Brittle Nails - Fox29 WFLX TV, West Palm Beach, FL-news & weather

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

Brittle Nails

Patrick has the worst case of  onychoschizia I've ever seen. Now there's a word for you: onycho which means fingernail, schizia which means brittle - onychoschizia or brittle nails. It's very common. People come here and say 'Doc, my nails are brittle, they're breaking off, what can I do? I'm having to buy artificial nails and they're pretty expensive - is there something else that might be better?' Let me tell you how to approach it.

Brittle nails can be due to two things. The first are associated medical problems such as thyroid problems or difficiency problems that you see with people who have lost weight or are immunally compromised - brittle nails can occur in those clinicial settings. You also can see it in things that we do to ourselves, for example, putting our hands in strong detergents or using those glue-on nails - they can destroy your finger nails and make them brittle. And lastly, chemicals that we put on our nails can also damage them, leading to the brittle nature, such as acetone, or things to clean fingernail polish off them.

Now, knowing all that, you try to avoid it, but we can help protect our nails. After you wash your hands and nails, put Vaseline on them - that's a great moisturizer. Also, wear gloves and keep your hands out of those checmicals and detergents which can cause damage. The facts speak for themselves, it's just common snese.

One more thing. In my experience it's been shown that grapeseed extract can help toughen up the nails and make them less brittle. Give it a try because you don't want to look like this - like Patrick's nails.

And I'm Dr David Vastola and that's life.

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