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Brittle Nails


Do you find it hard to grow your nails or do you find that your nails are always breaking or splitting?  You could be suffering from brittle nails.  Read on to find out exactly what brittle nails are and what you can do to help the condition.

What is Brittle Nails?

Brittle nails is characterised by nails that are fragile and break frequently.  Brittle nails can be caused by such things as:

• harsh soaps
• irritants
• nail polish remover
• the wetting and drying of nails
• medical conditions such as psoriasis, fungal infections, anaemia, and thyroid issues
• vitamin and mineral deficiency (such as zinc and iron)
• poor circulation
• stress and anxiety
• hormonal changes
• selenium poisoning (when there is too much selenium in the body)

Brittle nails can happen to males and females of all ages.

Changing Your Routine to Help Brittle Nails

The repeated exposure to water can cause brittle fingernails, even if this is only washing dishes a few times a day.  The best solution for this is to simply wear gloves if you have to put your hands in water.  Habits that you have can also affect the health of your nails.  Tapping your fingers on hard surfaces can cause the new nail growth to be weaker, making breaks and tears more likely to occur.  Biting your nails can also make nails more brittle.  Taking the time to massage your fingernails and the surrounding area can also help as it improves the circulation to the nails, allowing them to absorb nutrients more easily and grow healthy nails.  If you have extremely dry nails, use a moisturiser to add necessary moisture into the nail.

It can help to file your nails in one direction only and keep the nails square.  This helps to keep your nails stronger.  If you wear nail polish, try to go polish free for a couple of days a week and avoid harsh nail polish removers.

Nutrition, Herbs and Brittle Nails

It can be very helpful to include things in your diet that will promote the health of your nails.  Biotin is excellent for nail health.  You can find it in a number of foods, especially cauliflower and lentils.  Biotin is also found in supplement form.  Also eat foods that are rich in vitamin A, potassium, phosphorus, and niacin.  Calcium, colloidal minerals, and gelatin may also help but none have been shown to work as reliably as biotin does.

Horsetail may be helpful for brittle nails as it is high in silicon.  Supplementation with iron and/or zinc may be very helpful if the cause of brittle nails is found to be a deficiency in one of these.


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