Management of simple brittle nails


  • Rigopoulos Dimitris,

    Corresponding author
    • Department of Dermatology-Venereology, Medical School, “Attikon” University Hospital, University of Athens, Athens, Greece
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  • Daniel Ralph

    1. Department of Medicine (Dermatology), University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson, Mississippi
    2. Department of Dermatology, University of Alabama, Birmingham, Alabama
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Address correspondence and reprint requests to: Rigopoulos Dimitris, Associate Professor of Dermatology, University of Athens Medical School, Attikon hospital, 1 Rimini str, Athens 12462, Greece, or email:


Brittle nails are characterized by roughness of the surface of the nail plate, fragility, and peeling. This is a condition that is seen commonly in elderly individuals, and it is associated mostly with an abnormality of keratin, keratin associated proteins, water, and/or lipid content. It is idiopathic in the majority of the cases, but there are some dermatological and systemic diseases that can be associated with brittle nails. Treatment is a challenge for the clinician, in some case, can be difficult, and certainly needs strong cooperation of the patient.