Fingernails may develop various problems, like white spots, ridges, yellowing, thickening, brittleness and peeling. Weak fingernails is among those commonly found nail problems, especially in women. Such nails may get thin, brittle and may even peel off in layers. While some people are found to have weak nails right from the time of birth, others develop this condition with age. Besides aging, there are various other causes of weak nails. While some of these causes can be prevented and/or reversed with proper care, some others require treatment for the same.
Why do You Develop Weak Fingernails?
In some people, this nail problem is hereditary. Aging is found to be a common contributory factor for this condition. There are various other causes of weak nails and these include improper nail care, nutritional deficiencies, etc. It is believed that deficiency of certain vitamins, iron, calcium and zinc may affect health of the nails in a negative way.
Regular exposure of the nails to water or other fluids/chemicals (like nail paint remover) is one of the common reasons for brittle nails. Certain health problems can also make the nails weak. These include psoriasis, thyroid and skin disorders, etc. In case of women, menopause and aging are two main factors that are associated with this nail condition. Women in the menopausal stage develop weak brittle nails due to hormonal fluctuations.
Remedies for Weak and Thin Fingernails
So, from the above discussed causes for weak nails, it is clear that in most cases, the condition can be prevented and even reversed with some simple measures. If the condition of the nails do not improve with such remedial measures, you have to get it diagnosed. This will help to rule out the possibility of any underlying medical condition. Following are some tips on how to strengthen weak fingernails naturally.
- First of all, try to figure out the possible cause for your nail condition. If it is due to regular exposure to water (like swimming and dish washing), make sure to wear gloves that can protect your nails from such damage.
- Every time you expose your nails to water, try to dry them as soon as possible and apply a small amount of moisturizer or vitamin E oil. Gently massage the oil onto the nails (better, if you do this before going to bed). You may also make it a part of your daily beauty regimen.
- Avoid regular use of nail paint as well as nail paint remover. The same applies to other harsh chemicals that you may handle on a regular basis. Clip your nails and prevent yourself from nail biting, if you have that habit.
- Improper nail care is another factor that may lead to weak, brittle nails that may peel off in layers. Nail filing must be done in one direction (this prevents splitting of nails), and not in a back and forth manner. So, it is always good to keep such nails short.
- Avoid using metal emery boards and instead of that, go for the basic ones with fine grains. Even buffing must be done gently, so as to avoid damaging the nails. If properly done, filing and buffing will not make the nails weak.
- As nutritional deficiencies may make the nails weak, you may adopt a rich and nutritious diet as per the instructions of your doctor, who may also recommend some supplements for you.
- You must also avoid subjecting your nails to stress. So, refrain from using your nails to remove stickers, staple pins and screws and performing other such tasks.
- There are various home remedies that are said to strengthen weak fingernails naturally. One of the natural remedies is application of freshly squeezed lemon juice (one or two tablespoons) mixed with salt (a few pinches). Apply the mixture on the fingers and rinse with warm water, after 20 minutes.
- Another home remedy is the use of olive oil. Take a few spoons of olive oil in a bowl and soak your nails in this oil for around 20 minutes. This will make the nails strong and smooth. You may make a mixture of one part wheat germ oil with two parts each of salt and castor oil. Use a small amount to massage your nails daily.
- Some people opt for an egg yolk-milk mixture for strengthening weak nails. As per this method, you have to make a mixture of two egg yolks with ¼ cup milk and a tablespoon of honey. Dip your nails in this mixture and rinse off after 15 minutes.
- Even herbs, like horsetail, oat straw and nettle are used for strengthening weak nails. Internal use of herbs must be done as per the expert advice of a herbalist.
The above said is only a brief overview about strengthening weak fingernails naturally. You may adopt a multi-pronged strategy by combining the relevant remedial measures. However, if there is no relief in the condition, then seek medical attention. A dermatologist will be the right person to diagnose the cause and provide you with the precise treatment.
Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice. Visiting your doctor is the best and safest way to diagnose and treat any health condition.