Weak Fingernails

Tips for Strengthening Weak Fingernails

Weak fingernails can seem both dull and down-right unattractive. Sometimes it can feel like no matter how much money we spend on "nail strengthener" polish or lotion treatments, we still end up with nails that simply aren't very strong or healthy. The key to having strong fingernails isn't just about applying strengthening topical treatments, but also from strengthening the nails from the inside out. We're going to talk about the most common causes of weak fingernails and what you can do to gets yours in tip-top shape!

Major contributors to weak fingernails are excessive moisture or dryness of the nails. Excessive wetting of the nails, such as washing dishes or clothes by hand or from frequently washing your hands, keeps the nails soft and pliable. Fingernails should in fact be quite difficult to bend. On the other end of the spectrum, excessive dryness, which can be caused by low humidity, is also a culprit for weak fingernails. When the fingernails contain too little moisture, the nails are more liable to split or even snap right off when stressed.

There are also a few nutrients that are particularly vital for strong and healthy nail development. If your body is lacking in vitamins A, B12, and calcium, then there is a good chance that this is the reason behind your thin or weakened fingernails. A lack in these vitamins is known to cause dryness, brittleness, and a darkening of the nails. If you often suffer from hang nails, you can likely benefit from adding folic acid as well as vitamin C to your diet. If you aren't sure how to add these vitamins to your diet, you may want to consider trying a daily vitamin supplement.

Vitamin E is another highly essential vitamin to our nails, skin, and hair. The best results for using vitamin E will be if it is applied topically to the nail area. This can usually be done using a vitamin E lotion, however you are likely to see quicker results by using pure vitamin E oil. Simply apply the lotion or oil to each nail and rub it into the nail and surrounding skin. The longer you work the vitamin E liquid into the nail, the better the results. This should be done at least three times a week, but you will find the best results by doing so every day.

You can further strengthen your nails by developing good nail clipping and filing habits. Instead of cutting and filing your nails into an oval or rounded shape, consider shaping them into a square end with soothed corner edges. This will reinforce the strength of your nails and will help them to better withstand accidents. You may also want to try trimming your nails after they have soaked in water, such as after a shower or bath. Because the nails are softer during this time, they will be easier to cut and be much less likely to split or splinter. Splintered nails can lead to snagging on furniture or clothing which then puts the nail at risk for tearing past the quick.

If your nails appear to have a yellow tint to them, even if only on parts of the nails, or if your nail seems quite thick but splits and cracks very easily, then your nails may be suffering from a nail disorder, such as a fungal infection. Nail disorders can be extremely difficult to get rid of, and therefore it would be best to see your doctor about a prescription treatment. Most over the counter medications simply aren't strong enough to kill off an infection; rather, these medications just keep the symptoms at bay or mask them.

Strengthening weak fingernails can be frustrating, especially if you don't know the cause behind your weak nails. The good news is that a vitamin supplement and using topical treatments such as the vitamin E oil mentioned earlier should begin to show results within a month, especially if used simultaneously. If you can't seem to get good results by improving your daily nail care routine, you may want to consider speaking to a doctor or dermatologist about other conditions that may be causing your nails to become weakened. Some serious illnesses can be reflected in the overall appearance and health of our fingernails, so any time there is a suspected issue it's best to simply speak to a doctor about it.