Brittle nails: enviromental + medical causes & food tips!

May 20, 2009

Brittle nails: a common condition, occurring in about 20% of people.


About 20% of people have brittle nails. The typical peeling signs & symptoms of a brittle nail include: dry, peeling at the nail tip, horizontal layers (or vertical splitting), breaking off easily, a rough structure. Usually more women than men develop brittle nails – often due to the use of nail products!

Only in rare cases severe brittle nails are caused by medical problems varying from: Raynaud’s disease, lung conditions, skin diseases such as: psoriasis.

However, next to the use nail products & working in humid environments, the major cause of brittle nails is malnutrition!


It is important that your daily food includes all the essential amino acids. Like every other part of your body, nails do needs supply of nutrients. Thin spoon shaped nails on the fingers characterises iron and zinc deficiencies. Good sources of iron include green leafy vegetables, fish, poultry, meat, liver, dried dates, raisins, bajra and jaggery. Vitamin C helps the body to absorb iron. Try taking citrus fruit along with iron rich meals.
A healthy diet helps to avoid brittle nails.
Quote from Sify:

“Zinc containing foods are excellent for brittle nails and infection of the surrounding skin. Mineral calcium does not have many roles in strengthening the nails. It is a myth that the white flecks on the nails are caused by calcium deficiency. Actually it is caused because of over manicuring or in rare instances a zinc deficiency.”


The Hands of Children: fingernail disorders in childhood
Examining fingernails in elderly patients
The finger nail encyclopedia


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