What can I do to prevent my nails from splitting and peeling? I've tried everything: gelatin capsules, calcium, Biotin, and rubber gloves. I need help!
By Ann C. from Quitman, TX
I had a lot of similar trouble. I bought Knox For Nails at Walgreens, and took it for several months. My nails recovered and got strong, and I haven't had to use it for several years now. It's the best thing I found. It is a powder you mix with water, and it tastes like Tang or Orange juice. It really works!
Could be a thyroid issue. Notice your hair doing the same thing?
How aggressive are they at growing? Do you use polishes? Are your hands protected with gloves for dishes or house hold cleaning?
Are you a smoker? Around smokers? Do you eat well balanced diet? How about caffeine and pop, especially diet? All those have issues with the protein your nails and hair are trying to put out.
At 55, I have the hardest nails. Never bite the nails, that weakens them. Use scissors and proper file to care for them. Try to keep them short so they can grow stronger. I have to cut mine about every 10 days; they get really long. Do not put artificial nails, etc. on them. That destroys them.
Hope this helps.
I noticed when I use my nails as tools for scraping dried on food off the counter top or a plate before washing, they are split the next day. I try not to do that too much but when my kids play with my kitchen tools (those little plastic food scrapers) I turn to my nails.
How are your calcium and vitamin D levels? Has your doctor ever checked them? When my calcium and vitamin D levels are too low, I have those issues. I hope you find something that helps and the cause of the problem.
How can I correct problem nails, especially, splitting and thinning tips?
By cha from MA
I tried everything then a friend told me what she did, keep your nails polished with "Hard as Nails" polish. It works. I use the clear unless we are going out then I apply the color on top of the clear, good luck. (10/18/2009)
I completely agree with Margie M. Stop using any kind of polish on your nails. Mine peeled horribly. I would put a fresh coat of colored polish on them, then the ends would peel, leaving an ugly white tip. So I switched to clear polish only. They still peeled, but it wasn't as noticeable. Finally, I just stopped using any kind of polish. They haven't peeled since! (10/19/2009)
White iodine repaired my nails almost immediately. I read about white iodine helping soft splitting, peeling nails in Heloise's Hints in the newspaper. At the time I could only find white, also known as colorless iodine, on eBay. The white iodine seemed to fuse the peeling layers of my nails together almost immediately. I used it every day for a week and then once a week for the next two or three months. I now only use it once a month or so for maintenance, and have had no more problems with my nails. I quit using files and emery boards, also. Trim my nails with clippers only. I recently was able to order white iodine from the pharmacy at Sam's Club in Woodbridge, VA. (10/20/2009)
Eating Jello will help strengthen your nails. (10/26/2009)
If you will mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar and 2 tablespoons of honey in 1 cup of warm water and drink this each morning you will definitely see an improvement in your nails. I did. It is good for a whole host of ailments. buzzle.com (10/28/2009)
I have had a problem for about a month with my fingernails on my right hand only. I am right handed. They started splitting and peeling. As soon as they started splitting I trimmed them straight across beacuse I would find myself snagging material, etc. Then they would split even more. It is to the point now that my nails are trimmed down to the quick and they hurt.
I spoke with an aestheticism and she suggested that I purchase a nail covering product that does not contain formaldehyde and see if that helps. It did not.
I have not used any new detergent, shampoo, soap, or any other product. It just seems so weird that this has only occurred on one hand and not the other. I wear rubber gloves when doing dishes to protect them from the hot water and the detergent. Can anyone suggest a treatment to help me and also has anyone else run into this predicament?
Thank you for any help you can offer.
Joesgirl from Beverly, MA
I started having the same problem about six months ago. I finally read that the problem is caused because we are aging and that is how our nails react to the process. Isn't that great. I tried all sorts of products too and they didn't work very well. The best advice is to keep your nails as short as possible and to moisturize your hands constantly. I finally bought some cuticle lotion from Burt's Bees and I rub it into all my nails after using lotion in the morning and then a few more times during the day. It really seems to work and I finally can have longer nails now.
Hope this helps. (01/04/2007)
I am one of the lucky ones, so to speak. I have to trim my nails regularly. But I have had the problem of splitting on occasion. Instead of cutting, use the soft side of an emery board to trim the bad section off, as soon as it starts to split. Even though the "straight across" is a style option, in my opinion, it is proper to file your nails along with the shape of your cuticle. If you have square cuticles, the squared off is the best way to go. Clipping adds to the splitting. Watch the clippers as they snip your nails, they are bending them, so file instead.
