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How to Treat Split Nails

author image Heather Topham Wood
Heather Topham Wood is a seasoned writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including USA Today, Gadgetell, Feel Rich and Step in Style. Heather is a published novelist with six Amazon bestsellers and a contract through Crescent Moon Press. She holds a bachelor's degree in English from TCNJ.
How to Treat Split Nails
A woman is holding a nail file in her hand. Photo Credit: Thinkstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images

Split fingernails are a condition that occurs when the nail bed becomes broken and separated. The nails are likely to be brittle and soft as well. It can give your nails an unattractive appearance and require that you grow the nails to improve the look. While treating the cause of split nails, you can use clear nail polish or nail glue to hold them together. Speak to your doctor if you are concerned about your split fingernails.

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Step 1

Limit how long you expose your nails to water. According to experts at the Mayo Clinic, prolonged contact with water is the most common cause of split fingernails. Skip taking long soaks in the tub and bathe in lukewarm water to avoid stripping the nails of moisture.

Step 2

Wear gloves while cleaning or exposing your hands to any harsh chemicals. Choose cotton lined gloves to protect the nails.

Step 3

Reduce how much you use nail polish removal on your nails. The harsh chemicals in nail polish removers can thin and weaken the nails, which makes breakage more likely to occur. Use nail polish remover no more than bi-monthly. When you do use the nail polish remover, choose an acetone-free version.

Step 4

Keep your nails well moisturized by applying a hand cream. Lock in moisture and strengthen the nails by using a hand cream after washing the hands. The hand cream you choose should contain alpha hydroxy acids or lanolin.

Step 5

File down your nails. Round the tips of the fingernails with the use of a nail file as a way to keep the nails from breaking.

Step 6

Take a vitamin supplement. Nutritional deficiencies can cause fingernails to break and split. According to the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology website, take 2 mg daily of biotin to stop brittle and splitting nails. It is not recommended to use this supplement if you are pregnant.

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