Why Are Your Toenails So Brittle?

Brittle toenails can be annoying and mortifying to deal with. Not only do they peel off when dipped in water or left dry for too long, but they also appear uneven and broken, giving onlookers the impression that you are a regular nail bitter.

Pedicures are of no use and you have to put in an extra effort to ensure that your nails are not on display. This requires you to wear nail paint or socks which can both often worsen the problem. However, the real question here is, why are your toenails so brittle in the first place?

Here are some causes that may be behind the problem:

1 – Fungal Infection

A fungal infection can be a possible cause behind why your nails are so brittle. A common fungal infection that leads to nail breakage is onychomycosis. This infection can cause your nails to look discolored, thick, and dull. Fungal infections are caused since the feet are typically enclosed in socks or shoes that allow moisture formation. This moisture ups the risks of developing a fungal infection.

2 – Thyroid Disorder

Perhaps you have a thyroid problem that is causing your nails to become brittle? If your thyroid is underactive, or even overactive, this can weaken your nails. If, at the same time, you are also experiencing other symptoms such as pale skin, puffy eyes, and hair fall, then it is more than likely that this is the cause behind your brittle toenails.

3 – Eczema

A skin condition can also be the culprit here. Both eczema and psoriasis can cause your nails to weaken. These two conditions can make your nails crack, split, and even appear uneven. If you are the victim of any skin condition you already know the reason behind your brittle nails.

4 – Nutritional Deficiency

A lack of certain nutrients in your body, such as B-complex vitamins, biotic, or iron can be the cause behind your brittle nails. A nutritional deficiency may also occur due to problems in nutrient absorption or an eating disorder.

Other Causes Of Brittle Toenails

With age as well, one’s hair, nails and skin are adversely impacted. Nails can either become too thin or too thick. Age can make your nails brittle, a problem which is worsened by wetting nails too much, applying chemicals to them or keeping them too dry.

Chemical over usage in the form of nail polishes can also cause nails to become brittle. Nail paints, removers, solvents, etc. can make nails dry and prone to breakage. Therefore, such chemical products must be used only moderately. If your nails are discolored, do not try to hide them by wearing nail paint. This will only worsen the condition.

Take Home Message

There can be several reasons behind why your nails are so brittle. We’ve discussed some common causes above. Know that brittle nails are no problem to worry about. A professional can always help you in this regard. Treatment can be oral or topical.