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Why Are My Nails Splitting

White Lines Running Across Nails

Why Are Your Nails Peeling & Splitting ? | How to Stop It For Good

White spots or streaks are normal and nothing to worry about. Parallel white lines that extend all the way across the nails, known as Muehrcke’s lines, are a sign of low levels of protein in the blood.

In contrast to Beau’s lines, they’re not grooved. They can occur as a result of liver disease or malnutrition.

Symptom: Series Of Horizontal Depressions On The Thumb

Thats a classic sign of a habit tic deformity, where people chronically rub or pick the cuticle of the thumb with their index finger as the nail is being formed. It creates a washboard-like series of horizontal depressions on the thumb nail.

A lot of people do it when they dont know theyre doing it, Rich said. We see it a lot.

Course of action: People can fix the issue if they simply stop manipulating their thumb cuticles, Rich noted.

Dark Stripes Running Down The Nail

Dark stripes running down the nails are fairly common in black people over 20 years of age. In most cases it’s perfectly normal.

Dark stripes shouldn’t be ignored. This is because it can sometimes be a form of skin cancer that affects the nail bed, called subungual melanoma. It’s important that your doctor checks it to rule out melanoma.

Subungual melanoma usually only affects one nail. It will also cause the stripe to change in appearance. For example, it may become wider or darker over time and the pigmentation may also affect the surrounding skin .

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Overuse Of Harsh Chemical Products

Chemicals, including household cleansers, can dry out fingernails. Colored nail polish, adhesives used in glue-on nails and nail polish remover, particularly if it contains acetone, can all cause nail damage. The effects of chemicals can be remedied by limiting exposure and moisturizing the nails after contact. Applying a coat of clear nail polish once a week may also prevent damage, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology.

How Do You Treat A Split Nail

My nails keep splitting in layers like in this picture ...

In order to improve the health of your nails, you have to look at your diet, as well as moisturize, and protect your hands. This is something you should be doing every day to make sure that your nails are strong, and prevent split nails from occurring in the future. Make sure to check if there are any signs of infection or damage to the nail bed, as this can be a significant issue.

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Help My Manicure Is Causing My Nails To Split

Q: My nails have been splitting recently, and the skin around them is peeling and red. Could salon manicures be causing these problems?

A: Yes! Cutting or filing the nail so that it arcs in the middle and the corners sit smoothly against the finger can predispose the nail to crack and separate from the nail bed. Letting the corners of the nail grow out creating a square surface may help prevent this.

Many manicurists remove the cuticles, first by softening them with strong alkalis that break down the cuticles protein, or keratin. This, too, can cause inflammation and infection of the surrounding tissue and nail root. The best solution is to either leave the cuticle alone or have it gently trimmed but not entirely removed.

If you get a French manicure, the under portion of the nail is often cleaned and smoothed with a sharp instrument that can contribute to infection and inflammation.

Nail polish, which contains a lot of chemicals and colorants, can also contribute to contact dermatitis in sensitive individuals. This means the skin around the nail becomes red, swollen or peals.

Nail polish removers may also be a part of your fingertip problems. They contain solvents that can dry the nail and cause it to develop brittle white streaks. Nail hardeners like the polish can also cause allergic dermatitis.

Nail Splitting Vitamin Deficiency

The color of your nails gives a clear indication of your health condition. It is important to check your nails every week to see if they are in healthy condition. Color, shape, and texture of the nails can give you innumerable clues on the state of your health. Dents in the nail called beauâs lines are caused because of malnutrition. Discoloration of nails and brittleness could be caused due to the vitamin deficiency.

The body requires the following vitamins for nails otherwise, it could lead to brittle nails. The following is an insight of various vitamins and the effect their deficiency could cause on nails:

  • Vitamin A deficiency: No half-moons orridged nails, brittle, peeling or splitting nails
  • Vitamin B-12 deficiency: Nails curve down past your fingertips, flat nails, dark,spoon-shaped nails
  • Vitamin D deficiency: Brittle, peeling or cracking nails

The following are the essential minerals and vitamins, lack of it causes the nail splitting. They include:

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Avoid Biting Your Nails

If you want to see improvement in your nail health? Then you should stop biting your nails now.

Biting your nails will not only render and makes your nails prone to splitting, but you may also ingest a lot of harmful bacteria into your system which might be harmful to your overall health.

There are lots of actionable ways to nail this habit for good though but you need to find out what triggers you to go after your nails first. If you can identify that which makes you go after those nails then youre halfway to putting an end to this habit for good.

Another great way to stop picking at your nails is by coating them with bad tasting polishes. This polish are best known as anti-nail-biting polish. They help deter the urge and some of them has a dual-action. What this means is, they dont only stop you from going after your nails, they also help to promotes nail growth.

