Brittle nails chip and split easily. This is a very common problem that you
can inherit from your parents. It can also be because of your surroundings.
We cannot change our heredity. If there are things in your environment that
are causing or worsening brittle nails, then reducing those things will help
reduce your brittle nails.
Some tips for reducing brittle nails are:
1. Trim your nails: when you place the tip of your finger on a tabletop, the
skin of your fingertip touches the table before your nail does.
2. Wear gloves for wet work and use a moisturizer often, including after
3. Wear cotton gloves covered by vinyl gloves when working with water
4. If you polish your nails, then change the polish no more than every 1-2
weeks. Both acetone-based and non-acetone nail polish removers dry out the
5. Know that wearing and/or removing acrylics, gels or shellacs may cause
or worsen brittle nails.
6. The water-soluble B vitamin Biotin may help strengthen nails and taking
2-3mg daily for a trial period of 6mos for fingernails and 12mos for toenails
may help. It takes 6 months for a fingernail to grow out and 12 months for a
toenail. You need to take it that long to know whether or not it works for
you. Keep taking it if it does.
Your health care team may have given you this information as part of your care. If so, please use it and call
if you have any questions. If this information was not given to you as part of your care, please check with
your doctor. This is not medical advice. This is not to be used for diagnosis or treatment of any medical
condition. Because each person’s health needs are different, you should talk with your doctor or others on
your health care team when using this information. If you have an emergency, please call 911.
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