A nail that appears thick, brittle and discolored (or yellowish) is damaged with fungus. This condition is more likely to appear on your toes than on your fingernails. The best way to keep fungus at bay is to not walk barefoot in locker rooms or other public areas and to keep your shoes clean and dry.
2. Thyroid disease
Brittle, dry nails crack and split and may signify a thyroid issue. The thyroid is a gland that produces several hormones. Its malfunction could influence your weight, height and body temperature. It is a serious condition and should be checked by your GP.
If nails appear brittle and are combined with cold hands and feet it may indicate anemia. This medical condition is also seen with symptoms like dizziness, weakness, headaches, irregular heartbeat and chest pain. Anemia may also be caused by heavy menstruation, pregnancy and a diet low in iron and vitamin B12, or chronic kidney disease. One of the best ways to prevent anemia is to eat a diet rich in iron - so be sure to stock up on plenty of fish, beans, liver and lean red meat. In addition, you should also consult your doctor about whether you should take iron or vitamin B12 supplements, as well as reduce your coffee intake.
4. Obsessive-compulsive disorder or stress
Biting your nails when you are nervous may indicate OCD or a temporary stressful moment. But in biting them, your nails can become disfigured and brittle. Furthermore, your hands, if dirty, are a source of bacteria. If you suffer from a nervous disorder be sure to consult your doctor. And look into ways you can protect your nails from being bitten.
Psoriasis may also be detected by your nails, in which case they will appear to split and are usually yellow-red in color. This medical condition occurs amid itchy red bumps on your skin. Nowadays, treatments to alleviate the symptoms are available and come in the form of creams, pills, as well as laser and light therapy. Be sure to contact a dermatologist who will check your condition and choose the right remedy for you.
Nails that appear pitted and easily split may indicate arthritis, a disease that results in painful and often, swollen joints. This condition is more likely to affect women than men, but men do get it in a more severe form. It is also believed to be heavily influenced by genetics. The treatment of arthritis includes medication and exercise that will keep your joints strong. Consult your doctor and choose the right remedy for you.
So, how can you keep your nails strong? Heed this advice:
1. Keep your nails moisturized and use products that contain vitamin E.
2. Wear gloves when cleaning or doing the dishes.
3. Avoid polish removers that contain acetone or formaldehyde as they make your nails dry.
4. Use hand balms that contain urea, phospholipids and lactic acid.