Still, confused on what to do to stop? Heres an in-depth article I wrote a few months back on Nail-biting. You really should check it out

Nail Splitting At Cuticle

Why I Don’t Use Nail Clippers They Cause Nails to Split Crack and Peel

When splitting of nails happens at the cuticle, this is most likely due to an injury on the nail or an allergic reaction. An injury occurs when the nail is cut, torn, smashed or torn away from the skin.

Allergic reactions could be caused by the use of acrylic nails. A serious allergic reaction could lead to permanent damage to the nail this condition requires you to see a dermatologist. Peeling of cuticles is likely due to dryness or dehydration. Its best if you donât use acrylic nails again in event of allergic reaction.

Treatment for this depends on the severity of the splitting

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The Chemicals In Your Products Are Too Harsh

Certain chemicals and ingredients found in everything from hand soap and sanitizers to laundry detergent can dry out nails and make them prone to peeling, says Dr. Peters.

She recommends looking for products labeled hypoallergenic because they typically contain milder or natural chemical agents. If youre not sure where to start, she likes these options: Aveeno, Cetaphil, or Dove bath care products Seventh Generation dish soap Dove hand sanitizer and Arm & Hammer Sensitive Skin Free & Clear laundry detergent.

Common Types Of Nail Splitting

Nail splitting along linear ridges

Splitting in linear ridges that run straight down the length of the nail from cuticle to the end of your nail is called onychorrhexis. It is common in women as we age. The splits can crack at the end of your nail and get caught on things. You can have just a small area of your nail effected or up to 70% of your nail may have linear ridges that are fragile and split. This happens because nails grow from cuticle to the edge of your nail in tracks that are like grooves. It can happen for a variety of reasons.

Nail splitting in plates at the end of your nail

Your nail can split at the end in plates. This happens because nails are sort of like phyllo dough with layers of keratin held together with lipid. People most prone to this are those that do a lot of housework and hand washing, both of which causes lipid loss and protein damage. It is called lamellar onychoschizia.

Nail splitting that is flakey white to the top nail surface

This happens from nail polish that damages keratin to cause white flakes on your nail surface. It often also yellows the nails. Repeated layers of polish and older polish formulations make this more likely to happen, though it is hard to avoid if you like to polish your nails. It is called superficial granulation of nail keratin and it is important not to confuse it with a fungal nail infection, which can look similar.

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You Pick Off Your Nail Polish

Peeling off polish when your manicure starts to chip isnt just getting rid of a pretty coat of polish. Youre also removing part of the top layer of your nails, leading to thinning. Hey, were all guilty of doing this from time to time, but were just here to warn you: your nails will suffer. It can take months for your nails to grow back healthy. No thanks!

The fix: Do not, we repeat, do not peel off your nail polish. Try a non-acetone polish remover to take off traditional nail polish without weakening them any further.

What Is A Split Nail

Brittle Splitting Nails

A nail is said to split when its subjected to stress or lacking some essential nutrients. When nail split, they snag. That is, they catch or injure every damn thing that they come across with. With that being said, let me ask, would you like to know the science behind the splitting of nails?

OK good. Lets go.

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What Are You Lacking When Your Nails Split

If you have splitting nails, you could be lacking some essential vitamins in your diet. A deficiency of B vitamins, such as biotin, can cause split nails. If you eat a normal, healthy diet, then you shouldnt be deficient in biotin, but it can happen.

Mineral deficiencies such as iron can also have a big effect on your health. Besides causing brittle nails, iron deficiency can also cause other things like fatigue and dizziness.

How To Fix Your Broken Nail

Heres a great simple and easy trick and technique to treat your split nail right away.

Step 1: Preparing Your Nail

To prepare your nail you need to clean it and remove any nail polish. You are essentially returning your nail to its natural clean state. Apply a natural nail polish remover to a cotton ball and use this cotton ball to remove your nail polish and any other debris. Be sure that your nail is completely clean. If you leave the cotton ball on each nail for 15 seconds, this should suffice so that the polish can easily be swiped away.

Step 2: Use a Teabag

Yes, a Teabag. Cut the top of the bag and throw away the tea leaves. Then, line up the tea bag to your nail and cut accordingly so that the tea bag matches the shape of your nail.

Step 3: Apply a Base coat

From here, you will then apply a thin layer of base coat to your nail.

With the base coat is still wet and hasnt yet dried, apply the nail shaped teabag cutout directly ontop of your nail. Ensure that tea bag cutout covers over your nail split. Smoothen the tea bag onto the nail and remove any air bubbles. Leave it 5 minutes whilst it dries.

Step 4: The Polish Layer.

Apply a thin layer of clear nail polish on top of the tea bag once it has dried. Again, wait for this coat to dry .

