Healthy and attractive nails are not about defining your personality. They also reflect how healthy or unhealthy you are from inside.
You may have various problems related to nails, and having eggshell nails is among the most common ones.
Also known as “hapalonychia,” it is a condition that makes your nails look white and brittle – just like an eggshell.
Various underlying health conditions like hormonal imbalances, traumas, and many different, prolonged diseases can be responsible for the condition. Among all these factors, malnutrition is one of the primary causes of weak and brittle nails.
The nail matrix is an important aspect and is responsible for the proper development of a nail plate that lounges on the dermis and epidermis layers of your fingers.
The length, size, and thickness of the nail matrix determine your nails’ length and width. As a result, both layers are attached to the bones, muscles, and lymph vessels.
Therefore, any abnormality related to the nail matrix’s functioning usually results in various nail problems, including eggshell nails.
If you are also worried about your brittle, weak nails, we are here with some simple tricks to improve your nails’ shape and appearance again. Before that, let’s try to know some apparent causes of the eggshell nail.
Causes of Eggshell Nails
We are yet to find the exact cause of weak and brittle nails. However, factors like prolonged diseases, nutritional deficiencies, continuous mental stress, overuse of certain medications, etc., can play contributory factors.
Stress and overuse of pharmaceutical drugs, in particular, may affect the nail matrix and nail beds adversely and may force the development of weaker, thin, and brittle nails.
Nutrition from foods, especially essential fatty acids, vitamins B7, B12, C, ensure healthy nail production, development, and nourishment.
And, when you don’t get proper nutrition from your diet, either due to ignorance, unavailability of foods, or certain health conditions, you may start noticing some obvious changes in your nails.
Signs and Symptoms of Eggshell Nails
Although you may not notice specific symptoms in the early stages, there are high chances of the appearance of eggshell nail symptoms in later stages – especially if not given proper attention.
Noticeable whitish, thinner, and more flexible nails are the prominent signs of eggshell nail disorder. The flexibility of such nails increases so much so that they can easily curve over the finger edges.
How to Treat Eggshell Nails?
Your nails are a bit tough – undoubtedly tougher than your skin. But they’re not separated from your skin (LOL 😄).
So, you must have to ensure you are using only skin-friendly, if not all-natural remedies to cure brittle, softer, and weaker nails. Here are some of the most practicable tips and tricks to improve your nails’ appearance and strength.
- Add Biotin Supplement to Your Diet
Also known as vitamin B-7 and vitamin H, biotin is among the essential B vitamins. Your body is unable to store biotin as it is water-soluble. So, you have to ensure proper consumption of biotin through your diet.
Why? Because biotin plays a vital role in strengthening and shaping your hairs and nails, it can help you overcome brittle nails.
In addition, it can also improve the functioning of your nervous system. You can get dietary biotin from cooked eggs, legumes, and sardines, etc.
Otherwise, a biotin supplement from a renowned brand can be a decent option. Always ask your health expert before taking a biotin supplement to know whether it’s safe for you or not.
- Stay Hydrated
Staying hydrated is always very important for your health, including your nail health. You may develop eggshell nails if you don’t give proper attention to hydration for a very long time.
So, ensure drinking three to five liters of water daily to keep yourself hydrated.
- Avoid Unwanted Water Exposure
Spending extra time in water can also make your nails brittle, soft, and weaker. If you have a water-related job, or you are a housewife, you would want to wear a pair of gloves to insulate your hands from water.
Of course, it’s not possible to avoid water altogether, but being mindful can help a lot.
- Keep a Close Eye on Your Diet
Your diet plays a decisive role in maintaining your health. Instead of eating just “anything,” keep a check on what you eat throughout the day. Add fruits, vegetables, juices, and soups, etc., to your diet.
Avoid oily, fatty, and fast foods as much as you can. As we said earlier, having brittle nails is an indication of your bad health and is not a condition itself. Hence, your aim must be to eat healthily and nutritiously.
These days, checking the ingredients and nutritional values of food items is very easy. There are numerous mobile applications, smartwatches, and other gadgets that can help you know what you’re eating.
- Don’t Use “Random” Products for Your Nails
Many nail polishes and other products are formulated with harmful chemicals, which can cause your nails to become softer, brittle, and more flexible.
In addition, these products can cause some skin-related problems too. You must avoid nail polishes or other nail products containing acetone since it may cause significant damage to your nails.
Instead, always shop for non-toxic, high-quality nail polishes, and soaks. In fact, avoid using even nail polish remover containing acetone.
- Avoid Overuse of Nail Polish
If you have eggshell nails, you would want to take a break from nail polishes. We are not saying you should stop using them completely, but taking a break will give your nails some healing time.
Nail polishes make your nails look beautiful and attractive, but overuse can make your nails weaker and softer – even if you regularly use non-toxic polishes.
If you are in love with nail polishes, wear them for a week or so, and remove them with an acetone-free nail polish remover. And then, give your nails a week of polish-free time.
