Brittle nails refers to nails that are cracked, split and breaks easily. It is medically known as onychoschizia. The nails are made up of keratin ( a strong protein that is present in nails and also in hair, skin, and teeth). Homeopathic remedies for brittle nails help stimulate and speed up the growth of nails when they grow at a slow pace.
Normally nails are strong without any spots or discolouration and have a smooth texture. But these strong nails have a tendency to become brittle. It is a very common issue that can affect anyone but is more common in women as compared to men. It is twice more common in women than men. Brittle nails can appear on fingers or toes due to various reasons. In many cases brittle nails can be treated with home care tips / remedies. But when it fails to respond to these measures or if it is associated with some medical condition then they need a proper treatment for it to regain health and strength of nails.
- 1 Reasons
- 2 Signs and Symptoms
- 3 Homeopathic Remedies for Brittle Nails
- 3.1 Antimonium Crudum – Top Grade Medicine
- 3.2 Graphites – For Nails that Crumble, Breaks Easily
- 3.3 Silicea – For Brittle, Rough, Yellow, Crippled Nails
- 3.4 Thuja – For Brittle, Distorted Nails
- 3.5 Arsenic Album – For Thin, Brittle Nails
- 3.6 Castor Equi – For Crumbling of Nails on Impact
- 3.7 Fluoric Acid – For Brittle, Corrugated Nails
- 3.8 Sepia – For Brittle, Discoloured Nails
- 3.9 Nitric Acid – For Nails with White Spots
Many times brittle nails is only a cosmetic concern that arises from wear and tear of nails, too little moisture or excessive moisture and from other external factors. While in many cases it can arise from a vitamin deficiency or some medical condition. If there is only breaking and splitting of fingernails but the toenails are healthy and strong then the cause is usually an external factor.
Brittle nails can arise as a part of the ageing process. Mainly the finger nails get thin and brittle but the toe nails become hard and thick as a person ages.
This condition can also arise from external factors. Some of these factors include excessive exposure to detergents, chemicals or cleaning materials that tend to damage the nails. Next external factor is repeated washing (it lets the nails absorb water with its expansion. On drying the nails contract from loss of moisture. This is seen in people like swimmers and those who wash dishes excessively). Another external factor is long term use of nail polish or nail polish remover (these contain harsh chemicals that makes the nails dry and damage the keratin leading to brittle nails). Lastly cold, dry environments and winter months can also damage the nails causing it to be brittle.
Other than this, it can arise from certain deficiencies like deficiency of iron or biotin (vitamin B7).
Repeated injury to the nail is another cause.
Some medical conditions in which brittle nails can arise includes the following:
I) Anaemia – Means low haemoglobin, Hb (a protein molecule present in the red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to rest of the entire body). If Hb is low then oxygen supply to the nail matrix also lowers depriving it of required nourishment that results in improper development of nail.
II) Underactive Thyroid (hypothyroidism) – In such cases brittle nails can occur in addition to some of its major signs and symptoms that include weight gain, tiredness, hair fall, constipation and cold intolerance.
III) Fungal Infection of nail (onychomycosis) – in this infection the nails become brittle and crumble very easily. Other than this the nails get discoloured that can be yellow or brown.)
IV) Nail Psoriasis – Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that majorly causes inflamed patches on skin covered with silvery white flakes. It can also involve nails in many cases. When nails are involved the signs include pitting of nails, discolouration of nails, crumbling of nails, changes in shape of nail and sometimes loosening and separation of nails from the nail bed.
V) Lichen Planus – It is an autoimmune disease that can affect skin, nails and mucous membranes. When it affects nails the signs that appear include ridges on the nail, thinning of the nails, splitting of nails and sometimes snail loss which is permanent.
VI) Raynaud’s Syndrome – In this there appears problems with blood circulation that can also affect the nails.
VII) Nail Patella Syndrome – A hereditary disorder in which the nails and knee caps are small and poorly developed. It can also affect other body areas including hips, elbows and chest.
