Flaking nails: it could be a hormonal issue

Like hair and skin, nails are also affected by the hormonal changes of menopause. That’s why even beautiful and well-groomed hands can go through an interview with the gynecologist.

In menopause, the tissues, the hairy extremities and the horny formations of the body can be affected by the change in the hormonal balance that is typical of this phase and, in particular, by the decrease in estrogen. Thus, the vaginal tissues can become drier and, as a result, more fragile, the hair can appear thinner, brittle and sparse , the skin appear dehydrated , and the nails can also become weak, flaking and thinning.

The changes in hormone levels , in addition to having its first consequence the gradual disappearance of the menstrual cycle and entering into menopause , may be responsible for a series of other changes in your body such as:

  • external and internal changes of the genital system
  • proper functioning of the thyroid gland
  • mouth health
  • eye health

This new arrangement can cause various kinds of discomfort, both physiological and aesthetic. Unregulated lifestyle, improper diet can do the rest. In this article we talk specifically about the nails, which together with the hands constitute an important “business card” for the ladies.

Because nails can flake off in menopause

The decline in estrogen production, which is physiological in menopause, can also affect the production of keratin , a protein that is essential for the health of nails and hair because it is part of their structure.

The hormonal variations typical of this phase have, among others, the effect of reducing the amount of fat present in the nail plate and this contributes to dehydrating the nails , a bit like the skin and mucous membranes. Drier, the nails also become more fragile and, in severe cases, exposed to the risk of formation of vertical ridges, onychorexis . What appear to be ripples are actually fractures and cracks that can make the nails not only unpleasant to the appearance, but also painful and more prone to the attack of mycosis and infections in general.

To make the situation worse, the following can also contribute:

  • nutritional deficiencies, vitamins or minerals , first of all calcium, the need for which increases considerably in menopause to defend bone health
  • frequent use of aggressive detergents (such as detergents) in direct contact with the skin

Because a visit to the gynecologist can also be used for nail health


It’s easy! Request a video conference interview from your home with an experienced menopausal gynecologist near you.


The fragility of the nails could appear after the entry into menopause for all that has been said so far. Know that this is the time to make an appointment with the gynecologist and talk to him, without embarrassment or shame, about any kind of discomfort you are experiencing at this stage.

An interview with the specialist is the best way to take care of your health, your well-being and even your beauty .

Of course the nails are a purely aesthetic matter , but they could reveal the usefulness of a treatment that also goes to rebalance other districts. Generally, in fact, the problem of brittle nails in menopause is associated with other disorders such as hair falling out or even some intimate discomfort such as vulvar itching , vaginal dryness , pain in intercourse (dyspareunia), blood loss .

In all these cases, only a visit to the gynecologist can be decisive for the management of discomforts which, if neglected, could worsen (such as Vulvo Vaginal Atrophy , of which the ailments listed above could represent the symptoms). 

What to do to protect nail health in menopause

For your part, you can take a series of daily precautions that, in synergy with each other, can help you limit nail problems.

  • Use gloves. It may seem like a trivial recommendation but using gloves for household chores , and thus avoiding contact with detergents, detergents and chemicals in general, is in itself a great way to safeguard the well-being (and beauty) of your hands. Get food-safe gloves and use them when washing and cooking foods that could expose your nails to prolonged contact with water (such as vegetables or fish).
  • Help yourself with supplements. You can also strengthen your nails from the inside with specific supplements based on vitamins, mineral salts, keratin, biotin and collagen , all useful substances for the health of the nails, but also of the hair and skin. Ask your doctor for advice (you can talk to your gynecologist directly) and avoid doing it yourself.
  • Combine your hand cream with a good nourishing oil for nails: there are specific ones on the market, contact a pharmacy for adequate advice.
  • Avoid semi-permanent nail polish. Maybe you prefer it to the traditional one precisely because it allows you to cover nails that are not quite in place, and instead know that it only has the result of worsening your situation. The semi-permanent nail polish, in fact, prevents correct transpiration of the nail plate and in addition, to be removed, it requires the use of particularly aggressive solvents and files that scrape the back of the nail. In short, everything you need to stay away from if you want to rediscover the beauty of your hands! Instead, prefer enamels in transparent or neutral tones (and of excellent quality) because they are more delicate and, moreover, they avoid the risk of the color slipping between the cracks of the nail plate and staining it.
  • Defend your nails even at the table. As you know if you read this blog, nutrition is essential in menopause from many points of view . Calcium and zinc (the essential minerals for the health of nails and skin), vitamins and antioxidants, even before using supplements, must be taken following a healthy and balanced diet. Remember that proper hydration “from within” is also essential: drink at least 2 liters of still water a day . This is our page with tips for a diet that is friendly to your beauty


Leave a Comment