Onychoschizia, the splitting of the fingernails, is a problem frequently seen by dermatologists. The splitting of nails is often caused by the nails being brittle, soft, or thin and is characterized by nails that split or peel into layers.
According to a report by the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, this condition affects as much as 20 percent of the population; the majority of those affected being women. Some health conditions can result in peeling of both fingernails and toenails, but if only your fingernails are affected, the cause is likely to be external. If your nails are dry and brittle it is likely they are getting too little moisture, while soft and brittle nails indicate they are being exposed to too much moisture.
The first strategy for treating brittle nails should be treating your nails gently to see if small changes help the problem. This can be as simple as avoiding repetitive or prolonged water contact by wearing cotton-lined rubber gloves while washing dishes and cleaning with chemicals. Improving nail hygiene may also solve the problem. Be sure to rub your hand lotion into your fingernails and cuticles and avoid biting or picking at your nails and cuticles. Limiting use of nail polish remover or switching to an acetone-free brand and applying nail hardeners rather than traditional polishes may also help your nails to heal.
If these strategies don’t help, these treatments will typically end the splitting of nails.
Vitamin Supplements and Biotin
. Vitamins are essential in making bodily processes run effectively and healthily, and nails are no exception. A blend of niacin, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C should provide everything needed for healthy nails. Biotin, which can be found in Vitamin B complexes, is often quoted as crucial for nail health. Besides being present in certain vitamin supplements, biotin can be found in oatmeal, bananas, mushrooms, peanuts, soy, and some animal organs.
. As with dry and cracking skin, the most frequent cause of brittle nails is a lack of moisture. Everyday moisturizers, such as Vaseline, can help to keep nails healthy. Some even make their own moisturizers at home using a mixture of egg yolks and a splash of milk. Within the last few years, manufacturers have found super moisturizers to be incredibly beneficial to nail health. These creams are enhanced with vitamin E, avocado oil, coconut oil, argan oil, and/or shea butter and can be applied to the hands and nails twice a day to achieve flawless nail health.
. Anyone of these or a supplemental blend taken as recommended can help promote all-around health.
– Methylsulfonylmethane lowers the pressure inside a cell and removes toxins and excess fluids. This process results in smoother skin, softer hair, and stronger nails.
– Your nails, skin, and hair naturally contain silica, and too little of this nutrient can result in brittle nails, weak hair, and dry skin. Horsetail grass is high in silica and can reverse nail damage and help regrow healthy nails.
– Fo-Ti root is a natural herb commonly used in Eastern anti-aging prescriptions. It can help smooth skin, erase wrinkles, and repair broken or brittle nails.
– Para-aminobenzoic acid (PABA) is a B-complex vitamin known for its natural anti-aging benefits and ability to alleviate chronic inflammation.
If the condition persists, talk to your doctor. Chronic brittle nails can be indicative of onsetting menopause, the autoimmune disorder lichen planus, hypoparathyroidism, and anemia.