How to Eliminate Annoying Fingernail Splitting
Fingernail splitting can be a frustrating symptom. The good news is it can be easily correct by making a few simple changes.
Are your fingernails prone to splitting? This can be a frustrating problem that’s made worse by the cooler weather. This rather common condition even has a fancy name that can be a mouthful to pronounce. It’s known as onychoschizia and its one of the most common problems the practicing dermatologist sees on a daily basis. Although brittle, splitting nails can occasionally be a symptom of an underlying medical problem, brittle nails are usually due to overexposure of the nail bed to water which promotes drying. This causes fingernails to become brittle and fragile resulting in the annoying splitting that can make fingernails look so ugly.
One of the most common reasons nails become brittle is excessive dishwashing without protecting hands with gloves. It can also occur when hands and nails are exposed to harsh chemicals as might occur in a work related setting. Splitting fingernails may also be caused by the overuse of nail polish removers and repeated trauma to the nail bed. Cold weather can certainly make this condition worse, particularly when you venture outside without warm gloves or other hand protection.
Although it’s rare that splitting fingernails are related to a medical problem, they can be a sign of thyroid gland problems, kidney problems, or a nutritional deficiency, particularly a deficiency of iron or other minerals. If you develop splitting nails without having exposed your nails to water of other chemicals, you may want to check with your doctor to rule out a medical cause.
The good news about splitting fingernails is they can be corrected with some simple changes to your normal routine:
Reduce exposure to water
When you wash dishes, wear a pair of cotton lined rubber gloves to protect your hands against moisture. Likewise when you’re working with chemicals of any kind, make sure your hands are protected with gloves.
Alter your manicure practices.
Avoid excessive use of nail polish remover whenever possible. Nail polish remover is another chemical that can contribute to splitting fingernails. Apply a coat of nail polish with nylon fibers to give your nails added strength and support. This coat should be applied frequently to give maximum protection. Keep nails cut short with well rounded tips to reduce the risk of traumatizing the nail bed when you carry out your daily activities.
Apply moisture to your nail beds.
Moisturize is essential for correcting the problem of splitting fingernails. Apply a lanolin based lotion to the nails on a daily basis to infuse your nails with needed moisture.
Be gentle with your fingernails.
If you’re active with your hands, it’s important to reduce trauma to your fingernails. If you’re a gardener or crafter, always wear protective gloves. Don’t use your unprotected fingernails to scrape or remove stickers or other items that require pressure on the nail. Treat your hands and nails as gently as possible throughout the day.
Should you take a vitamin or nutritional supplement?
Although a multivitamin might be useful if you’re suffering from a mineral deficiency, vitamin and nutritional supplements haven’t proven to be effective in common cases of fingernail splitting. Trials with gelatin and supplemental biotin have been disappointing.
If you suffer from splitting fingernails, it’s reassuring to know that you can frequently correct the problem by making some simple changes to your beauty routine. If these simple changes don’t work, you may want to seek the expertise of a dermatologist.