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Nails Breaking? Natural Remedies To Strengthen Them

If your problem is brittle nails that split, pay attention to it! Every body part must be listened to because it can reveal a lot about our health conditions.

Why Do Nails Weaken And Break?

Nails weaken and break for many different reasons. Generally speaking, nails become brittle when frequently exposed to corrosive chemicals, such as laundry or household cleaning detergents. In some cases, washing your hands too often with excessively aggressive solutions or soaps can lead to removing the lipid component of the nail, which is necessary to protect the pin from the aggression of external agents and the danger of “dehydration”. 

Added to all this are the bad habits linked to the “beauty routine”. For example, it is advisable to avoid the perennial and constant use of nail polish, which can lead to nail dehydration due to the substances contained in solvents for removing nail polish and in nail lacquers themselves. Today, many women opt for semi-permanent nail polishes, which ensure flawless hands and nails for a long time (2 or 3 weeks). 

However, the removal of semi-permanent nail polish can damage the nails since these cosmetics are formulated with substances that adhere firmly to the nail plate and which can, therefore, stress the pin during removal, as this process involves the use of “strong” solvents.” which are left in direct contact with the nail for about 10 minutes. Furthermore, the elimination of semi-permanent nail polish often involves the use of double files that scrape the back of the nail plate, which becomes thinner and more fragile and, therefore, more sensitive and permeable to exogenous substances such as water.

It is worth remembering that even acetone, the most classic solvent for nail lacquers, can cause damage to the nails as it “attacks” the keratin, the protein structure that forms the pin, responsible for the hardness and elasticity of the nail. The nail itself: if the keratin filaments that form the nail plate degrade, the nails will be more fragile and less resistant.

Talking about “brittle nails” is, however, very generic, as the nail can flake off in different ways. For example, we speak about lamellae onychoschizia (if the flaking occurs in horizontal lamellae) or actual breakage of the nail plate with transverse fractures, which can cause pain.

What To Do In Case Of Brittle Nails?

If you have brittle nails, it is advisable always to use gloves when using water, detergents and irritants. Furthermore, it is essential to limit the use of nail polish by opting for the benefit of specific remedies such as gels and colorless nail polishes, which create a water-soluble film that protects the nail from external agents and hydrates the nail plate, improving resistance to breakage. It is then advisable to apply moisturizing and emollient creams formulated with urea several times daily on nails and periungual skin.

However, if following these tips, the problem of nail fragility persists or adds to an alteration in the color and thickness of the nail plate, it is advisable to contact a specialist as the nails may have been affected by a fungal infection or other diseases. Nutrition also plays a fundamental role in the health of our nails. Generally speaking, the vitamins, trace elements and amino acids necessary for our nails to be healthy and robust are iron and zinc, vitamin H (biotin) and sulfur amino acids (methionine and cystine).

For this reason, in the case of brittle nails, it is advisable to make sure that your diet is rich in foods that contain the substances above, such as milk derivatives, vegetables, shellfish, dried fruit and legumes. Finally, in the case of nails that flake and break too quickly, it is necessary to drink at least 2 liters of water a day, and it is also possible to resort to taking food supplements formulated with vitamins and other natural substances, which help to strengthen the nails from the inside.

Can Brittle Nails Hide Any Pathology?

Nails can be brittle for many reasons. In particular, the reasons for this disorder can often be traced back to nutritional deficiencies of vitamins or trace elements or can be linked to secondary effects of taking certain classes of drugs, especially chemotherapy. 

In other cases, a nail with a thinned, altered and fragile surface can hide hereditary pathologies, such as Mediterranean anemia or diabetes, or indicate dermatological disorders, such as psoriasis, lichen, onychomycosis or eczema. Furthermore, in many cases, the hormonal changes typical of menopause can cause a decrease in the amount of fat and cholesterol in the nail plate, resulting in nail fragility.

What Are The Natural Remedies To Strengthen Them?

There are many natural remedies to strengthen nails: for example, you can add a few drops of lemon juice to your hand moisturizing cream, which helps to lighten your nails. Another “grandmother’s remedy” that can be used to improve the appearance of the nails is the horsetail decoction (solution of hot water and dried horsetail previously covered and left to rest and cool for 10 minutes) in which to immerse the nails for 20 minutes.

In particular, horsetail is a plant rich in mineral salts for fortifying nails. Another excellent remedy for flaking nails is to rub your nails with sweet almond oil (rich in antioxidants and nutrients), extra virgin olive oil, castor oil or even wheat germ oil. In particular, it is advisable to apply the chosen oil on your hands and nails every evening. You can then mix a teaspoon of almond or olive oil with a few drops of lemon juice and massage the mixture directly onto the nails to make them stronger and more resistant.

As an alternative to these oils, you can opt to use jojoba oil, rich in substances with soothing, hydrating and nourishing properties, or coconut oil. If you think you have onychomycosis, you can resort to using tea tree oil, a natural antibacterial and antifungal substance: apply a few drops of tea tree oil on the affected area and leave on for 30 minutes; then rinse with warm water and dry.

To prepare a “homemade” mask for brittle nails, mix plain yogurt with honey and avocado pulp, coconut butter or shea butter, apply on the nails, leave on for 15 minutes and then rinse: your nails will thank you! Another excellent natural remedy against brittle nails consists of immersing the nails for a few minutes in a solution obtained by mixing equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water, a solution rich in nutrients such as vitamins, potassium, calcium, iron, malic acid and acetic acid which allows you to prevent nail infections and strengthen them.



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