What are Fragile Nails?
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With this condition, the fingernails and/or toenails are commonly breaking, splitting, peeling or fracturing. There are many reasons for this. One common reason is trauma. Both our toenails and our fingernails are susceptible to various forms of external trauma. For example, ill-fitting shoes combined with vigorous walking or running, may result in toenail disorders. Additionally, the fingernails will inevitably be knocked, bumped, picked or hit throughout a normal daily lifestyle. Besides external trauma, irritants applied to the nails can frequently cause problems with the nail plate. For example, certain nail polishes and especially, long term use of nail polish remover will have a detrimental effect on the nail plate's overall structure over time.
Aside from external causes of nail plate disorders, internal causes may also be found. For example, certain medications (antibiotics, chemotherapy agents, water pills) can have a detrimental affect on the nail plate. Also, internal disorders such as vitamin deficiencies, thyroid disorders and chronic illnesses can affect the nail plate. Lastly, certain skin disorders such as psoriasis, fungal infections and warts, may all have some affect on the nail plate.
Most commonly however, brittle, fragile, splitting nails just occur for no good reason (idiopathic cause) or sometimes the aging process results in brittle nails due to the loss of water and consequent nail plate dehydration. In this case, treatment with such creams as "Totephan cream" may result in minimizing nail dehydration which may in turn treat fragile, dry and splitting nails. Other options would include just the simple application of petroleum jelly to the nail plate on a regular basis.
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