Like the skin, the fingernails are a reflection of a person's state of health. Low levels of zinc and iron as well as thyroid problems can cause brittle nails. However, brittle nails are often a normal result of aging.
Review Date 6/7/2023
Updated by: Elika Hoss, MD, Assistant Professor of Dermatology, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, AZ. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.