Top 10 Tips to Avoid Brittle Nails

Top 10 Tips to Avoid Brittle Nails

Onychoschizia (nailsplitting) and Onychorrhexis (longitudinal ridging or brittle nails) seem to be common among women. These two diseases together are called “brittle nail syndrome”. The ridges which form in the nails can  lead to development of splitting nails. Even though ridged nails are usually caused due to the lack of moisture, a poor diet, excessive wetting and drying, medical problems like, endocrinal disease, tuberculosis, pneumonia etc. Some skin diseases like lichen planus (A disease in which there is an itchy rash on the skin or in the mouth.) and psoriasis can lead to brittle nails. Vitamin A deficiency can also create the conditions of onychoschizia.

Onychoschizia can be painful as the area split into the tender nail bed can allow harmful bacteria and fungus into the nail bed allowing an infection to set in. Nail fungus can be difficult to treat and when it infiltrates under the nail into the nail bed can create irreversible damage to the nail including the complete detachment of the nail.

A thin transverse line called 達eau痴 line may form following illness or major surgery.

Take an antihistamine tablet and dab on calamine lotion.


The best and most effective treatment and prevention of splitting is to protect the area from the conditions that are causing the problem. Further you can incorporate the preventive tips  for brittle nails.

A repeated wet-dry cycle, dries the skin and sucks moisture out of your hands and nails. The first step would be to reduce the frequency of wetting your nails.

Water and cleaning products are the primary culprit of dry and damaged nails. Therefore, make it a habit to wear plastic or rubbers gloves over thin cotton gloves while doing household work, including  kitchen and laundry.
Long nails can strike against objects, making the splitting and peeling problem worse, therefore keep the nails trimmed to reduce extra pressure and splitting of nails. Use a good quality nail clippers to trim your fingernails once a week.
Apply moisturizers (emollient) like petroleum jelly to improve nail hydration. Massaging Vitamin E on on your nails will help to strengthen the nails and prevent splitting nails.

Have a diet enriched with leafy green vegetables and dairy products as they are high in minerals likecalciummagnesium and silica which help to prevent spilt nails. Also, increase the intake of biotin-rich foods, such as carrots, almonds and milk, into your daily diet. Biotin gets absorbed into the nails and will help prevent splitting and add strength.

Use an acetone free nail polish remover to avoid split nails formation.


Rub lotions containing alpha-hydroxy acids such as MD Forte or lanolin-containing lotions such as Elon into the nails both before and after getting the hands wet.

If you choose to wear nail polish, be sure to wear a nutritive base coat and never scrape or peel the polish off of the nail.

Never use your nails as a tool. Do not dial a phone with the nail tips; use a pencil. Do not use your nails to remove staple pins, stickers, and other objects. These tasks are better performed by tools, such as scissors, pliers, or toothpicks.


Avoid filing your nails in a back and forth motion. Instead, file your nails in one direction and never file when they are wet as they are more prone to splitting when moist. Avoid sharp angles. Attend to small cracks, snags and breaks immediately.



Depending on one’s age, health, and digestive function (therefore absorption), supplements may be useful, but first and foremost follow the tips mentioned above for optimal nail health.

Massage Tip: Combine 1 tsp wheat germ oil with 2 tsp each of castor oil and salt. Blend well and transfer into a clean, airtight container. Massage small amounts of this mixture on your nails regularly. Your weak nails will soon transform into super strong tough ones.


The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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