The condition of the nails during pregnancy can either improve or worsen. Among the negative symptoms, brittleness, dryness, delamination, thinning, and darkening appear. The positive effect of pregnancy on the condition of the nail plates is expressed in their increased elasticity, intensive growth, and brilliance.
Nail changes during pregnancy are often negative. This is due to the increased deficiency of trace elements and vitamins, as well as hormonal disruptions. Nails reflect the state of the liver, thyroid gland, and stomach.
When Do Nail Changes Occur in Pregnancy?
Most external changes in the nail plate are noticed in the third trimester of pregnancy. This is due to the increased load on the woman’s body and the likely lack of vitamins. Nails, on the contrary, can grow well and improve their appearance in the first trimester of pregnancy. Any negative changes in nails and hair begin with the appearance of malfunctions in the internal organs.
EXACT WEEKS IT MAY HAPPEN
Negative symptoms of nail changes are observed at the 31st week of pregnancy. Thinning and brittleness may appear earlier from the 28th to the 31st week.
The level of estrogen is quite high in the first weeks of pregnancy (up to and including the 12th). This leads to a noticeable improvement in the condition of hair and nails.
When will it end?
Negative symptoms of the condition of the nails should be temporary if there are no serious internal disorders and micronutrient deficiencies. It goes away after the 31st week of pregnancy. Timely care and treatment will help restore the good condition of the nail plate as soon as possible. Rapid growth, shine, and increased elasticity decrease after the 12th week. Estrogen levels fall during this period.
How Nail Change Feels during Pregnancy?
The deterioration of the condition of the nails is noticeable immediately. The plate becomes thinner, relief appears, frequent brittleness, and color changes. A woman may experience discomfort when doing any work with her hands. Cracks form on the nails that cling to fabric, skin, or other tenacious objects. The symptom manifests itself in an acute and mild forms.
Nails change a lot visually in such a situation. They become thin, delaminate, and break. Noticeable darkening on the plates. Nails may turn yellow, and become stained, with embossed grooves. Sometimes there are painful sensations when touched.
Excessive fragility of the nail plate is observed with minor symptoms. Focal bundles appear. Nails do not grow well, breaking off all the time at the edges. The plate does not change visually. Only its elasticity and strength suffer.
Nail fungus can appear during pregnancy. It occurs due to reduced immunity.
Preventive measures to worsen the condition of the nails are aimed at eliminating the deficiency of trace elements and vitamins. It is better to do this in preparation for pregnancy. You need to check your immunity to a tendency to ingrown nails, suppuration, and fungi. Do not underestimate the basic care of the nail plate. Let’s take a closer look at prevention methods:
Identify the deficiency of vitamins and minerals
The situation during pregnancy can worsen with a tendency to brittle nails. Get screened for vitamin deficiencies and address the problem before pregnancy. Often the deterioration of the condition of the nails occurs with a lack of calcium, vitamin D, silicon, and magnesium. You will save yourself from most of the problems with nails during pregnancy by eliminating the lack of trace elements and vitamins.
Many fungal diseases of the skin and nails are associated with a weak protective reaction of the body to opportunistic microflora. You urgently need to boost your immunity. This may be a set of measures including drug therapy, sports, walking, and proper nutrition. It is better to take care of immunity in advance because during the gestation period it will worsen even more.
In addition to internal nourishment with fats, proteins, and vitamins, you need to help nails and external means. Strengthen the plate with special healing varnishes. Lubricate the cuticle with oils, and use therapeutic ointments. The eliminated defect will not become chronic. Try not to grow your nails if they have changed in appearance. Take a break from going to the salon. Leave the nail plate alone for a while.
Why Nail Changes Occur in Pregnancy?
Improvement in the condition of the nails is observed at the beginning of pregnancy and is associated with increased levels of estrogen. They add elasticity and shine to hair and nails.
The negative manifestation of the symptom of nail changes is associated with hormonal fluctuations and a lack of vitamins and minerals. Calcium deficiency increases brittleness. The lack of fatty acids causes a strong decrease in elasticity and dryness of the nail plate. A decrease in estrogen and a lack of protein slows down their growth.
Visual changes in the nails can be associated with internal problems: a violation of the outflow of bile and malfunctions of the thyroid gland. The reason for the poor condition of the nails is reduced immunity. There are frequent ingrowths and suppurations of the nail, a fungus may appear.
It is necessary to stop loading nails to improve their condition: paint less or completely abandon varnish and limit the mechanical impact. Among the means of protection can be distinguished medicinal and cosmetic. Compliance with the usual hygiene rules helps a lot. Here are examples of the most effective means of protecting the nail plate during pregnancy:
This remedy is most often sold in pharmacies. Its composition is rich in minerals and a complex of vitamins. Varnish can be classified as medicinal. You can use it only with cosmetic defects of the nails. Refrain from applying any varnishes if there is a fungus or suppuration.
Salt baths can be used for severe brittleness, delamination, and thinning of the nail plate. They need to be done regularly 2-3 times a week. Dissolve lemon essential oil in salt. This will improve the color of the nail. Use baths with caution if there is inflammation of the cuticle or suppuration.
Hand massage techniques increase blood flow in the hands and fingers. This increases the elasticity of the nail and improves its appearance. You can self-massage or seek help from a professional. Essential oils are used during hand massage. They are applied to the skin of the hands and the nail plate.
WHEN TO CONTACT A DOCTOR?
The reason for going to the doctor is the appearance of symptoms of diseases such as fungus, dyschromia, and pancratium. Immediate treatment is required to eliminate symptoms. Cosmetic procedures and hygiene are indispensable in such a situation.
Any suppuration, painful burrs, and fungal manifestations on the nails should immediately arouse suspicion. Seek immediate medical attention if the nail has completely come off the knuckle.
What Not to Do
Do not ignore the negative symptoms of changing nails. This may be a signal of serious internal disturbances. It is better to undergo an examination of the nail plate and take tests if the situation worsens. Do not resort to aggressive methods of self-treatment. What is forbidden to do with changes in nails during pregnancy:
This is a serious and very loading procedure for the plate. It only masks the defect and does not get rid of it. The condition of the nails may further deteriorate.
Coat the plate with gel polish
Such a service is accompanied by grinding the nail plate, which will significantly increase the brittleness and fragility of the nail. Refrain from any manicure procedure.
Damage the cuticle or nail
Do not tear off the burrs. Get rid of an ingrown nail on your own or tear a delaminated plate. You can get an infection.