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6 Natural Remedies to Strengthen Brittle Nails

Dr. Huda Ashraf Bukhari

2 min read

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Fingernails are made up of keratin- the same protein that makes up your hair. Just like your skin, nails can show you how healthy you are; weak and brittle nails can be a sign of a health problem such as anemia or a thyroid condition. In these cases it is best to consult a doctor, but if the situation does not appear to be dire then you can simply follow our guide and this problem should dissapear.

Over time, aging, repeated or lengthy exposure to water and chemicals (like cleaning materials), use of nail polish remover, and/or from wearing nail polish for long periods of time can also cause brittle nails. Making large lifestyle changes is one of the best ways to deal with these kinds of problems as they often point to some kind of deficiency.

Listed below are six natural treatments to try to avoid weak and brittle nails:

1- Water exposure:

Nails have a super absorbent nature. When you wash your hands or are involved in any activity that makes your nail wet, the cells on the external surface of nails expands and contracts making them soft and bendy. Water exposure is in fact the most common cause of brittle nails and therefore you should try avoiding exposing nails to water for long periods of time. Interestingly, a lack of moisture can also cause brittle nails, so the important thing here is to maintain a healthy balance. Drinking a healthy amount of water is one of the best ways to deal with this.

2- Biotin:

Enrich your diet by adding Biotin in your daily meal plans. Biotin is a vitamin that is found in foods like eggs and salmon which has been proven to give lackluster hair and nails a boost. In fact, studies have shown that taking a daily biotin supliment leads to a 25% increase in nail plate thickness. In addition to this, there are almost no side effects to this and is it is impossible to have ‘too much’ biotin so it is completely safe.

3- Stay hydrated:

The human body is composed of 60% water, making it vital to keep yourself hydrated at all times. Water or water rich foods like cucumber and watermelon are a great way to moisturize your hair, nails and skin from inside. The ammount of water you drink should depend on how hot or dry your environment is. Drinking enough water will help you with a large number of problems and will also help your skin. There are really no downsides to hydration so make sure you always have water nearby.

4- Natural hand cream:

Keep your hand and nails moisturized by applying a natural hand cream. Washing and drying your hands can make your nails and hands lose moisture, hence a hand cream is always handy to help with brittle nails. Many of these creams will make sure your hand and nails will retain moisture and protect them from the environment. This will prevent them from becoming dry and flaky. Some dermatologists have reccomended rubbing petroleum jelly or vitamin E on your nails to boost skin and nail health.

5- Iron and vitamins:

Brittle nails are seen in people with signs of vitamin and iron deficiency. These nutrients are important to the body so ensure you complete your daily dose of vitamins. You can take supplements if needed, after consulting with your doctor or fulfill the need from natural food sources such as spinach. This is one of the most common deficiencies in the world and there are a large number of suppliments and diet changed one can make to combat it. A diverse and healthy diet is the largely the best way to go but suppliments can also be used in more severe cases.

6- Natural Oils:

Natural oils are the best topical solution to maintain the health of the nail. Massage coconut oil, broccoli oil, or olive oil into your nail or body which will not only make your cuticle healthy but will make your skin look and feel healthy. A number of these oils contain important nutrients and vitamins that will promote nail strength and healthy nail growth. Vitamin A and E are great examples of this and can be found in jojoba oil. A number of these oils also have anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties, making them especially effective when applied on the skin or nails. Apply these oils once during the morning and once at night for the best resutls.

It is important to note that if you start experiencing brittle nails suddenly it could be a sign of different health issues than the ones listed above. It is important to consult your doctor at that stage. You can also book an appointment with a top Dermatologists in Islamabad, Multan and Karachi through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT Doctor for your skin, hair and nail concerns.

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are intended to raise awareness about common health issues and should not be viewed as sound medical advice for your specific condition. You should always consult with a licensed medical practitioner prior to following any suggestions outlined in this article or adopting any treatment protocol based on the contents of this article.

Dr. Huda Ashraf Bukhari - Author Dr. Huda Ashraf Bukhari is a Dermatologist practicing in Karachi. Dr. Huda Ashraf Bukhari has the following degrees: MBBS, FCPS and has 10 years of experience. She believes that anyone can have good skin, all they need is a skin care routine.
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