Having brittle nails goes beyond an aesthetic issue, since it is a pathology that reflects the state of health or the daily habits of a person; however, this type of problem can be combated and prevented, which will give you perfectly healthy nails. Below we will tell you everything you need to know about this condition and the best way to treat it.
What are brittle nails?
Brittle nails, also known as onychorrhexis, is a pathology that consists of nail dystrophy. This can affect any type of person regardless of gender or age , but it has been scientifically proven that it usually appears commonly among elderly women.
This type of pathology is one of the variants of weak nails which, as its name indicates, are usually very thin or have zero consistency.
Nails with this condition often break or peel off in horizontal layers from the edge of the line. In them you can see stripes of white that run through the entire nail and create a layered effect that destabilizes the entire shape of the nail. They can appear on both feet and hands.
But, what are the causes for which this type of pathology appears?
Causes of brittle nails or weak nails
Onychorrhexis is characterized by being a constant fragmentation of the nail. This is due to a variety of factors that prevent the cohesive formation of the nail plate, the hard, translucent part of the nail. What are these factors?
1-. Daily actions
This problem can appear to a large extent due to daily actions such as frequent washing of hands or feet with hot water, heating air and simple contact with a contaminated surface.
2-. Chemical substances
Direct contact with certain chemical products such as detergents, cleansers and bleaches tend to affect the structure of the nail , in the same way, there are various products used during a manicure that can affect it: nail polish removers, products to remove the cuticle and some enamels with formaldehyde.
Although considered low risk factors, trauma often causes damage to the nail plate . Actions such as hitting the nail against a surface or even typing with great force can cause serious damage to it.
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4-. Nutritional deficiencies or diseases
The low level of iron is one of the main causes for this pathology to appear , likewise, the lack of calcium or zinc can affect the nail plate and make it brittle.
Beyond nutritional deficiencies, brittle nails are usually a reflection of various skin diseases or even a consequence of systemic disorders or thyroid problems.
Despite being considered a distant or unlikely factor, aging is one of the most frequent causes, since with the passage of time the structure of the nails loses firmness and becomes more delicate.
How to avoid brittle nails?
There are various measures to treat brittle nails and give them greater resistance.
• Change your hand and foot washing
The constant use of hot water is usually one of the main causes of weakening of the nails, for this reason, you should avoid soaking your hands and feet in hot water for long periods . Also try to use a mild soap and dry your hands and feet perfectly after washing, so you will avoid moisture.
• Avoid chemicals
Avoid being in contact with products with chemical elements such as sodium or potassium hydroxide and formaldehyde. In the same way, protect your hands when using products such as detergents , cleaners or bleaches.
• Consume more vitamins
B vitamins and D-biotin (group B vitamin) have special properties that help to strengthen the nail plate, likewise, frequent consumption of iron, calcium and zinc help in the production of keratin, a fundamental protein. to form the nail.
• Perform a proper manicure
From the first step to the last, it is important to use the right utensils and elements for a correct manicure . Do not forget that the nail should be cut straight and forming a smooth curve towards the tips.
How to strengthen weak nails
Although there are several ways to combat this type of pathology, the truth is that few have the expected results.
⁃ Good nutrition
Food is fundamental to any aspect of human health. In the case of weak nails, a diet containing various nutrients such as vitamins A1, B2, C and D should be followed . These are found in foods such as fruits, vegetables, legumes, and dairy products.
⁃ Moisturize your hands constantly
Applying a moisturizer with natural active ingredients after washing your hands will help not only to keep your hands in perfect condition, but also to protect the nail surface and cuticles.
⁃ Use false nails to a lesser extent
Finally, do not forget that the use of false nails for long periods can harm the health of your natural nails, since they are isolated and without contact with the environment.
Remember that before following the recommendations on how to strengthen your nails , you should consult a specialist. Do not forget that the nails take to grow from 1 to 2 millimeters per month, so you must be very patient to get results.