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Brittle nails

Discussion in 'Personal' started by anon3372, Mar 5, 2011.

  1. People have always commented on my nice nails - not too long, not too short, normally pale polish or a French, a bit funkier colour if going out. Always clean and cared for.
    I have never bitten them in my life.
    But, for about a year now, they seem to have been becoming brittle. They will suddenly just snap off or split if I snag them on something.
    Is this yet another getting old thing - or is there something I can do about it? I am sure it can't be my diet, as I eat disgustingly healthily, but I am sure I remember reading about some deficiency which causes brittle nails.
    I have tried googling but I seem to keep finding American sites which suggest some weird pills.

     
  2. People have always commented on my nice nails - not too long, not too short, normally pale polish or a French, a bit funkier colour if going out. Always clean and cared for.
    I have never bitten them in my life.
    But, for about a year now, they seem to have been becoming brittle. They will suddenly just snap off or split if I snag them on something.
    Is this yet another getting old thing - or is there something I can do about it? I am sure it can't be my diet, as I eat disgustingly healthily, but I am sure I remember reading about some deficiency which causes brittle nails.
    I have tried googling but I seem to keep finding American sites which suggest some weird pills.

     
  3. egyptgirl

    egyptgirl Senior commenter

    Calcium deficiency, I think. This can be diagnosed with a simple blood test.
    I tend to get brittle nails in winter, particularly because I never wear gloves.
     
  4. rubbing in vaseline at lest twice and preferably 4 or 5 times a day has been the salvation of my nails
     
  5. I get plenty of calcium!
    I never wear gloves though - even for cleaning. Maybe that is a bad idea...
     
  6. When I was pregnant my nails were super strong and looked great - midwife said it was the folic acid!
     
  7. My nails have become dreadful twice in my life. Once when a good friend threw herself in front of a train and once when a relationship I was in broke up. Both times my nails went flaky, brittle and just didn't seem to be growing, possibly because they kept breaking off and tearing. Both times it took a good four months or so to get them back to normal again. These upsets haven't been the worst I've had in my life so I don't understand why it hasn't happened at other, equally and more, dreadful times. Have you had any kind of emotional stress or shock in the last month or so?
     
  8. No - but enough to last me a lifetime over the past couple of years.
    My nails do grow though - that is no problem.
    Their structure just seems to have changed.
     
  9. Paradoxicalgirly

    Paradoxicalgirly New commenter

    Mine have become even more brittle now I'm pregnant! Can't even put any hardener on them because if I do, they just snap. They're always worse in the winter as it is! Looking forward to the warmer weather coming!
     
  10. hardener makes mine worse too.

    I hadn't really thought about it, but I suppose it's inevitable - our hair, teeth and bones all change with age, so why not nails? How depressing.


     
  11. Indeed.
    It is like just scraping through the MOT - will last a bit longer but bits are rusty and likely to drop off or just stop working altogether.
    It is such fun.

     
  12. rosievoice

    rosievoice Star commenter

    My sister swears by the old wives' remedy of a couple of cubes of jelly (any flavour) eaten straight from them packet (not diluted and made-up). Full gelatine version. Her nails always look good. Could be worth a try?
     
  13. Well, I remember my Mum swore by that, although I cannot see the dietary benefit of it at all.
    Anyway, I can't get those wee readymade cubes here - we can only get granulate to make our own jelly.
    Maybe I need to try the vaseline - although I am wondering how you can go about all day with slippy hands?
     
  14. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    Just eating plenty of calcium will not help, you also need plenty of vitamin D. Don't forget that some fruit/ veg inhibits the uptake of Calcium, so it might be worth checking your diet to make sure that you are eating optimum amounts of calcium bu also that you're getting some sunshine everyday and not eating too many inhibitors (such as rhubarb, cocoa, some nuts).
     
  15. lol, I had to chuckle at the sunshine idea, looking out of the window. But I suspect daylight helps as well ;-)
    It is definitely not my diet, I am fairly sure of that.
    Unless I am eating something which is really an inhibitor (other than rhubarb, cocoa and nuts).
    Or maybe I am a vampire...
     
  16. just on the nails - it sinks in quickly, becoming an oil from the heat of your finger rubbing it in
    i have one nail that has split tho and i can't grow the split out, whatever i do
    as you say - isn't getting older fun
     
  17. Yes - it is a real thrill.
    I shall give the vaseline a try...
     
  18. Like you, I eat quite healthily, but now I am past my prime, if I don't take my multi vitamin and mineral pill every day my nails, hair and skin really do suffer. A few days without it and my nails weaken and tear easily.
    I suspect the minerals bit makes the difference CQ.
    I'd have lovely nails if I bothered to look after my hands properly! They grow well. I am often out in the garden getting my hands mucky and scratched by cutting back shrubs, weeding, digging etc. And [​IMG] I'll do household chores without gloves. Rubber gloves get on my nerves....so I am to be found cleaning bathrooms and kitchen floors with bare hands which come into contact with harsh chemicals. I do wash them afterwards and use handcream at night, but I really must look after them better.
     
  19. AE - I always clean without rubber gloves. I can't stand the things.
    But I use handcream, etc.
    I always remember my Grandma telling me - you can tell a woman's age by her hands.
    She seems to be right [​IMG]
     
  20. marshypops

    marshypops New commenter

    I'm trying very hard not to blind you with Science so if I don't explain very well then please just ask. I know that there are some foods that bind with Calcium and stop you absorbing it, it may be that you are eating more of these in the belief that they are a "healthy food" and indeed they are but as they stop the absorption of calcium then that may be why you have brittle nails. If you would like me to go and find a list just ask - I honestly do not mind.
    Then there is the issue with sunshine, I know that you can get vitamin D through your food but the best way is to get some sunshine on exposed skin (which means no sunscreen), I am aware of the health dangers of this but it isn't meant as a licence to sunbathe for hours but a little exposure of 20-30 minutes benefits calcium uptake (I'm not sure of the exact times, again I'm happy to go and check).
    However, there is a final issue, our optimum calcium uptakes occur when we are 0-20yrs (approximately) and therefore given your age (you are a little older than, correct?) then sadly that means that your calcium levels will drop slowly anyway as hormonal changes take place and so on, I understand that you still absorb calcium but haven't read much about how the levels of calcium decrease and how it can be prevented.
    TBH unless you are eating vast quatities of pulses that you didn't do in the past and haven't increased the amount of dairy produce you are eating (I assume you eat milk, cheese and yoghurt?) then it will be down to age and possibly cleaning products rather than anything else.
    Any questions? ;)



     

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