What are effective treatments, both systemic and topical for thin, brittle fingernails?
Have you had a recent physical? You may have an underlying health problem (such as iron deficiency) that is causing thin, brittle nails.
For instance, I was low thyroid but now that I take a thyroid supplement my nails are noticeably stronger and grow faster.
Yes, I recently had a complete physical. All blood work came back looking perfect. Iron and thyroid were both checked. I have started taking more vitamins and calcium but I probably won't notice any difference for a while. The only time I recall having great fingernails was during my pregnancy.
I've heard that a lot, and heard recommendations to take prenatal vitamins to help with nails.
Nothing has ever, ever helped me though. Mine are thin, they peel, and also crack on the sides just when I get 1/32" of white out there. I gave up years ago.
As long as you had that physical, I can only add that you should make sure you eat enough protein (50-60 grams daily) and take a multiple vitamin & mineral supplement that contains B-complex.
A topical product I like as a basecoat is Qtica "natural nail growth stimulator," from beauty supply. It does not contain formaldehyde, as so many do. (I have no idea if it actually "stimulates" nail growth.)
What I like about Qtica it is that it dries quickly and stays on well. In that way it protects my nails so they can grow a bit longer.
Always protecting your nails by keeping polish on them and by wearing rubber/latex/plastic gloves when using cleanser, spray cleaners, detergents etc., can give them a chance to grow.
:) here's another vote for the prenatal vitamins...
of course, the old remedy was knox gelatin. blech.
I've seen gelatin capsules which wouldn't so bad as the packets. But does it work?
Guilty! I hate rubber gloves! My hands get clammy and the water seems to always leak over the tops no matter what. I will look for Qtica and kee taking my vitamins. When my One-a-Days are gone, I think I'll restock with some prenatals and see what happens. Though I wonder if it isn't the hormones and other things that happen with pregnancy that make the major difference.
Weed, your nails sound just like mine. Peeling, splitting, cracking, all of it!
I gave up on my genetically gifted (thanks, mom) thin, soft, peely, fast growing nails. Not to mention constantly bleeding and torn cuticles.
Acrylic nails. The bomb.
I have had excellent results with the weekly trips to the Vietnamese staffed place I frequent. I go to ONE technician, the place is clean, etc. I wish I could go everyother week, but they grow too fast. Sigh.
I have been using a product called Trind Natural Nail Repair - it is a paint-on clear polish type product, and I have real fingernails for the first time in my life. You can find it on-line at several different places....anywhere from $15 to $18 for a smallish bottle. It really worked for me when nothing ever has.
My nails grow fairly well in the Summer but come fall they break and split like crazy. I wonder if Vitamin D makes a difference?
Try a product called T.I.P.S from QVC. Worked for me when I gave up acrylic nails. I let my nails go natural for a year, but they did not return to their former hardness until I started using TIPS. It's an oil that you brush on natural nails. My left hand needs no help now, but my right hand nails take a punishment (I'm right-handed). So just 2 weeks ago I got a silk wrap on my right hand and I now have 10 beautiful nails.
Part of the problem may be dry nails and dry hands. Use a good handcream like St. Ives or even use that nail and cuticle moisturizer that is for horse hooves too--I get it at my beauty supply--Happy Hooves. Makes a big difference.
Also, increase your protein. Twice in my life I had great nails. Once in college one summer when I lived on peanut butter sandwiches and milk in the dorm whenever I was hungry and for weekend meals. The other time was the nice result of the Atkins low carb high protein diet.
Yes--high protein diet.
When I was a teenager, a model I knew gave me a suggestion for thickening my nails. I have never been able to find anyone who can explain why it worked for me, but I did this treatment on her suggestion and my nails became strong and thick.
Go to the pharmacy and ask for white iodine. It isn't on the shelves.
Put the white iodine on your nails 1x per night for 10 nights. Rub Olive Oil around the cuticles to keep them soft as the iodine is very drying.
Don't go beyond the 10 nights or your nails may become brittle.
Maybe it worked because I believed it would or maybe there is something to it. To this day (25 years later) I have thick, healthy nails.
Another vote for that plastic applied by a skilled nail tech!
Barielle makes a nail thickener without formaldehyde thats wonderful. Its pink and has calcium in the name.
I've had problems with my nails all my life until I used a product called Onymyrrh which is no longer sold. There's a similar product that's almost as good, found it on internet but didn't re-order. Bottle lasts forever. Ahyway I found a product called ER for nails at Sally's and it does toughen up nails but is drying to cuticles. What I do now after seeing a demo at a fair, I bought a file at Sally's, they have several makes. You file your ridges down and the ends of nail to seal by smoothing. Another section or side smooths your nails and another shines the nails like they have been polished. The instructions are right on the file. All this attention toughens your nails by increasing circulation to them. It does work great, takes very little time, I do it while watching TV or riding in the car. I carry a file in my purse to use when I think about it and have time. Once or twice a week is more than enough to touch them up. I no longer have to polish my nails. I have only broken a nail once when lifting a very heavy box and it bent my nail in the middle of the bed so it bled. My nail really didn't break until a few days later. Actually I cut it down close to the wound to keep it from hurting. I also use a moisturizer on my cuticles and supposedly this also keeps nails from being brittle. It works for me, and a lot cheaper and less time than seeing the manicurist every 2-3 weeks to get wraps. That was my previous solution but I always had trouble finding the time and didn't like the growing out phase. I started with the Onymyrrh and ended up with ER and the file which keeps my nails very healthy looking, natural and looong.
I have a suggestion.
Go to any store (Target, Walmart or your grocery store) and buy Sally Hansens Nailgrowth Miracle. Its in a gold bottle and goes on like a clear polish.
I am a licensed nail tech (since 1990) and this is the first product I've found that actually does what it says it'll do. And it's not even a professional product!
Try it, put a coat on every other day - on day 7, remove it and begin again. It even acts as a base coat and a top coat. So you can use color with it.
Try it - you'll see.
I use Nailtiques Formula 2. It is clear and you add one coat per day. Or if your nails are looking good now you can use one base coat, add your nail color, then a coat of Nailtique each day to prevent color from chipping. It's about $20 at Trade Secret and I wouldn't be without it.
I also massage Avon Mira-cuticle into my cuticles twice most days.
I found that baby oil (although I think any vitamin E enriched oil will do) once a day cures the splitting of nails but I have never found any product to make mine thicker. I did find a suggestion that tapping the tops (not the nail edge) of them on a smooth hard surface for a few minutes each day does harden and make them thicker but it does take awhile. Wearing plastic or rubber gloves while doing dishes really helps as well. Good eating habits is a must.