But for those of us going through menopause, a nail-biting transition, it’s not just skin, hair, weight and temperature that change. Nails can have a torturous time, too, splitting, breaking and changing shape and texture, with vertical ridges becoming more noticeable.

“Third Finger, Left Hand” Martha Reeves & The Vandellas were probably imagining perfect, wedding-band ready hands, we're not!


Why now?

Hormonal imbalances and dehydration are the likely causes of brittle nail syndrome, and although it might not be the most serious (or well-known) menopause symptom, it can be upsetting and painful. Nails are made of a hardened protein called keratin, but depleting oestrogen levels affect its production. Oestrogen also helps the body to regulate water retention and as levels dip, nails dry out and may crack, flake and break, exposing the nail bed and allowing bacteria to get in, causing infection and swelling.

And the good news is….

Once you realise these signs of nail wear and tear are hormone-related, a few simple self-help and lifestyle changes may help prevent this symptom from becoming a painful issue.


The best ways to deal with brittle nails