VIII) Diabetes – People who are diabetic are also prone to develop brittle and thin nails.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs of brittle nails includes, dry nails (from too less moisture) or soft nails (from too much moisture), thin nails; easy cracking or chipping ( breaking of a small piece from the edge) of nails, split nails, peeled nails at the tip, easy breaking of nails, vertical ridges on the nail, slow growing nails and the hindrance in growing nails for long length. Pain around nails may also be present.
Homeopathic Remedies for Brittle Nails
Homeopathic medicines are very effective to strengthen and thicken the thin, brittle weakened nails. These medicines aim to slow down the process of cracking, breaking, crumbling chipping, splitting and peeling of nails and also prevent future recurrences. They also aid repairing of the damaged nails and also help cases where the nails are dry, rough, discoloured, have vertical ridges or have become deformed and grown out of shape. The homeopathic medicines that tops the list for treating cases of brittle nails are Antimonium Crudum, Graphites, Silicea and Thuja.
Antimonium Crudum – Top Grade Medicine
Antimonium Crudum is a leading medicine to treat cases of brittle nails. In cases needing it the nails get cracked and crushed easily. The nails also have a tendency to grow in splits. Sometimes pain in the skin lying under the nails is present. In some cases the nails may be discoloured. They may also be deformed and grow out of shape. Apart from above it is also indicated for cases presenting with slow growth of nails. It is also one of the best medicines for cases of nail damage that arise from fungal infection of the nail.
Graphites – For Nails that Crumble, Breaks Easily
This medicine is very effective for cases having brittle nails that show a tendency to crumble and breaks easily. Along with this the nails may be painful and sore as if they are ulcerated. In few cases requiring it the nails are rough and sometimes are discoloured black. The nails may also be deformed.
Silicea – For Brittle, Rough, Yellow, Crippled Nails
Silicea is a very beneficial medicine to stimulate nail growth. It is indicated for cases having brittle, rough, yellow and damaged nails. It is indicated to treat crippling of both fingers and toe nails. There may be sometimes grey discolouration of nails, or white spots on nails. In many cases the nails on cutting splits into layers or fall like powder. Ulceration around the nails may be present. Excessive sweating on hands and feet may be present along with above indication in many cases needing it.
Thuja – For Brittle, Distorted Nails
Thuja is a natural medicine prepared from fresh twigs of plant Thuja Occidentalis commonly known as Arbor Vitae. This plant belongs to family coniferae. It is an excellent medicine for brittle, distorted nails that get out of shape. The nails are also very dry. The nails crumble and may be discoloured too. Sometimes the nails are soft and peel off easily in layers. The nails may sometimes have vertical lines on it. Hangnails (a partly detached piece of dead skin at the side or the base of a fingernail) may also attend it.
Arsenic Album – For Thin, Brittle Nails
Arsenic Album is well indicated for thin and brittle nails. These nails get cracked, chipped easily. The nails may be transparent or they may be discoloured reddish or blackish. The nails have vertical ridges on it and are highly damaged.
Castor Equi – For Crumbling of Nails on Impact
Castor Equi is prominently indicated when the nails are very brittle that crumble or chip from slightest knock, strike on a surface or a blow. The persons needing it also have cracking of nails or peeling of nails. They also have dropping off nails.
Fluoric Acid – For Brittle, Corrugated Nails
Fluoric Acid is a suitable medicine for cases presenting with brittle nails that are corrugated means have parallel, vertical ridges on the nails. They are rough too and tend to crumble quickly. Sometimes a sensation of splinter under the nail is felt. The nails can be distorted and not have a proper shape.
Sepia – For Brittle, Discoloured Nails
Sepia works well when the nails are brittle and discoloured. They are mostly discoloured yellow. They crumble easily and are damaged . the nails may also show peeling.
Nitric Acid – For Nails with White Spots
This medicine is indicated for brittle nails with white spots on it. The nails may also lack their normal shape. Sometimes the finger nails are yellow and curved. Both finger and toe nails may be severely damaged where it is required.
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