Don’t Let Brittle Nails Ruin Your Look: How to Strengthen Weak Nails Today

Brittle nails caused by nail fungus can create a painful and embarrassing experience. Not only are they agonizing to look at, but brittle nails are often associated with discoloration, thickening and cracking of the nail. Fortunately, there are several methods available to help prevent brittle nails from occurring in the first place and ways to treat the condition should it develop.

In order to better understand how to tackle this issue, it is important to become aware of what causes brittle nails, what symptoms may present themselves and also what treatments and preventative measures exist for strengthening weak nails.

By familiarizing yourself with these topics, you will be able to successfully protect your hands from developing or worsening nail fungus for a healthier appearance overall.

Definition of Brittle Nails

Brittle nails are a condition in which the nails become weak and fragile, often tearing away from the nail bed or splitting along the edges. This is usually a result of excessive exposure to moisture, chemicals, or trauma to the nail that causes them to weaken and crack. It can also be caused by an underlying medical condition such as psoriasis, fungal infection, thyroid illness, iron deficiency, or diabetes.

Symptoms may include yellow discoloration of the nails, white spots on the surface of the nail, thickening of the nail plate and increased splitting or breaking of nails. Brittle nails can affect both fingernails and toenails but may vary in severity depending on individual health conditions.

Overview of Common Causes and Symptoms

Brittle nails can be the result of many different factors, including excessive moisture, chemical exposure and trauma to the nail. Nail fungus is one of the most common causes of brittle nails and occurs when a fungal infection takes hold in or under the nail.

Symptoms of brittle nails due to nail fungus include discoloration – usually in yellow shades – white spots on the surface, thickening of the nail plate, increased splitting or breaking, and brittleness. In addition to these symptoms, there are other medical conditions that can cause weak and fragile nails such as psoriasis, thyroid illness, iron deficiency and diabetes.

Treatment Options

Treating brittle nails requires identifying the underlying cause of the condition. Depending on the severity and underlying cause, treatments range from home remedies to professional care.

Home remedies may include avoiding excessive moisture and chemical exposure, keeping nails trimmed, wearing protective gloves during tasks that involve water or chemicals and soaking nails in olive oil or tea tree oil to improve essential oils levels.

Professional care may involve a dermatologist who can provide antifungal creams and ointments such as EMUAIDMAX® for nail fungus, oral medications as well as other treatments for an underlying medical condition such as psoriasis or diabetes. It is important to speak with a doctor before starting any treatment plan.

Dietary Changes

Brittle nails may be the result of inadequate nutrition, so dietary changes can help improve their condition. Eating foods rich in healthy fats such as avocados, nuts and seeds, olive oil and fatty fish can help keep your nails hydrated and less brittle. Increasing your intake of proteins like eggs, legumes and lean meats is also important as they contain essential amino acids which helps build strong nail structures.

It’s also important to get enough iron in your diet as an iron deficiency can lead to brittle nails. Eating foods high in this mineral such as dark leafy greens, lentils and fortified cereals will help ensure you are getting enough iron. Taking biotin supplements can also improve the health of your nails; however, it is important to speak with a doctor before starting any supplement regimen.

Prescription Treatments

When it comes to treating brittle nails, a prescription from a doctor may be necessary in some cases. Topical steroid creams are sometimes prescribed to reduce inflammation, while certain antifungal medications may be recommended when fungal nail infections are the underlying cause.

In more severe cases, an oral medication such as terbinafine or itraconazole may be prescribed. In some cases, doctors will prescribe biotin supplements to strengthen weak nails. However, it’s important to speak with your doctor before starting any prescription treatment plan and make sure you complete the course of treatment as instructed by your physician.

Prevention Practices for Healthy Nails

Proper Hygiene Habits

Practicing proper hygiene habits is one of the best ways to prevent brittle nails. Make sure to keep your nails clean and dry by using soap and water and drying them thoroughly after washing your hands or taking a bath. It’s also important to moisturize your nails regularly either with natural oils like coconut oil or almond oil, or with specialized hand and nail creams.

You should also wear gloves when doing dishes or anything that involves exposing your hands to harsh chemicals. Finally, try to avoid biting, picking, or otherwise damaging your nails as these habits weaken them and make them more susceptible to becoming brittle.

Use of Protective Equipment

Protective equipment is an effective way to prevent brittle nails. Wear gloves when performing tasks such as cleaning, doing dishes, or gardening to create a barrier between your nails and harsh chemicals or other damaging elements.

When styling your nails, opt for protective products like clear or white base coats that help strengthen weak and brittle nails. If you’re going to be in a cold environment, make sure to wear warm gloves as cold weather can cause dried-out and cracked nails.

Finally, if you have extremely brittle nails, consider wearing rubber caps over them while showering or participating in activities involving water – this will help protect them from becoming weakened due to prolonged exposure.

Maintenance Tips for Everyday Care

Everyday nail care is essential for keeping your nails healthy and strong. Here are some essential tips for proper maintenance:

  1. Keep your nails clean and dry – As much as possible, keep your nails free of dirt and debris by washing them regularly with soap and warm water, then dabbing them dry with a soft cloth or towel. Doing this will also help maintain a healthy pH balance in your nails.
  2. Moisturize regularly – Hydration is key to keeping your nails healthy, so make sure to moisturize both the skin around them and the actual nails themselves with natural oils like jojoba or argan oil or specialized hand creams and lotions.
  3. Trim and file often – Regularly trimming your nails and filing their edges not only keeps them looking neat but also helps prevent them from becoming too brittle from being left untrimmed for too long. Use a nail file rather than scissors to avoid splitting the nails when trimming them down.
  4. Wear gloves for activities involving harsh chemicals – Whenever you’re performing tasks such as cleaning, gardening, or using harsh chemicals in any way, always remember to wear protective gloves – this will help protect your skin from being exposed to these harsh chemicals, as well as reducing the need for frequent filing due to potential damage that can occur from these activities without protection.
  5. Protect against cold weather – Colder climates can cause brittle fingernails due to lack of moisture in the air and in turn lack of moisture on the nails, so it’s important to protect them when spending extended amounts of time outdoors during colder months by wearing appropriate winter gloves and coats that cover all areas of exposed skin on hands and arms including fingers ends where fingernails reside.


Brittle nails can be frustrating, but there are things that you can do to make them stronger and less prone to breaking. With a little bit of extra effort, regular maintenance and proper protective equipment, you can keep your nails looking healthy and strong all year round.

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