Brittle nails

Hi everyone :-) Despite being optimally medicated with regards to my thyroid (on NDT) and at my last test vit and mineral levels all good, my nails have recently started breaking and peeling again. They haven't been as bad as this since I was first diagnosed with hypothyroidism! They are breaking right down to where they are attached to the finger. Has anyone got any ideas why this might be or what I could try (supplement/dietary wise)? I have OPI nail envy to help them from a cosmetic point of view but even that isn't making any difference.

I know it's not a serious problem but it's really bugging me as to why so any ideas will be appreciated!

Nat x

17 Replies

  • In the old days we used to eat a jelly cube everyday because it used to help nails. Worth a go?

  • I remember doing that when I was a kid!!

  • Thanks for the reminder!

  • NatChap My first thought was zinc deficiency. I've found this -

    "The body requires the following vital vitamins for nails; otherwise it could lead to brittle nails:

    Vitamin A deficiency: No half-moons or ridged nails, brittle, peeling or splitting nails

    Vitamin B-12 deficiency: Nails curve down past your fingertips, flat nails, dark, spoon shaped nails

    Vitamin C deficiency: Fraying, pitted, split nails, frequent occurrence of hang nails

    Vitamin D deficiency: Brittle, peeling or cracking nails

    Lack of zinc, iron, protein, and calcium could also result in weak and brittle nails."

  • Thanks, that's interesting. Mine are peeling, brittle, splitting and I have hang nails. I supplement Zinc, Vit C, Vit D and B12 though! Maybe I need to up my Vit C intake some more?

  • Do you use nail polish? Nail polish remover that contains acetone can cause drying out of nails.

    Some remedies but you really need to know the cause -

    "Home Remedies

    There are some simple home remedies that can help get rid of brittle nails. Listed below are a few of them:

    Soak a cotton ball with olive or castor oil and use it to gently swab your finger nails. You can also use the mixture of a few drops of olive oil and lemon juice with a table spoon of honey. Use the mixture on your nails before you go to sleep.

    Fill a tub with warm water and salt and soak your fingers in it for a while. Once you are finished wipe your hands and apply moisturizing cream on them.

    Apply tea tree oil on your finger nails; tea tree oil works well for brittle nails. If the condition is severe though, you will have to consult your doctor.

    Vegetable oil is another useful home remedy as it helps regain some of the moisture that your nails could have lost. Massage the oil on your nails with a swab of cotton for 3 to 4 days; it should help with the brittleness and improve circulation as well.

    Apply normal moisturizing cream on your fingers and nails and cover your hand with cotton gloves when you sleep. This helps the nails retain moisture and keeps your hands soft.

    Avoid using acetone too often as it reduces the moisture in your nails and causes them to become dry."

  • Thanks again!! :-) I will have to give some of those a try! I always use acetone free remover and don't wear nail varnish all the time anyway. I did wear it over christmas but always use good quality base coat and varnish...moisturise my hands etc.. Just can't understand it cause they had got pretty long and strong at the end of last year and I don't know what's changed. Hey ho..I guess if my nails are my only problem I can't really grumble, it's just if it's a sign I'm deficient somewhere that concerns me most. I'll give some of those tips a try and see if it helps! x

  • Good Tips - thanks :)

  • Are your supplements from a multivitamin or the doctor because multivitamins do not supply a significant dosage

  • I buy all my vits seperately and dose according to advice on here. I use good quality ones, usually Solgar. I have had vit d, B12 and Ferritin deficiencies in the past so had to get clued up on supplements x

  • This is also a link re nails and hypothyroidism:

    galathea NatChap SeasideSusie

  • I became hypo while being treated for a Graves Disease and along with my hair falling out all over the place my nails just disintegrated. They went right down to the quick and were so painful I could hardly hold anything.

    I read about using almond oil but couldn't find any. Eventually when I was trying to buy those white cotton gloves you get for wearing in bed with hand cream an assistant in John Lewis told me to try Nail Envy I think it was the one for flaky nails and I used Bio Oil instead of the almond oil. I also wore rubber gloves to wash up - something I never normally do and son my nails went back to normal. It could also have been because my thyroid was getting less hypo but it would be worth a try.

    I also took 1000mcg slow release vitamin C with zinc, vitamins D and B12 and CoQ10 or ubiquinol - whichever was cheapest and I started to use Aveeno hand cream.

  • Hi

    Check vitamin D levels


  • How about biotin?

  • For me vitamin A seems to do the trick. Regardless my poor health my finger nails are quite strong, which feels weird.

    Vitamin A should be taken with vitamin D anyway as they work together and balance toxicity of each meaning if one takes large doses of vitamin D , vitamin A counteracts possible toxicity and vice versa.

    I take cod liver oil with added vitamin A ( 400-800 mcg/day).

  • I have been having the same problem with my nails, and have been reading all the replies with interest. I shall definitely give some of these suggestions a try. My nails are now very ridged and split vertically along the ridge. One nail is particularly bad, and I have to keep it short, or it catches and tears even more. I always wear gloves for washing up, and use a good hand cream. One friend suggested nail oil, but I haven't looked in the shops yet.

  • A lot of good ideas!

    I use gloves for cleaning and washing up, but was told to always wear cotton gloves as well because the sweat in the rubber/plastic creates an unhealthy environment and weakens the nail. Also, upping my intake of good fats helped.

    What saved my nails (before diagnosis and T3) is very old fashioned: Daily buffing with one of those suede covered banana shaped devices plus nail powder. Somehow this improved the bond between the layers.

    Good luck!

You may also like...