Brittle nails chip and split easily. This is a very common problem that you can inherit from your parents. It can also be because of your surroundings. We cannot change our heredity. If there are things in your environment that are causing or worsening brittle nails, then reducing those things will help reduce your brittle nails.
Some tips for reducing brittle nails are:
1. Trim your nails: when you place the tip of your finger on a tabletop, the skin of your fingertip touches the table before your nail does
2. Wear gloves for wet work and use a moisturizer often, including after hand washing
3. Wear cotton gloves covered by vinyl gloves when working with water and chemicals
4. If you polish your nails, then change the polish no more than every 1-2 weeks. Both acetone-based and non-acetone nail polish removers dry out the nail.
5. Know that wearing and/or removing acrylics, gels or shellacs may cause or worsen brittle nails
6. The water-soluble B vitamin Biotin may help strengthen nails and taking 2-3mg daily for a trial period of 6mos for fingernails and 12mos for toenails may help. It takes 6 months for a fingernail to grow out and 12 months for a toenail. You need to take it that long to know whether or not it works for you. Keep taking it if it does.
The information provided should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed physician should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Call 911 for all medical emergencies. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
Last Updated: 05/03/2012
Copyright © 05/03/2012 University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics Authority. All rights reserved. Produced by the Department of Nursing. HF#7353
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