Brittle breaking cracking fingernails

I don't know if it's from the meds in taking or the inflammatory arthritis that I have. I'm noticing my nails are peeling,breaking and cracking. I've been using nail gardeners which seem to help but the nail polish perks off easily. Even if I use the top coat. I see a podiatrist for my feet. My toenails are worse than my fingernails. The fungal infection made a mess of them. I've had to have 2 permanently removed.

Do any of you have that problem and if so, how do you take care of them?


Comments 12

  • Melissa G

    Yikes! Have you talked to your dr about it? I have issues with my nails but it is because I am either washing my hands or using hand sanitizer. 

  • LK

    Marie,  I had a fungal infection in one fingernail a few years ago after being on pred for an extended period.  I don't remember what medicine he put me on but it was a powerful one.  One of those that has a long list of other meds you shouldn't take with it unless absolutely necessary.

    I'd ask your doctor again and if he doesn't have any good ideas to treat it then ask for a referral to someone who might.   Good luck!!

  • K8sMom2002

    Hugs, Marie! Medications and washing hands frequently can both have the side effect of making nails brittle and separate — could you reach out to your pharmacist and check to see if that could be one of the side effects of any of your meds?

    Also, do you have any sort of thyroid issues? Thyroid issues can make your nails more brittle. 

    And you have psoriatic arthritis, right? Psoriasis can affect nail growth — usually it's horizontal banding of white spots on all the nails or pitting — tiny depressions — or yellowing. 

    Could you try wearing gloves whenever your hands are in water? And also making sure you use an asthma-friendly lotion or cream on your hands to keep your nails from drying out?

    I usually have very thick and strong nails. It's a family genetic freak thing — my nails are almost as strong and tough as my mom's, and she could literally use her thumbnail as a mini screwdriver. But when I have my hands in water for extended periods of time, my nails do seem much more flexible and fragile.

  • Marie E Natzke

    Hi eveyone thanks for your advice. Cynthia i do wear gloves when washing dishes. I have Ankylosing Spondilitis. I had a fungal infection on my toe nails and it ruined my toe nails. I lost 3 of them permanently. They kept getting ingrown.

    Melissa I'm due for blood tests in September. My podiatrist told me to use an ointment on my hands it's thicker and helps hands heal. Creams are too light. But the ointment doesn't seem to be helping my nails. 

    Lisa was it jublia? When I had fungal infection on my feet the foot Dr didn't want me to use it. He told me to use a mixture of lotrium or lamusil.  he had me mix it with vicks. I put it on my toe nails at night. It did clear the infection up but my toe nails are permanently damaged. I think the arthritis had a lot to do with this.

  • Wheezy Me

    Hi Marie!

    Nail problems could stem from various health conditions, but for most people, brittle nails are caused by repeated washing, change of temperature (warm and cold water), hand sanitizers and such "inncoent" causes. I have it too, though milder than what you described.

    Which inflammatory arthritis do you have? Some of them do affect fingernails… 

  • Marie E Natzke

    Wheezy me

    I have Ankylosing Spondlitis. My sister was just diagnosed this past week with it as well. It's from the arthritis was just wondering if anyone else has the problem and what you do for it. I do wear gloves when I wash dishes.

  • K8sMom2002

    Marie, it sounds like you're doing everything you possibly can!  

    I'm not sure how comfortable this would be for you — some people don't mind, and others really DO mind, but could you try wearing a heavy cream or lotion on your hands with thin cotton gloves or socks at night when you sleep? 

    My DD hates the feel of "grease" on her hands … it comes from years of us having to put heavy lotions on her right after bath and every night before bed for her eczema. So I totally get that some people just can't bear the feel of anything greasy on their hands.

    I do find that things like Working Hands or Cornhusker's lotion don't feel as greasy on the skin. And my DH has used these on occasion as he has his hands in water on the job. But even if these things are available without a prescription, it's always a good idea to ask your doctor for his recommendation.

  • Marie E Natzke

    K8SMOM2002 I do put socks on my hands with a lot of ointment. I think part of it is my job as well. Thanks everyone for all the suggestions!!