Brittle Nails in Menopause

Onychorrhexis (brittle nails) is taken from the Greek words for bursting nails; this symptom is common in menopausal women because oestrogen levels fall and this contributes to difficulty balancing fluid levels in the body. The result is uneven, discoloured and weak nails.

Brittle nails are caused by a lack of keratin; keratin is created in your nail beds and it helps to keep your nails strong and healthy. If you produce sufficient levels of keratin, you'll notice that your nails are even and less prone to breaking and cracking. The most common risk factor for brittle nails in menopause is dehydration; in order to prevent this, it is advisable to make sure that you drink plenty of water and cut down on caffeine.

Keeping your nails healthy

Protecting your nails by wearing gloves, staying hydrated and using moisturisers to nourish your nails can all help to prevent brittleness. Your diet is also really important and you can strengthen your nails by eating foods that are rich in fatty acids, such as avocadoes, salmon and nuts, especially almonds.


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