What causes brittle nails and how do you treat it?
What causes brittle nails?
- Certain deficiencies, such as iron, calcium, vitamin A and thyroid hormone can cause brittle nails. Your GP can assess if there is a treatable medical cause for this, with some basic questions and blood tests.
Tips to combat brittle nails
- A diet rich in calcium (dairy, almonds, carrot juice, sardines, salmon, dark green leafy vegetables), iron (red meat, green leafy vegetables, eggs, fish, liver) and vitamin A (fruit and green, red and yellow vegetables) will help, together with a 3-month course of iron supplementation.
- Reducing salt, vinegar and citrus fruits may also be beneficial.
- Basic moisturising of the nails will help in most cases, particularly in the dry winter months.