Food on the table. Children’s homework. Office deadlines. Wrinkles.
Indeed, there seem to be a number of other things more important than nails.
While we can go through life even if we have brittle nails, dermatologists advise that we make time to address this problem as well. Why? Because if left untreated, brittle nails can be so painful to the point that you can’t do even a simple activity. I don’t need to tell you how important your hands are, right? Imagine going about your day unable to use these very important body parts. Still unconvinced? How about going to the office in corporate attire and slippers. Yes, wearing closed shoes can be a torture too if you don’t treat your brittle nails.
How Do You Know if You Have Brittle Nails? Who Gets Them?
Brittle nails are usually characterized by peeling, splitting, fracturing and chipping. All of us can be a victim of this problem but experts say this is more commonly seen in women. Incidence in both men and women increase with advancing age.
Causes of Brittle Nails
This problem can be caused by both external and internal factors. Among the most common internal factors that cause nails to weaken are genetics, aging and on rare occasions, internal disorders like thyroid abnormalities and anemia. The effects of chemotherapy also result in weaker nails. The most common external factors, meanwhile, are exposure to harsh irritants like solvents and chemicals and overexposure to water.
TREATMENT: Three-Pronged Approach
- First, determine whether or not the weakening of your nails is caused by a medical condition. If it is, treating this is the best way to see an improvement in the condition of your nails. If it is not caused by a medical problem, then determine past activities that may have caused your nails to become brittle. Avoiding or correcting these practices is very important if you want to treat your brittle nails.
- Second, protect your nails from activities that may cause it to become brittle. For instance, if you’re going to expose your nails to harsh chemicals, wear protective gloves. Avoid excessive washing as well. This, however, doesn’t mean it’s better to use waterless hand sanitizers. These have high alcohol content which may contribute to brittle nails. So, if you really have to wash your hands, then, water is still a better option. Make sure though to use mild soaps and focus primarily on the palm of your hands.
- Third, treat your nails with moisturizers. This is another way to protect your nails. Often, products that help strengthen nails serve as a protective barrier from the harsh effects of environmental exposure as well. The Moroccan Argan oil is a great nail moisturiser because of its essential fatty acids and Vitamin E. Vitamin E also strengthens nails. Argan oil is also packed with antioxidants that’ll protect your nails from environmental damage too.