Fragile Nails

Approximately 20 percent of Americans deal with fragile nails on a daily basis. Who are they, and what are the available remedies?

Who is affected by fragile nails?¹

Aging people

Seniors disproportionately suffer from nail dystrophy. Following years of hand wetting and drying coupled with exposure to household chemicals; older individuals’ nails eventually lose essential proteins such as keratin. The nails also lose their ability to retain moisture and maintain a healthy look.


Women are twice as likely to suffer from weak nails as their male counterparts. Women who have gone through menopause and have lower estrogen levels are also more prone to changes in nail health.

People who frequently wet and dry hands

Frequent hand washing and drying over a prolonged period of time can take its toll on fingernail health. This includes individuals who wash dishes or clean their house without using gloves. Fragile nails are frequently seen often among professionals such as  bartenders and restaurant staff, nurses, swimmers, and others who regularly expose their nails to wet conditions.

Individuals suffering from medical conditions or nutritional deficiencies

Fragile nails are often a sign of an underlying medical condition or nutritional deficiency. It’s important to speak with a physician about other issues that could be the main cause of your nail fragility.

Home Remedies for Fragile Nails:¹

  • Nail moisturizer: Applying a daily nail moisturizer is also a good way to remedy the effects of fragile nails. It’s best to apply moisturizer after a long shower or after soaking your hands in warm water. This allows the moisturizer to more effectively work its way into the fingernails and surrounding tissue.
  • Proper nail care: In people suffering from damaged nails, proper nail health can help prevent splits, cracks or ridges from getting worse. The best approach is to clip and file the nails while they’re still wet. It is also a good idea to avoid cutting or filing the cuticles and nail folds, as they provide barriers that prevent moisture from escaping the nails.

To fix fragile nails, consult your physician about your ongoing condition. A qualified doctor can recommend a path for repair and recovery.

Additional damaged nail resources:


  1. van de Kirkhof Peter CM, et al. Brittle nail syndrome: A pathogenesis-based approach with a proposed grading system. J Am Acad Dermatol 2005;53:644-51.



Nuvail™ (poly-ureaurethane, 16%) NAIL SOLUTION is indicated for managing signs and symptoms of nail dystrophy, i.e., nail splitting and nail fragility, for intact or damaged nails. Nuvail coats and adheres to the nail surface preventing direct abrasion and friction on the nail surface while also providing protection against the effects of moisture.


Do not apply directly to deep, open, or profusely bleeding wounds. Product is flammable in liquid form; avoid using near open flames and sources of ignition. Use in a well-ventilated area.

Keep out of reach of children.

Store at room temperature away from heat. Do not allow product to come into contact with floors, counter tops, furniture or other finished surfaces – will stain. May temporarily sting upon application. Persons sensitized to isocyanate should not use this product. Should redness or other signs of irritation appear, discontinue use and consult your healthcare provider.

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

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