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My mom's nails are brittle and breaking...what could be the cause?

She takes calcium supplements almost everyday...so it cannot be that...She has always had long nails

11 Answers

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  • 1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Maybe she's anaemic and needs an iron suppliment or an iron infusion. A blood test will reveal her ferritin levels.

    I suffer from anaemia and after getting really low all my long and strong nails are now brittle and short, they break easily and will not grow back.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Fingernails and toenails are made up of protein layers. The thickness and strength of the nails is inherited. Separation or breaking of the protein layers can occur in a person with brittle nails

    he main cause of brittle nails is extreme dryness of the nail. Some individuals have a genetic predisposition to brittle nails. As people age, their nails become drier and more brittle. Dry air, common with winter's low humidity and use of indoor heat, can cause nails to dry out. Long, hot baths and showers can also make nails dry.

    Diseases and conditions that can cause brittle nails include:

    # hypothyroidism, a condition caused by low levels of thyroid hormone

    # Raynaud's phenomenon, a disorder that affects the arteries of the arms and legs

    # skin diseases, such as psoriasis

    # endocrine disorders, such as Sjogren-Larsson syndrome, which also causes dry skin

    # malnutrition

    Factors that increase a person's risk of brittle nails include:

    # frequent handwashing, which may be associated with the person's job

    # prolonged exposure to cold, dry weather

    # sunburn or windburn

    # excess exposure to chemicals, such as nail polish remover

    People subject to brittle nails should limit the amount of soap they use and the length of time their hands are exposed to water. Some people may be able to use mild, moisturizing soap on their hands. A few need to limit soap use to the underarms and genitalia.

    After patting the hands dry with a towel, the individual should apply a moisturizer to the skin and nails. The two types of moisturizers available over the counter include:

    # cosmetic moisturizers, which provide immediate relief of dryness but last only while they are applied. For people with mild or intermittent brittle nails, a cosmetic moisturizer may be enough to keep the skin from feeling dry.

    # therapeutic moisturizers, which have been shown to act as a barrier that keeps water from evaporating from the nails. Many therapeutic moisturizers contain mineral oil or petroleum.

    Other measures to avoid brittle nails include the following:

    # wearing protective gloves whenever possible

    # avoiding prolonged exposure to water, such as swimming

    # avoiding exposure to chemicals that irritate the skin and nails. Some forms of nail polish remover are gentler than others.

    Several vitamins and minerals have been proposed for the prevention of brittle nails, but none have been proven effective in human studies.

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  • Karen
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    I think any multivitamin would help. Any single vitamin is not good to take because some of them can be toxic if you take too much. Another thing that causes brittle nails is low thyroid so you might have to go to a doctor and get that checked.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The main reason could be that she doesn't get amount of calcium that she needs or it is just in here genes. and then I dont think she could do anything about it but to be sure ask a doctor.

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  • 1 decade ago

    The dry air, heat to cold, excessive water, a number of things. My doctor told me to drink gelatin once a day and that would help and use a cuticle salve to help with the dry edges.

    I know what she's going through.

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    maybe she uses chemical too much. like detergents and dishwashing liquids too much. thats y. y not try sally hansen nail care products. they r really good. nails wont get chip too often as the haf vitamins in em. another old remedy is to put henna on it. it helps too, ive tried it myself. i makes the nails harder and stronger

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    low calcium:

    How to Grow my Nails Faster and Stronger

    http://nail-care-info.blogspot.com/

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  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    calcium is for bones, your nails are related to hair, tell her to drink a cup full of jello every day, just disolve a package of sugar free jello in a cup of hot water, then cool it and drink it. geletin is made from cows hooves which is also related to horn, fingernails and hair.

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  • 1 decade ago

    TRY APPLYING OLIVE OIL OR LEMON ON HER NAILS....

    IF THEY STILL CONTINUE TO BREAK....GO TO A DOC....

    MOSTLY BRITTLE NAILS ARE DUE TO CALCIUM & IRON DEFICIENCY

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  • 1 decade ago

    She should check with her GP it's possible that her body is not absorbing vitamins correctly.

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