Maddening Menopausal Nails
It’s been awhile since I’ve shared an article about meandering down menopausal madness, so I’m republishing one of my articles I wrote for Hot Flash Daily. Be sure and check out this site for useful information on menopause, menopausal humor, and shared experiences of this bizarre life experience.
This article has to do with Mother Nature’s cruelty when it comes to our fingernails during menopause. Enjoy!
Just when awesome and fun nail art for every occasion – ranging from stripes, bow ties, and even funny sock monkeys – becomes all the rage, I hit menopause.
I mean, who doesn’t want beautiful nails during this time in our life to distract people from noticing our unflattering weight gain, sweaty foreheads, and five-inch long chin hairs? But, NOOO… menopause has other evil plans.
If you’ve noticed that your nails constantly break, split, and chip since perimenopause started, it’s no coincidence. Fluctuations in estrogen along with dehydration can lead to weak and brittle nails. Yup, it’s that darn lack of moisture causing more problems again. On top of that, we suffer from extra stress and anxiety due to menopausal madness that makes us want to mangle our fingernails into mannish stumps. As a result, nail biting can reach new heights.
So while other women are busy admiring each other’s manicures, I’m self-consciously hiding my ugly, brittle fingernails behind my ever-growing behind. Often tardy on trends, I wanted to be in on this one, darn it!
So some research was in order to do something about my ragged, dreadful nails. Here’s what the experts recommend:
Drink More Water
Really? Again? I’m drinking more water than I ever have in my life – and it hasn’t been the cure-all for all my menopausal woes like bloating, hot flashes, and dry skin like these experts have promised. In fact, if I hear this piece of advice one more time, I am personally going to hunt down these know-it-alls and help them to a glass of water – down their pants.
Gloves remind me of painful and humiliating pelvic and rectal exams, dentist offices, and hospitals. Why would I wear them around the house? Do I really want to look like Mickey Mouse? Although it might be a good idea to wear a pair when I visit those experts mentioned above so I don’t leave any fingerprints.
This advice is meant for nail biters like me. Supposedly, if you pay to get your nails done and your nails look pretty you won’t want to chew on them. The trouble with this advice is that when the manicurist inevitably starts lecturing me on biting my nails, or asks me why my nails are so brittle, or wags her head in disgust, I want to kill her.
This one is also for nail-biters. If you have an urge to put something in your mouth, experts suggest chewing a stick of sugarless gum or gnawing on a carrot or celery stick. Forget that. Now, eating chocolate and drinking wine would distract me and make me feel better about this whole ugly nail problem at the same time.
Keep Your Hands Occupied
Does keeping my hands busy by choking irritating people count?
Use a Buddy System
How about forming a “No Nail Nibbling” team to support each other? Seriously? Am I 12? Supposedly sharing the goal of getting your nails back into shape and holding each other accountable is a great way to succeed. Except when my nail buddy nags me about nibbling my nails for the ninth time, I can’t guarantee what will happen.
Stay Hydrated by Avoiding Caffeine and Wine
No and no.
Moisturize Hands and Cuticles
Use a good quality moisturizer and massage a small amount around your cuticle and nails several times a day. Or soak your fingernails in warm oil once a day. Moisturize your hands at night and wear white cotton gloves to sleep to keep moisture in. Stay away from nail polish remover that contains formaldehyde and acetone since they dry out your nails.
All right, all right. Maybe this last one is doable. Because I want those cute little sparkly stars and tiny cupcakes on my nails too! Or maybe I’ll just skip all this annoying advice and get acrylic nails instead.
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