If your nails are peeling, dry, thin, or prone to snapping or breaking, then you may be suffering from brittle nails. Finger nails are given a great deal of attention in the fight against brittle nails, but brittle toe nails are often neglected. However, brittle toe nails can be just as big a problem, especially during menopause. Read the five tips below to learn how to care for your toe nails and prevent them becoming brittle.
Remember to Moisturize
Just as you moisturize your hands, your face, and your body to maintain good skin health, your toe nails should also be moisturized to keep them hydrated and healthy, and to prevent them from becoming brittle. Use a moisturizer that also doubles as a nail hardener, which will lock in the moisture.
Cut Your Nails Carefully
Take care not to cut your toe nails too far back. Cutting them too far back can damage the seal between the cuticle and toe nail and contribute toward developing brittle toe nails. To get the best results, you should trim your toe nails regularly, and try to do so after soaking your feet in warm water for ten minutes as this will soften them. Then use a nail file to round them.
Watch Your Diet
Bear in mind that the health of your toe nails is a reflection of your overall health. A well-balanced, healthy diet, rich in a wide range of foods, can help improve the condition of brittle toe nails. Eating fresh fruit and vegetables, nuts, lean meat, and whole grains will work to improve the health of your toe nails by providing you with vitamins for preventing brittle nails such as A, B, and C, as well as protein, calcium, zinc, and iron, which are all essential for maintaining strong toe nails.
Mind Your Foot Hygiene
Make sure you wash and dry your feet every day to rid them of any bacteria and fungus which might have built up. Dry your toes thoroughly before you put your socks and shoes on, as fungi that can contribute toward brittle toe nails thrives in damp conditions.
Rebalance Your Hormones
Developing brittle toe nails during the menopause is most commonly the result of fluctuating levels of hormones. To improve your brittle toe nails, you must first get to the root of the problem and rebalance your hormones. Supplements can work to balance your hormones by stimulating the body's natural hormone production by nourishing the endocrine glands, helping the whole hormonal system produce hormones more efficiently.
It can be annoying to watch formerly healthy and strong toe nails become weak, peeling, or brittle toe nails. However, though brittle toe nails are a common symptom of menopause, a combination of lifestyle changes and rebalancing your hormones can help to cure this irritating condition.
- Hutchinson, Susan M.D. "The Stages of a Woman's Life: Menstruation, Pregnancy, Nursing, Perimenopause, Menopause". November 2007.
- Love, Susan M.D. Menopause and Hormone Book. New York: Three Rivers Press, 2003.
- BMJ Group. "Menopause: What is it?" Patient Leaflet. 2007.