Say Goodbye to Brittle Nails: A Dermatologist’s Guide to Achieving Strong, Beautiful Nails

January 23, 2023
Say Goodbye to Brittle Nails: A Dermatologist's Guide to Achieving Strong, Beautiful Nails

Nails are an important part of our overall appearance and can say a lot about our health. Brittle nails can be a frustrating problem for many people, but the good news is that it is often a treatable condition. In this blog post, we will explore the causes of brittle nails and provide a dermatologist’s guide to achieving strong, beautiful nails.

Causes of Brittle Nails

Say Goodbye to Brittle Nails: A Dermatologist's Guide to Achieving Beautiful Nails

Several factors can contribute to brittle nails, including:

Lack of moisture

Our nails need to be hydrated to stay strong and flexible. Cold winter weather, regular hand washing, and the use of harsh soaps can all dry out our nails and lead to brittleness.

Nutritional deficiencies

A deficiency of specific vitamins and minerals, such as iron, biotin, and vitamin C, can contribute to brittle nails. Iron lacks can lead to spoon nails, a state where the nails evolve concave and look scooped out. Biotin deficiency can drive the nails to become weak and brittle. Vitamin C deficiency can lead to dry, rough, and split nails.

Medical conditions

Particular medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism and eczema, can also induce brittle nails. An underactive thyroid can cause the nails to become brittle, ridged, and discolored. Eczema can cause the nails to become thickened, discolored, and ridged.

Nail polish and other chemicals

Recurring usage of nail polish, nail polish removers, and additional chemicals can damage the nails and make them more prone to brittleness. The chemicals in nail polish remover can dry out the nails and drive them more prone to breaking.


As we advance in years, our nails tend to become more delicate and less pliable, making them more susceptible to fragility.

Related: 10 Expert Tips for Strong, Healthy Nails

A Dermatologist’s Guide to Achieving Strong, Beautiful Nails

Keep your nails hydrated

Utilize a moisturizer on your nails and cuticles day-to-day to keep them hydrated. Sidestep regular hand washing and usage of harsh soaps, and operate gloves when doing dishes or other water-based duties. You can also employ nail oil or cuticle oil to maintain the nails and cuticles moistened.

Make sure you are getting enough of the proper nutrients

Eating a well-balanced diet that contains plenty of iron, biotin, and vitamin C can assist to strengthen your nails. Iron-rich foods possess red meat, poultry, fish, and leafy greens. Biotin can be found in eggs, almonds, sweet potatoes, and avocados. Vitamin C can be seen in fruits like oranges and strawberries. You can also consider taking a multivitamin supplement to guarantee you are getting all the required nutrients.

Limit your use of nail polish and chemicals

Give your nails a breather from nail polish and other chemicals, and utilize a base coat and top coat to cover your nails when you do use nail polish. Avoid using harsh chemicals like acetone to remove your nail polish, rather opt for a non-acetone remover.

Be gentle with your nails

Avoid chewing your nails or picking at your cuticles, as these practices can harm your nails and make them more prone to brittleness. Gently push back your cuticles with a cuticle pusher or an orange stick, and avoid cutting them as this can lead to infection.

Visit a dermatologist

If your nails are still brittle despite attempting these tips, it may be a fine idea to consult a dermatologist to rule out any underlying medical disorders. A dermatologist can also propose a nail hardener, which is a product that can help to strengthen and protect the nails. They can also suggest other treatments such as biotin supplements or UV light therapy if required.

Best nail strengtheners and products for brittle nails on Amazon

1-Nailtiques Formula 2 Plus: This treatment is specifically designed for nails that are prone to brittleness, splitting, and peeling. It contains a blend of proteins and conditioners that work to strengthen and protect the nails.

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2-OPI Nail Envy Nail Strengthener: This best-selling product works to strengthen and protect nails, making them less prone to breakage and splitting. It can be used as a base coat or as a standalone treatment.

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3-Barielle Nail Strengthener Cream: This cream is designed to strengthen and nourish nails that are prone to brittleness. It contains a unique blend of proteins and conditioners that work together to repair and protect the nails.

Keep your nails trimmed and filed

Regularly trimming and filing your nails can help to control them from breaking and splitting. Hold your nails at a reasonable length and file them in one direction to evade damaging the edges.

Give your nails a break from nail polish

Nail polish can dry out your nails and make them more prone to brittleness. Allow your nails to breathe by going without nail polish for a while.

To sum up, brittle nails can be caused by a variety of factors, but with the right care and attention, they can be treated and prevented. Remember to keep your nails hydrated, get enough of the right nutrients, limit your use of nail polish and other chemicals, be gentle with your nails, and visit a dermatologist if necessary. With these tips, you can say goodbye to brittle nails and achieve strong, beautiful nails that are the envy of others.

Photo: Pexels/ Karolina Grabowska

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Margaud Raynaud is a beauty expert with over 10 years of experience in the industry. She has a passion for sharing her knowledge and tips with others and has a particular interest in skincare and makeup. When she's not writing about health and beauty, Margaud enjoys trying out new products and experimenting with different looks. Follow her blog for expert advice and inspiration for living your best life.

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