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Skin Care and Diseases

Fingernails

12/31/2008

Question:

My fingernails tear easily. What can I do to strengthen my fingernails

Answer:

There are many possibilities underlying fragile fingernails. Sometimes our personal habits such as frequent trauma to the nails in terms of biting, picking, scratching, frequent wetting with water or other liquids (which can also make the nail softer and weaker) are the major contributing factors. Occasionally, nutritional issues can contribute. Biotin and other vitamin/mineral components have been thought to contribute to nail strength. Some underlying diseases also cause nails to become more brittle, so if there's any suspicion at all, a visit to the physician is recommended.

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Response by:

Elma D Baron, MD Elma D Baron, MD
Associate Professor of Dermatology
Director, Skin Study Center
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University