There can be many causes of the development of brittle nails, but fortunately there are ways for you to stop them from worsening and to restore them back to their previous good health and strength. Continue reading to discover the five bad habits that you should cut out in order to stop brittle nails from developing and growing worse.
Using Nails as Tools
Using your nails to do various tasks, from opening a soda can to finding the end of a tape roll, can cause severe damage, even if it may not always be visible. This will reflect in the health of your nails. To stop them from growing brittle, thick, or yellow, take care to get out of the habit of using your nails as readymade tools.
Biting your nails is another bad habit that can damage your nails on the inside and out. Nail biting can leave rough edges behind, which will create the ideal environment for nails to begin drying out, growing brittle, and getting thick and yellow.
Not Wearing Gloves
Your nails can suffer a lot when they are exposed to harsh elements, such as cold weather, water, or cleaning chemicals. Therefore, to stop brittle nails, try to make sure you always wear a pair of gloves when braving the outdoors if the temperatures are low, if you are washing the dishes, or if you are using any harsh cleansers for your house.
Cutting your cuticles is a bad habit and a common culprit for the development of brittle nails. Although many manicurists may offer to remove them, cuticles are an important part of nail health, essential for protecting against nail infections. Cuticles are soft and can become damaged easily. When manicuring your nails, make sure to hydrate the cuticles as well, but handle them gently and never cut them.
Your diet can be one of the biggest hidden factors affecting your chances of getting brittle nails. Review your diet and try to cut out anything that may impact your nails negatively, such as excessive amounts of processed foods and sugar. Instead, include plenty of calcium in your diet. Tofu, dairy products, and broccoli are all good, low-fat sources of calcium.
Brittle nails can affect many people at any stage of their lives, but it is a particularly common problem during times of hormonal imbalance, such as the years leading up to menopause or even during menopause. Fortunately, through some simple lifestyle changes and a positive outlook on health, you can begin to restore and repair your brittle nails back to their former health.
- de Berker, D.A. , André, J. & Baran, R. (2007). Nail biology and nail science. International journal of cosmetic science, 29(4), 241-275. Retrieved October 31, 2013 from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18489354
- Iorizzo, M., Pazzaglia, M., M. Piraccini, B., Tullo, S. & Tosti, A. (2004). Brittle nails. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 3(3), 138-144. Retrieved from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17134428
- National Health Service UK. (2013). Nail abnormalities. Retrieved October 31, 2013, from http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/nail-abnormalities/Pages/Introduction.aspx