Nails & hypothyroidism

One of the most annoying and frustrating symptoms of hypothyroidism (especially for women) are brittle and splitting nails. Are you trying to keep your nails long and whenever it happens they split or break right next to your fingertip…? You tried almost all of nail conditioners in the world and the effect is still poor? Your body is trying to tell you something!

Listen to your body
Many medical conditions can affect the shape or texture of your fingernails. For example spoon nails shape may indicate lack of iron and anemia, Terry’s nails, where most of the nails appear white except for a narrow pink band at the tip, may be caused by liver disease, onychoschizia, commonly known as nail splitting may be caused by hormones imbalance. Never ignore this signs.
Most common nail problems in hypothyroidism
  • onychoschizia – splitting nails, especially on the top and tight next to fingertip. Can occur vertically or horizontally
  • white, vertical ridges on the nail bed, especially on the top of nail (closer to fingertip) – may be caused by selenium deficiency which is responsible for conversion your T3 hormone to T4 hormone. If you cannot convert T3 to T4 – it may cause your nails to look like that and nothing external like conditioner won’t help
  • dry and kind of hard, rough-edged nail cuticles – usually caused by protein deficiency
My hypothyroidNAIL story
In my case it seemed like I definitely had too less thyroid hormones. I had all of symptoms above (common for hypothyroidism) to the point that even my super short nails were splitting and hurt very much. I do not have pictures before, but maybe it is even better. It was not something good to watch, believe me. I started to use shellac and gel nail extensions, because I almost had no nails. Bellow my nails with shellac (left pic with gel extensions).
It worked very good for a few months, but later… my nail stylist couldn’t do my nails any longer, because gel lasted on me maybe 2 days… 😦 We didn’t know why. She said it may be hormonal. This was horrible, my nails looked so bad and in my type of job – is was not acceptable! I checked my thyroid – that was it, so I cut my nails short, started taking supplements and hormones and now I have strong, healthy nails (picture bellow).
It took me 6-8 months, but effects are worth it. You can see in the pics my nails are short (after having almost everything on my nails I think I like them short the most). Today most people ask me where I had my shellac done… this is 100% regular nail polish. My nails are thik & hard. Only problem I still struggle with is dry skin, but for that I just use hand creams.
How to prevent & cure?
  • First of all, if you know you are hypothyroid, make sure your thyroid hormones levels are getting better after T4 or T3+T4 supplementation. If you still suffer from nails problems – tell your doctor to check your hormones levels again.
  • Add proteins to your diet – nails are made up of keratin (protein), do if you’re not consuming enough protein, you may experience breaking nails & hair loss.
  • Take supplements – Biotin, Zinc, Iron, Calcium, B group vitamins
  • Reduce how often you wet and dry your nails – water with chlorine & fluoride is not kind to our nails and hands. After you wash your hands, use lotion or hand cream with natural oils – not silicone – be careful – it will only leave ‘layer’ on your skin, but not really moisturize it!
  • Keep the nails trimmed short to reduce worsening of nail splitting – I  know, most women want long, elegant nails, however if your nails are weak they will look much better when you’ll keep them short. Also you’ll avoid pain – nail splitting around your fingertip is not pleasant feeling… actually it’s horrible pain ;/
  • If you like to wear nail polish, always make sure that products you apply are not toxic, containing for instance harmful formaldehyde. I recommend brands ZOYA and INGLOT – these nail lacquers stays 1-2 weeks, don’t contain toxic ingredients and are in good price 9$-11$. Inglot sometimes offer sales 50% OFF online, so then it is a very good deal. 🙂 My favorite shades of nude in the picture bellow.
From the left
TOP: ZOYA color Brigitte, Inglot 166
BOTTOM: Inglot 385, Inglot O2M 680, Inglot sparkling 24120161210_131959
  • Take breaks – wearing nail polish all the time may make your nails dry. Each 1-2 weeks try to remove nail polish and apply moisturizing rich hand-balm or hand mask. It will help to moisturize your nails & cuticles*
* For cuticles I recommend also using natural oils – it works very well.


Do you guys have similar problems? What brands of hand creams would you recommend?

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My name is Barbara. On this blog I share passion for clean beauty, skin care & non-toxic makeup. Collaboration:

3 thoughts on “Nails & hypothyroidism”

  1. Hi. Is there any nail companies who sell nail gel and acrylic to suit someone with a thyroid imbalance? My acrylics dont stay on longer than a week so I would rather do them at home. Is there any out there that cater for this?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Tanya! Well, the only nail company that I know of are ZOYA and wren polish – although these are regular nail polishes. I do not know any acrylic since I’ve never used them. You may want to try relish brand – they have powder dip kits, maybe they would work?


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