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Brittle nails: What causes it and how do you get rid of it?

Brittle nails: What causes it and how do you get rid of it?

Do your nails easily break, split, and refuse to grow long? Don't worry, you're not alone! Lots of people have the same issue. To fix it, you need to know what's causing it. So, in this article, we'll explain why your nails might be brittle and how to make them strong and healthy again.

What are Brittle Nails?

You can tell that a nail is brittle if it:

  • Breaks, splits, or tears easily;
  • Is thin; or
  • The top layer peels off quickly.

On the other hand, healthy nails are characterized by an even color and elasticity. When nails lack sufficient moisture, they become brittle.

Broze nagels

What Causes Brittle Nails?

Brittle nails can be caused by various factors, such as genetics and external factors. For instance, frequent handwashing with soap and water, aging, prolonged use of nail polish, and certain medications can all contribute to brittle nails. When you wash your hands frequently, the water can dehydrate your nails, making them less able to absorb moisture. After washing, if your nails aren't dried properly, the excess water can dissolve the substances that normally help keep your nails hydrated, leading to brittle nails.

Goldfinger van Anouk Nailed It

How can I avoid Brittle Nails?

  • Check out these tips to help you take better care of your nails:

    • Loads of housechores? Protect your nails by wearing gloves when using cleaning products.
    • Be gentle with your cuticles! Push them back for a complete Maniac Manicure but avoid cutting or hurting them while doing so.
    • After a shower or bath, make sure to dry your nails thoroughly. And try rubbing some cuticle oil or cream on them to keep them healthy.
    • Keep your hands moisturized throughout the day by using a cream that contains urea, it's super good for your nails.
    • Give your nails a break from nail polish and remover, which can dry them out and make them look bad. Alternatively, try Maniac gel polish stickers to add some color without damaging your nails.
    • When filing your nails, only file in one direction and avoid filing off the shiny top layer. This will help keep your nails strong and healthy.

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What’s the difference between brittle and fungal nails?

If you're wondering what's the difference between brittle and fungal nails, it's pretty simple. Fungal nails usually look bumpy, thickened, and discolored with a yellowish-white hue. On the other hand, brittle nails are thin and tear easily.

If you think you might have a fungal nail, don't wait to see a doctor. Fungal infections require a different approach and medication to get rid of the fungus.     

Bonus tips for the ultimate nail care!

  • When you're pregnant, your nails may become softer and more brittle, so it's important to take extra care of them during this time.
  • If you notice pits, yellow discolorations, or partial looseness in your nails, you may have psoriasis. It's best to consult your doctor to find the right treatment for your skin condition.
  • Your nails can dry out much faster than your hands since they let water through much more easily. Therefore, don't forget to moisturize your nails.

The perfect solution for brittle nails

If you're looking for the best products to combat dry and brittle nails, look no further than Maniac's nourishing cuticle oil and Dr Leenarts hand cream. The cuticle oil is perfect for massaging into your natural nails and cuticles, and can be applied after washing your hands or before going to sleep for maximum benefit. For an extra dose of moisture, try Dr Leenarts handcream. This restorative and greasy hand cream contains ingredients like urea that provide maximum support and moisture to your skin, making it the perfect choice for anyone struggling with dry, brittle nails.

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  • Dimitris, R., & Ralph, D. (2012). Management of simple brittle nails. Dermatologic Therapy, 25, 569-573.
  • (z.d.). Schimmelnagel. Geraadpleegd op 23 maart 2020, van
  • (z.d.). Fragilitas unguium. Geraadpleegd op 23 maart 2020, van
  • Lorizzo, M., Pazzaglia, M., Piraccini, B. M., Tullo, S., & Tosti, A. (2004). Brittle nails. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 3, 138-144.
  • Payne, C. M. E. R. (2004). Brittle nails, fragile nails. Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 3, 119-121.  
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