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Learn about your dry, brittle, cracked nails, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your dry, brittle, cracked nails from our A.I. health assistant. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Dry, Brittle, Cracked Nails Checker

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Your Dry, Brittle, Cracked Nails May Also be Known as:
Nail deformity

Top 10 Dry, Brittle, Cracked Nails Causes

  1. 1.Viral (Rotavirus) Infection

    Rotavirus is a virus that causes an infection of the gut, known as gastroenteritis. Symptoms include diarrhea, vomiting and fever. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    You can safely treat this condition at home. Make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids to replace what is lost with diarrhea. Eat as normally as possible. If symptoms of dehydration occur, or you are unable to keep down any liquids, seek care at your primary care physician or an urgent care.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, nausea, abdominal pain (stomach ache), headache, loss of appetite
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (rotavirus) infection:
    hidden: gastroenteritis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (rotavirus) infection:
    constipation, tarry stool
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  2. 2.Hypothyroidism

    Hypothyroidism occurs when the thyroid, a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck, no longer produces adequate levels of hormones. Thyroid hormones are essential for many bodily functions including breathing, heart rate, and metabolism.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hypothyroidism is a complex condition that is usually treated with hormone replacement therapy.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.Viral (Norovirus) Infection

    Noroviruses are a group of related viruses that leads to nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and cramps. These viruses cause gastroenteritis, an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. When the diarrhea and/or vomiting is severe, dehydration can occur. Symptoms of dehydration include a dry mouth, dizziness, urinating less frequently and dark urine.

    You can safely treat this condition at home. Make sure you drink plenty of water and fluids (Gatorade, Pediatlyte) to replace what is lost with diarrhea. If symptoms of dehydration occur or you are unable to keep down any liquids, seek care at your primary care physician or an urgent care.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, abdominal pain (stomach ache), nausea, headache, stomach bloating
    Symptoms that always occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    hidden: gastroenteritis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with viral (norovirus) infection:
    severe abdominal pain, throbbing headache, severe headache, tarry stool
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  4. 4.Hypoparathyroidism

    Hypoparathyroidism is disorder in which the parathyroid glands in the neck do not produce enough parathyroid hormone (PTH). The majority of cases are following surgery.

    You should seek immediate medical care at an ER since any symptoms caused by a low calcium can be very serious. Treatment depends on how low (if low at all) your calcium levels are.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    patchy hair loss, skin thickening, fingernail changes, patchy body hair loss
    Urgency:
    Hospital emergency room
  5. 5.Lyme Disease

    Lyme Disease is a bacterial infection caused by the bite of a tick, which needs to latch on for a few days to transmit the bacteria. This infection can affect the skin, but more dangerously, the nervous system.

    You should see your doctor in the next few days to discuss symptoms and get treatment.

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, muscle aches, irritability, loss of appetite
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

    Dry, Brittle, Cracked Nails Checker

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  6. 6.Anorexia

    Eating disorders are serious behavioral problems. They can include severe overeating, or not consuming enough food to stay healthy. They also involve extreme concern about your shape or weight. Anorexia nervosa is a condition where people have an intense fear about how their body looks and how much they weigh, leading to severe caloric restriction.

    You should visit your primary care physician who will coordinate care with a psychologist, counselor, or other mental health professional. It is important to monitor

    Rarity:
    Rare
    Top Symptoms:
    irritability, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, decreased sex drive, purposefully losing weight
    Symptoms that always occur with anorexia:
    fear of gaining weight
    Symptoms that never occur with anorexia:
    heavy menstrual flow
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  7. 7.Acid Reflux Disease (Gerd)

    Acid reflux disease, also known as GERD, occurs when the acidic contents of the stomach come back up into the esophagus. The most common symptoms are heartburn and regurgitation.

    You should visit your primary care physician if you get heartburn regularly. The doctor may be able to prescribe medications such as proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers to reduce the acidity of the stomach. Avoiding alcohol, caffeine, and spicy food may help reduce heartburn as well.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    nausea, sore throat, cough with dry or watery sputum, pain below the ribs, deep chest pain, behind the breast bone
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  8. 8.Obstructive Sleep Apnea

    Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the upper airway is obstructed during sleep, which causes poor sleep quality and frequent awakening.

    You should visit your primary care physician within a few weeks to discuss your symptoms. The physician will likely order a sleep test to confirm the diagnosis.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, daytime sleepiness, trouble sleeping, sore throat
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  9. 9.Hashimoto's Disease

    The thyroid gland is a butterfly-shaped organ inside the neck that is responsible for making thyroid hormones. These hormones control important body functions, such as heart rate and the rate at which the body turns food into energy. Hashimoto's disease is a condition in which the immune system attacks the thyroid, and not enough thyroid hormone is produced, leading to symptoms like fatigue and weight gain.

    You should visit your primary care physician. Hashimoto's disease is a complex condition that is usually treated by hormone replacement therapy to bring hormone levels back up to normal.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, difficulty concentrating, weight gain, constipation, diarrhea
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  10. 10.Overactive Thyroid

    The thyroid is a butterfly-shaped gland in the neck, just above your collarbone. It is one of your endocrine glands, which make hormones. Thyroid glands control how fast one burns calories and how fast the heart beats. If the thyroid is too active, it makes more thyroid hormones than the body needs. This is called hyperthyroidism.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who might take a blood test to measure your levels of thyroid hormone. The test will tell the doctor whether a referral to an endocrinologist is useful. Treatment plans would likely be set by the specialist and include drugs to reduce your thyroid activation.

    Rarity:
    Uncommon
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, anxiety, depressed mood, irritability, trouble sleeping
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Dry, Brittle, Cracked Nails

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?
  • Q.Do you currently smoke?
  • Q.Have you lost your appetite recently?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our dry, brittle, cracked nails symptom checker.

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Dry, Brittle, Cracked Nails Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced dry, brittle, cracked nails have also experienced:

    • 4% Headache
    • 4% Dry Skin
    • 4% Fatigue
  • People who have experienced dry, brittle, cracked nails were most often matched with:

    • 6% Viral (Rotavirus) Infection
    • 5% Hypothyroidism
    • 5% Viral (Norovirus) Infection

Dry, Brittle, Cracked Nails Checker

Take a quiz to find out why you’re having dry, brittle, cracked nails.

Take a quiz