Nails Vitamin Deficiency

The color of your nails can often give you an indication of the condition of your health. In fact, a doctor can tell if you have a certain disease or condition just by looking at your fingernails. Discoloration of nails and brittleness could be caused due to the vitamin deficiency. Brittle nails could also arise due to constant exposure to water and detergents. The best way to avoid brittle nails is to make sure that you provide your body with sufficient nutrition.

Splitting fingernails or onychoschizia is a widespread problem noticed by dermatologists. Symptoms include brittle, split nails or soft, thin nails. Splitting fingernails is more common in women. Fortunately, there are various ways in which you can deal with brittle nails to restore them to a healthy condition.

Causes of Brittle Nails

Some of the causes of brittle nails are injury, infections, diseases, poisons, or medications.

  • Injuries to the nail from constant exposure to water or nail polish can cause them to become brittle and peel off. The base of the nail could also get crushed and deform.
  • Fungal, bacterial, and viral infections could cause your nail to get damaged.
  • The diseases that can affect your nails are eating disorders, deficiency of biotin, hypothyroidism, disease of the liver, lung or kidney, psoriasis, skin cancers, and aggressive melanoma. Anorexia can also result in brittle nails, as cutting down on your food intake drastically reduces the nutritional intake that your body requires to stay healthy.
  • Biotin which is a component of B complex enables your body metabolize amino acids that aid in the growth of healthy nails. Biotin deficiency causes your nails to become brittle. Getting it treated by a doctor should help, but if it is a chronic condition the brittle nails will remain. Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid gland is unable to produce sufficient amounts of the thyroid hormone.
  • Contact with silver and arsenic could poison your nail. While certain antibiotics can cause the nail to lift from the nail bed.

Vitamins for Nails

It is important to check your nails every week to see if they are in healthy condition. Color, shape and texture of the nails can give you innumerable clues on the state of your health. Dents in the nail called beau’s lines are caused because of malnutrition. Lack of vitamin C could cause hangnails and swollen nail tissues. You could also spot red-brown spots at the end of the nails caused by the deficiency of vitamin C. The lack of B12 in your body can show up in various ways on your fingernail. Sometimes the finger could even turn blue.

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.

Diet for Healthy Nails

The first thing to correct when there is a problem with your nails is your diet. Eating the wrong kinds of foods leads to deficiencies, followed by health problems. Make sure that you maintain a healthy diet with high nutritional value and balance. Good foods to include in your diet are dairy products, fruits and vegetables, grain and meat. For your nails to be healthy they require a lot of calcium and zinc.

Biotin could help keep your nails from becoming brittle. Foods that contain biotin include bananas, beans, black-eye peas, brewer’s yeast, cauliflower, eggs, mushrooms, nuts, peas, sardines and whole grains.

To shield yourself from nutrient deficiencies make sure that you maintain a balanced healthy diet. Iron rich foods and foods with high fiber in them are also recommended. Antioxidants rich foods help lessen thyroid symptoms. Foods that one should avoid are high fat foods, fried foods, sugars and white flour.

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.