, vitamin E, A and biotin. My nails are looking so much better now. They're not brittle anymore and my hair looks better too.

I used to think that I eat very healthy and that I couldn't have a vitamin deficiency but I guess I did have a deficiency.

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