Strong and shiny nails signify a healthy body. But occasionally, a condition called ‘Onychoschizia’ steals in. It leads to thin and weakened nails, which are brittle and brake easily. Read on to learn about the environmental cause effecting this and how to tackle them.
Causes of brittleness:
Water: Moisture gets absorbed by the nails whenever you wash your hands or have a bath. Upon drying, the water gets released. The repeating cycle strains the cells and weakens the nails.
Weather: The seasonal change of weather, with varying degrees of temperature and humidity adversely affects the tissues in the nails. Just as rocks erode, nails become brittle due to environmental stress.
Chemicals: Nails come in constant touch with nail polish-removers that contain chemicals like acetone and dry them out.
Vitamin deficiency: Lack of adequate vitamins and minerals in the diet can lead to brittle nails. Shortage of iron in the diet weakens both fingernails and toe-nails.
Actions to be avoided to enhance the health of the nails:
Never use the nails recklessly – To unscrew caps, open bottles, remove staples, and dig up dirt.
Nail polish removers contain harsh compounds, avoid them as much as possible. Acetone-free products might be a better option. Glamorously packed products at the mall will allure you, never be captivated by this and be cautious. Nail gels, while undoubtedly beautifying, will harm your nails in the long run.
Never employ a ‘to and fro’ sawing motion while filing your nails; it damages them.
Incessant washing of the hands must be stopped and wear gloves while gardening and doing the dishes.
Ways to make your nails strong and healthy:
Olive oil and lemon: A daily soak of the nails in olive oil and lemon-juice is invaluable for damage-repair and overall strengthening. It also moisturises the surrounding skin and cleans the nails, producing a healthy glow.
Sea salt: The mixture of a few spoons of sea salt with oil, lemon juice and frankincense is an extremely healthy condiment. Apply this on the nails twice a week and expect nothing less than strong, healthy nails.
Petroleum jelly and neem oil: Don’t forget to moisturise your nails with Vaseline. A massage of Neem nail-oil and Vitamin E capsules should be applied every night. Also, try to apply some cream every time you wash your hands.
Oil from the Tea Tree: Tea oil moisturises the tissues and its antiseptic properties help in protecting the nail.
Protein and calcium soak: Soaking the nails in a mixture of warm milk and egg-white supplies the nail with protein and calcium. This makes the nails robust as well as beautiful.
Proper filing: Unidirectional filing keeps the edges of the nails smooth and unlikely to break-off.
Diet and medication: A balanced diet is of the essence to keep the nails healthy. Supplements of Magnesium, Iron, and omega-3 fatty acids should be consumed after consultation with the physician. Biotin and calcium are also indispensable for the health of the nails.