Splitting and peeling fingernails is a common problem among women. The cause of brittle nails known as onychoschizia is aging which causes weakening of the nails and causes cracking and peeling of the nails. When the nails become brittle, they split and peel in horizontal layers and women are prone to this condition than in men. Take note that it usually affects the fingernails but sometimes it can also affect the toenails. The condition can happen at any age and the most susceptible are adults and the elderly people.
As the person ages, the nails becomes dry since the natural oil found in the layers of nail are drying out. The first sign is the tip and edges of the nail start to crack and peel. If this condition is left untreated, there is a risk of completely losing the nail.
Causes of splitting and peeling fingernails
- Splitting and peeling fingernails that occur in both fingernails and toenails can indicate some health conditions that might be minor or require medical attention.
- Injuries to the nails such as using the nails in scraping and scratching hard surfaces or materials.
- Nails become brittle as the person ages due to loss of the natural oil that keeps the layers of nails bound together.
- Constant exposure to soaps and detergents, nail polish, nail removers and acetone.
- Exposing the nail to too much moisture such as repeated washing and drying of the nails can cause splitting nails. Too much moisture can make the nails weak and soft which makes the nail peel layer by layer.
- Vitamin C, folic acid and mineral iron deficiency can cause brittle nails
- During winter months where the weather is dry, it can also cause peeling and splitting fingernails.
- Some conditions such as hypothyroidism, skin diseases such as psoriasis, eczema and lichen planus can cause splitting and peeling fingernails.
Treatment and home remedies of splitting and peeling fingernails
- Hydrate the nails using oil and cream after getting them wet such as jojoba oil, Shea butter, almond oil and coconut oil are good moisturizers. Rub the oil on the affected nails and fingers after taking a bath or shower.
- Trim the nail when it is still wet in order to prevent making the condition worse. Buff the edges of the nails with an emery file or glass file to make them round in shape. It also helps the split end of the nail from catching any things while working.
- Wear gloves when washing dishes or doing some household activities that involves the use of water.
- Avoid applying nails polish when the nails are split since it can make the condition worse.
- Eat foods rich in Vitamin C and B complex as well as foods that are rich in iron content such as fruits, green leafy vegetables and dried fruits.
- Avoid biting the nails or scraping things using the nails.