The longest set of nails I've ever had were when I was on prenatal vitamins. So you may be lacking something in your diet. Review your diet changes, if any, and modify as necessary to obtain the vitamins you are missing. Oh, after giving birth to my son, a nurse entered my room with nail clippers and attempted to cut my nails. I had had a bad delivery, breach, and hemorrhaged, but she was not going to cut my nails. My mom filed them down for me, this allowed them to keep from splitting and hanging on the blankets and things.
Hope something in here helps.
I asked my dermatologist, while being checked for skin cancers, about my soft, splitting and peeling nails. She said "Its dry nails" and gave me a sample of Elon, which is a lanolin based cream. It helped, but I bought a tube of plain old lanolin from the pharmacy for $2.00 that works just as good and is much cheaper. (01/04/2007)
By Syd's 2¢
After biting my nails for many years, they would not grow at all. They split and flaked and I had just about given up when someone told me about OPI Nail Envy. It is not cheap, but I won't be without it now. My nails are strong and looking good for the first time ever. (01/04/2007)
I never had my fingernails split until I started to regularly use nail polish. Then I used the kind that is supposed to keep nails from splitting. Until I forgot to use the polish for about a month and my nails started to grow back strong as ever. My advise is to stop using anything on your nails and take a good multivitamin each day. I bet that would help. I have also heard of rubbing almond oil into your nails each night before bed. Hope this helps. (01/04/2007)
By Margie M.
You may want to have the iron levels in your blood checked. Anemia can cause this problem. I have been soaking my nails in warm olive oil nightly, then massaging the oil in to increase circulation. This has helped a lot, but when my iron level is low it is less effective. Good luck. (01/04/2007)
For the first time in my life, I have solved this problem for myself. I take two tablespoons of silica gel daily for about three weeks or so when I see that my nails are beginning to shred or soften. Works like a charm. Silica gel can be purchased in vitamin shops or drug stores that carry a lot of vitamins. (01/05/2007)
By D. M.
Dehydration will also make your nails split and peel. I have a tendency to not drink as much water in the winter and it never fails that my nails will start splitting, peeling, etc.
I can make myself drink more and within a couple of weeks I really can notice a huge improvement.
Just a thought, works for me. (01/05/2007)
Have you changed your diet? Have you started taking a new medication? My nails have split and cracked for years. I manicure once a week and use Sally Hanson Super Strong Micro-Fiber base coat. That's all I use except for rubber gloves, and I have nails of steel. Any polish with fiber in it will work. File snags as they appear and I file all my nails with each manicure to smooth them out or to shorten them. Never use clippers to cut your nails. Wishing you strong beautiful nails, Ellen (01/05/2007)
Forgot to tell you that 2 thin coats are better than 1 thick one. Ellen (01/05/2007)
Just buy Biotin at any health food store like GNC. 2500 units works. My hair was falling out and my nails were damaged. Within 3 weeks I saw a difference and now I have beautiful nails and my hair is growing back. i still take one a day. Try it. (01/11/2007)
I have had this problem for years. It seems to be worse in stressful times of my life. Stress prevents proper blood circulation to our extremities thus fingernails do not get the proper nourishment when we are stressed (or so I have been told). I know if go on a vacation and relax in the sun (with sunscreen) my nails improve. I get some relief, if I take Knox gelatin daily and use olive oil on fingers tips and nails. (05/31/2007)
I came here to find a cure, and got some good leads. Meanwhile I'll continue to treat the symptom with a tiny drop of cyanoacrylate (crazy glue). This prevents the split from catching clothing or growing longer and into the quick. (06/26/2008)
Your fingernails can only be as healthy as your cuticles, from which they grow. Religiously rub a dab of cuticle cream into your cuticles and on your nails every night at bedtime (just keep it on your bedside table). Most especially in the winter. You'll notice a difference.
Sometimes I also wonder if nail splitting and flaking can be worsened by using a metal fingernail file, versus an emery board, etc.
I had years of nail splitting. I had been taken Biotin without any change. All of a sudden I noticed they weren't splitting anymore and also getting thicker. I had started taking a one a day vitamin for women from Wal-mart (their brand). I also started drinking 2 glasses of milk a day. There are other supplements I take, but I am not sure they are what caused the difference. (07/13/2009)