- Don’t Use Acrylic Nails or Gels
People having problems related to nail growth tend to go for options like acrylic nails and gels. However, frequent use of these alternatives can cause peeling and weakening of nails.
In short, they can cause brittle nails, primarily if used regularly.
Wearing acrylic nails can be very tempting, but you are disrupting your actual nails’ health if you look at long-term scenarios.
Exposure to sunlight can be a massive risk factor, especially if you wear gel polish quite often. Excessive use of these artificial nails and exposure to UV rays continuously for months can even be a rare cause of skin cancer.
So, it doesn’t matter how tempting it is, avoid acrylic nails or gels to protect your nails. Alternatively, opt for proper nail treatment from a professional dermatologist.
- Keep Your Nails Short
Yes, keeping the nails long can be very tempting to make them look attractive. But that’s not a long-term option. In fact, long nails are more prone to eggshell nails.
It doesn’t matter how tempting it is to keep your nails long; we suggest you keep them shorter to maintain your nails’ health.
- Don’t Use Your Nails to Do Strange Things
Don’t use your nails to open the soda can or to scratch a hard surface. Your nails are not for those strange things! Using your nails as multipurpose tools can cause breakage, chipping and make them softer and more brittle with time.
So, only use the right can opener when you go to buy a soda can next time.
- Apply a Gentle Lotion on Your Nails
Giving some extra attention to your nails after removing the polish can help you to avoid brittle nails. Ensure regular application of a gentle moisturizer, especially after washing your hands or removing the nail polish.
- Avoid Touching Certain Products with Your Nails
If you regularly use hand sanitizer, or you work at a healthcare facility, avoid touching medicated creams, lotions, etc., with your fingers.
Regular exposure to such products can also harm your nails to an extent. Instead, try wearing gloves (surgical ones) if possible.
- Use Cleaning Products with a Bit of Caution
Whenever you clean your house or office or are in the kitchen washing utensils, ensure wearing a pair of rubber gloves to cushion your fingers.
Most of the cleaning products and wipes are manufactured using chemicals that can be harmful to your fingers and can cause eggshell nails over time.
Rubber gloves are easily and affordably available and can be proved quite effective to protect your hands from cleaning products.
- Check the Components of Your Shampoo and Conditioner
If you are using a conditioner or shampoo, especially for dry hair, you would want to check the ingredients used for their formulation.
Specific shampoo and conditioners also contain chemicals that can cause weakening and brittleness of your nails. It’s not only about your nails.
It would help if you used chemical-free, gentle conditioners, and shampoos even for your hair’s and scalp’s health.
- Try Lemon Juice and Olive Oil Soak
Olive oil and lemon juice are two of the most traditional ingredients of a lot of skincare products because both natural ingredients are packed with numerous skin benefits and can effectively improve brittle nails.
How? Olive oil is very effective at penetrating your skin as well as the nail cuticles. It can strengthen and repair the damaged nails from inside. On the other hand, lemon juice can improve the peeling and damaged nails.
Lemon juice can also remove those ugly-looking yellow layers from the nail’s surface and gives them a more natural and glowing look.
- Beer Soak May Help Too
Beer is no longer considered as a celebration drink only. It is also used as an essential ingredient in various home remedies for both skin and hair.
Fruit beer, in particular, can be a very good natural treatment to improve eggshell nails symptoms.
Beer contains various nail-friendly minerals like phosphorus, biotin, potassium, and selenium – all of which can play pivotal roles in keeping your skin healthy and strong.
You can get the best out of beer by combining it with a few drops of olive oil, as we have already discussed the nail-friendly abilities of olive oil.
- Heat one-fourth cup of olive oil to warm it up slightly.
- Now, add ½ cup of beer and ¾ cup of diluted apple cider vinegar.
- Soak your fingertips in the mixture for about ten minutes.
- Repeat this practice twice a week to see your nails improving.
- Add Coconut Oil Massage to Your Nailcare Regime
Virgin coconut oil is a single solution for various skin and hair problems. Whether we talk about repairing damaged hair or moisturizing overly dry skin, coconut oil always comes to our aid.
But how about using coconut oil to strengthen and improve eggshell nails? Yes, thanks to its nourishing qualities, massaging your nails with coconut oil can improve the condition to a decent extent.
Not only that, but regular massage with coconut oil can also help you to keep various nail infections at bay. The coconut oil massage doesn’t only improve the blood circulation around the fingertips and nail beds; it also keeps the nail surfaces hydrated.
- Heat a quarter cup of virgin coconut oil in a small vessel.
- Massage your nails with the heated coconut oil for about five minutes.
- Repeat this recipe twice or thrice a day for best results.
These are some very effective as well as affordable ways to get rid of eggshell nails. The condition is more of an indication of an unhealthy body rather than a disease itself. In addition to trying these tips and tricks, we recommend you get in touch with your healthcare provider to assess your health properly. These ideas can be proved handy, but improving your overall health will go a long way to make your nails look healthy and flourishing again. We will surely welcome you with other ideas with which you improved your brittle nails. Do hit the comment section to share them.