Brittle nails that frequently break, crack, peel, or split are bothersome, unsightly and can sometimes lead to pain and discomfort in both the hands and feet, not to mention make it nearly impossible to have nice, healthy looking nails. So what are the primary causes of nails that become dry and brittle and what are some of the very best brittle nails treatment options to reverse these unpleasant effects?
What Causes Brittle Nails?
The precise causes of brittle nails that flake, peel, become cracked or break easily may vary from one person to the next. Although for most people, brittle nails are often the result of a fungal infection or perhaps simply the normal aging process, but there are also a few health conditions that may cause nails and toenails to become dry, brittle, and cracked.
Diseases of the thyroid gland and vitamin deficiencies are some internal causes of dry brittle nails but chances are, if your toenails are strong, healthy, and free from blemishes while your fingernails are dry and brittle, the cause is usually an external one such as excessive exposure to moisture or chemicals, which often leads to weak brittle nails.
Some brands of nail polish also contain chemicals that can cause the nails to weaken, become brittle, and eventually begin to break and crack.
But, on the other hand, if you have brittle toenails and your fingernails are healthy and unaffected, or if you notice discolorations on the toenails you most likely have a fungal infection that will quickly spread if left untreated.
Brittle Nails Treatment Options
The best brittle nails treatment is one that addresses the original cause of the outward symptoms, which in this case are flaking, weakened nails that become cracked and broken.
Treatment for a brittle toenail that is caused by fungus will usually involve taking either internal medication or using topical treatments applied directly to the affected nails. However, prescription drugs can cause serious side effects and over-the-counter treatments are often ineffective at treating the root of the problem and merely mask the symptoms.
If you are looking for a natural alternative to modern medicine when it comes to treating your weak brittle nails, anecdotal reports of great success using home remedies with ingredients such as simple vinegar, beer, Vicks Vaporub, or even Listerine mouthwash are rather prevalent online. Tea tree oil applied to toenails infected with fungus is another remedy that many rely upon in order to avoid the risk of frightening side effects.
All of these home treatments for toenail fungus must be done regularly while taking steps to avoid allowing the infection to spread.
You can also make a few simple dietary changes to strengthen and improve the quality of your nails. Foods rich with proteins, vitamin C, and a selection of healthy fats along with fruits and vegetables are among the very best choices.
If you are affected by brittle nails, administering treatment as soon as possible is in your absolute best interest to avoid further problems as a dry brittle nail will only worsen over time. Nail fungus tends to spread rapidly and often without much warning so exploring all of your treatment options while taking proactive measures are your best chances for a complete cure.