Brittle Nails – What Can Be Done?

german translation / full article

Heinz Harald Abholz

Keywords: treatment brittle nails


A woman, 68 years of age, with atrial flbrillation, minor heart failure and hypertension also has brittle nails since a few months – with nails breaking at proximal ends. All nails show longitudinal ridgings with horizontal lamellar splitting. Nails are not really thickened or colored. After excluding all other diseases accompanied by splitting nails I decide on the diagnosis “brittle nails”. What can be done?


Brittle nails are not rare, but rare are studies on therapeutic approaches. A treatment which is based on study-evidence is not known. Taking Biotin 3 to 5 mg over 3 months can be tried. Mechanical or chemical burdens should be avoided and nails should be cut short. Also one can try to bath the nails once a day for 15 minutes in lukewarm water and urea or lactic acid cremes can be applied regularly.

(State: 16.05.2017)

Latest Issue 10/2020

In Focus

  • Challenges of Acute Care
  • Is it Useful to Determine Hormone Levels in Healthy, Symptom-Free Postmenopausal Women?
  • Detecting Victims of Human Trafficking in Family Practice