745313 tn?1323142298


I knew about the thinning hair, which I am experiencing to a much, MUCH worse degree than I expected (but hey, it's summer!! ) But I have never read anything about tx affecting your fingernails. It only makes sense, as they are both made of the same thing - but has anyone else had this problem? Mine are awful! They are like paper, thin, peeling, and constantly ripping, even though they are cut completely short. I'm afraid to put on acrylics, for fear of ripping one off or something, plus they damage your nails pretty badly too. I've tried the brush on strengtheners, and the brush on wrap stuff from Sally Hansen - but I think it makes it worse. Anyone had this problem? Any ideas?
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Avatar universal
thanks, this sounds just like what is going on with my nail. diagnosed w breast cancer last nov09 and finished treatment now had reconstruction, do have some psoriasis now and will seek dermatologist opinion. thanks so much.
Helpful - 0
745313 tn?1323142298
Thank you all for your comments! I'm at week 34 of 72 and so far so good....luck and best wishes to you all:)
Helpful - 0
1225178 tn?1318980604
My nails have gotten a lot harder too... along with the bushy eyebrows and the llaman lashes. I'm kind of sad to hear that the nails will go away after tx, but VERY glad to hear that the eye brows will go back to normal.... it is so weird to have bushy eyebrows when they have always been so easy to shape. All I can do is keep my bangs long for now.

zoom1zoom... you sure sound a lot like a bill that was on here a while back. Hhhmmmm. You may as well accept the fact that we aren't doctors, lots of us are on tx and have brain fog, so we can't be expected to list every single detail every single time. That is why it is so good that many people can answer... what one person forgets, somebody else will remember.

Helpful - 0
476246 tn?1418870914
I've always had thin weak nails. They actually became stronger during treatment. As did the eyebrows get bushier :-(  and the Llama eyelashes I had!

Well, after treatment everything went back to normal. Thin nails, normal brows :-)  and short lashes. Dang!

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Hi Zrjl.

Here's another source for advice about your nails from the Projects in Knowledge handbook. which is for side effects management:



Alterations of the skin and/or nails may be localized, or generalized as a result of the
destruction of the basal cells of the epidermis. Reactions can vary considerably in onset,
severity, and duration.1 Nails may become thin, pitted, discolored, thickened, or crumbly,
and may peel or break easily. Banding and hyperpigmentation of nail beds are more
common in oncology patients receiving chemotherapy than in patients receiving anti-
HCV treatment. Psoriasis should be ruled out in patients with HCV infection, since nail
changes are a classic sign. Nail changes not associated with AI disease tend to resolve a
few months posttreatment.
1. Educate patient as to cause, management, and expected resolution.
2. Recommend good diet, hydration, and rest.
3. Assess for impaired nutritional status and/or vitamin deficiency.
4. Recommend that patients protect weak, breakable nails; for example, by limiting the
time hands are in water, and wearing gloves for dishwashing and gardening.
5. Recommend nail strengtheners (eg, Knox gelatin), clear-coat polish, and liquid gel to
help decrease splitting and breakage.
6. Treat psoriasis if that is the etiology.
7. Refer to dermatologist in the event of progressive nail loss, bleeding, or infection.

Hope this helps and if you have the energy, the handbook is worth a read. There's another good one I have to dig out of my bookmarks.

Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I dont think that using acrylics has done your nails any good at all, and biting them isnt the way to go neither.
Rub some cutical cream into your nails to stengthen them, and moisturise your hands with Aveeno.

Im on treatment at the moment, second round, 48 weeks, geno 3, relapser previous treatment.
Im UND at wk 4, 12, 24.
Low viral load baseline.
Currently at week 43.
Insulin Resistance pre treatment, under control.
All blood tests fine.

My nails, well I had fungal toenail pre treatment, and it has healed it up.  I had ridges and white nails for a time there, but they have gone now, Ive got all new nails, nice and hard, healthy.

Hope you are all doing ok.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
Developing dry, brittle nails can be one of the cosmetic side effects of tx:

"These side effects will go away after HCV treatment has stopped.
Your hair will grow back, your nails will get stronger, and your skin
will regain its natural oils."


Dry, Brittle nails

• Keep nails short.
• Use hand lotions and creams as much as possible, and especially
after your hands have been in water.
• Wear gloves to protect hands when doing chores such as
dishwashing, cleaning, gardening, or using chemicals.
• At bedtime, apply oils or thick creams to your hands. Smear
extra on your nails. Wear cotton gloves while you sleep to protect
your sheets and clothing.
• If you polish your nails, use gentle polish removers.
• Avoid nail polish altogether. Use nail strengtheners and buffing.


My nails post-tx are average but, unlike what the fact sheet from HCV Advocate says(above), my nails got really, really hard during tx....as hard as diamonds. Or else I got super weak because I just couldn't cut them like before.

I have no idea why that was because it makes more sense that nails would become dry and brittle, like everything else. Post-tx, they took a nose-dive back to being just my regular nails. :(
Helpful - 0
475300 tn?1312423126
I am 49 and since at least 40 years my nails were very, very hard.  It had nothing to do with the intake of calcium as I have never liked  or drank milk.  

Many have other things going on that can and does affect their nails.  But in the cases in point Treatment can be and in my case is the culprit.  

People who drink knox gelatin or take speciak vitamins for nails are wasting their money.  Just like I waste my money everytime I buy a miracle cream for a better complexion.  

I just read the article and it does not mention the thin brittle nails so it is not relevant in this case.


Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
fingernail hold alot of clues as to many conditions - its not necessarily treatment related

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475300 tn?1312423126
My fingernails have always been as hard as,... well,.... nails.  They got brittle during TX especially my thumbs.  All my fingers nails are not as hard as before but have strengthened.  My thumbnails are another story.  The center (from side to side) is soft as can be and brittle, they split but the sides are hard so I end up with rounded wear gouges that I can't keep up with.  They look like cr@p not that it really matters.
Helpful - 0
1372757 tn?1305916571
I bit my nails all my and stopped when I started treatment. They are so hard I can't bite them any more. I quess the is a good sx.
Helpful - 0
Avatar universal
I tore at my nails something awful.  It was pathological.  It got so bad that I had to put band aids on all the tips before I went to bed because I'd spend two hours tearing at them before I fell asleep.  I had a real problem with an obsession about pecking at my fingernails.  Even with the band aids, it still was a problem.  One of them weird things, of the many, that I experienced while on the drugs.
Helpful - 0
1425305 tn?1285096454
I just started treatment today and the doctor told me it was possible for you to see brittle nails as part of the TX process, but she said that keeping up my water intake and doing as much as I could to take "stress" off my liver would help keep those (hair and nails) side effects to a minimum.  I currently have acrylics and plan on keeping them through TX -- I had nails that would "peel" once they reached a certain length before any of this, and hated them.....so I would hate to have to see them be more crappy! :)
Helpful - 0
179856 tn?1333547362
I dont remember ever hearing about thinning nails in fact I think mine grew pretty well if I am remembering correctly but I sure wouldn't put anything on them that might harm the little bit you have left.....the thought of them ripping off is just too scary to me!

Dont worry the hair grows back like a weed!
Helpful - 0
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