Step 5: File

Using a Nail File, remove any of the tea bag paper over your nail. This will ensure that the tea bag is only over the split part of the nail and nowhere else.

Step 6: Success

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What Are The Best Ways To Strengthen Soft And Splitting Finger Nails

The simple, regular application of the lanolin-rich ointment Bag Balm works wonders to help stop nail splitting. In my almost 30 years practicing dermatology, I’ve never found a better nail product for this type of nail problem. For Bag Balm to work it’s magic, it’s always important to apply it to nails that just had a nice soak in water . I like to apply it to my nails and hands at night and cover them with cotton gloves.

Nail fragility can be helped even more by moisturizing the nail numerous times a day after washing. It also helps to avoid harsh soaps and solvent exposure that cause lipid loss and protein damage in the nail plate. This includes using only a gentle hand soap instead of dishwashing soap or harsh hand soaps.

Dry nails and hand skin are such a common problems that I created my Dry Skin Hand Repair Kitwith everything we need to avoid dry hands – AND NAILS – and to replenish lost lipids. This is what I use for my 62-year-old nails that naturally want to be fragile, dry and split. It takes work to keep them nice and this is how I do it.

What Is Split Fingernails

Why does a blunt nail not split wood ANSWER

Nail splitting is a common complaint of many women. The medical term for this is Onychoschizzia. Healthcare regimens usually forget about the nails as they are, after all, dead cells. Many women with nail splitting would, however, testify otherwise. One of the most common complaints that dermatologists and nail spa salons receive is split nails.

Brittle nails or splitting nails are categorized into two types.

1. Onychorrhexis Split Fingernails

The cells of the nails are layered, one atop the other. Sometimes, split nails appear in the form of a single or multiple horizontal splits at the growing end of the nail. While a single split can often be due to an unrelated reason, a woman must take several splits seriously.

2. Onychoschizia Nail Splitting

In this case, the split may also start from the base of the nail plate. This is a sure sign of onychoschizia. Studies suggest that nearly 20% of the population mostly women and the elderly suffer from fingernails split down the middle. Split fingernail cases are thus, not as rare as one may think.

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Avoid Harsh Nail Care Products2

Limiting or avoiding the use of lacquer or gel nail polish, as well as harsh nail polish remover, can be beneficial to your overall nail health. And in situations when you have to use nail polish remover, try an acetone-free formula.


  • Web MD . Nail Problems and Injuries. Retrieved June 16, 2016 from
  • Mayo Clinic . Is it possible to prevent split fingernails? Retrieved June 19, 2016 from
  • Why Are Your Nails Splitting Down Middle

    If your nails are splitting down the middle, it could signal a health issue that needs addressed. Your nails are made of keratin, a hard protein that protects the ends of your fingers. They are kind of like a type of claw and present in humans and many types of animals. They are formed by the shedding of dead skin cells, but can crack and split if something in your body isnt right.

    Nails can tell you a lot about your health and well-being. You may notice white discolorations, red spots, bumps, or splitting due to disease. This may stem from liver issues, heart disease, or a hormonal condition. Read on to see some of the things that may cause unhealthy nails.

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    How Moisture Affects Splitting And Peeling Nails

    Most instances of splitting and peeling nails are caused by lack of moisture, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology . Repeatedly wetting and drying the hands and therefore fingernails can cause the nails to become dried out and brittle.

    Hand sanitizers containing alcohol also tend to dry out the hands and fingernails. Dry nails are more common when the air is dry, such as in the winter.

    Less commonly, fingernails can be too moist. This produces soft nails that are also prone to peeling8.

    Fingernails can be protected from becoming wet by wearing gloves for activities in which the hands are immersed in water, such as washing dishes.

    AOCD recommends applying a moisturizing lotion containing alpha-hydroxy acids or lanolin to help prevent or treat dry and brittle nails. Limiting the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers may also be helpful.

    • Most instances of splitting and peeling nails are caused by lack of moisture, according to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology .
    • Fingernails can be protected from becoming wet by wearing gloves for activities in which the hands are immersed in water, such as washing dishes.

    What Causes Fingernails To Split Down The Middle

    Splitting Nails

    There are a thousand and one reasons why fingernails split but what Ive found out over the course of growing and keeping nails as a lifestyle is that nails split when theyre subjected to external stress, health challenges, poor diet, or trauma.

    Onychorrhexis, otherwise known as the vertical split, is the condition that occurs when fingernails tear down the middle.

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    Keep Your Nails Medium

    Extremely long nails can lead to a constant tear or split. So be sure to keep yours trimmed to your desired length. I like to think of the length thingy to be subjective though but in all, try to keep them short.

    They should not be too long, and most importantly, be mindful of the kind of nail shape to adopt as some leads to frequent splitting.


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