Strong, healthy nails are a sign of good health and hygiene. However, sometimes, despite the best efforts to grow beautiful nails, they can split or peel. Treating nails gently can help prevent splitting. It's best to keep nails dry, trimmed and moisturized as well as making sure nail products are gentle and problems are addressed immediately.
Nail Polish and Hardeners
According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD), repeated wetting and drying the nails is the major cause of onychoschizia, which refers to splitting, brittle, soft or thin nails. The AOCD states that nail problems can be divided into categories: soft and brittle, which means nails get too much moisture, and dry and brittle, meaning they get too little.
A nail repair product can coat nails with a protective glaze that can lock in the nail's natural moisture and keep excessive moisture out. Good choices include the numerous nail repair products sold in drugstores and online, as well as regular nail polish and top coats. The CNN Health website recommends using a nail prep or top coat once a week and polishing weak nails with products containing nylon fibers.
Surprisingly, water can dehydrate nails. The constant evaporation of water from the nails removes the nails' natural moisturizers. Applying a nail moisturizer can help lock in nails' natural emollients. Occupations that require frequent handwashing, such as nursing, food service and childcare can contribute to splitting and peeling nails. People in these occupations can use nail moisturizers to help prevent nail damage.
Dry, brittle nails are also often seen in low humidity and in the winter (dry heat). It recommends applying lotions containing alpha-hydroxy acids or lanolin after soaking the nails in warm water for a few minutes.
It might not always be feasible to wear gloves, but they can be beneficial when performing household chores that require the hands to be submerged in water, such as dishwashing and bathroom cleaning. Additionally, the detergents used in the course of these chores can be harsh and drying to weak nails.
Applying moisturizer to nails at night before bedtime can help nails retain moisture. Slipping hands into gloves after applying moisturizer can help prevent and treat splitting or peeling nails.
The AOCD states that taking a biotin supplement might help strengthen weak nails. Biotin is a B vitamin found in liver, cauliflower, salmon, carrots and other foods. Take 2 to 3 mgs a day for six months.